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One of the tactics the Liberals have used with much success against the Conservatives is to lock the Conservatives into defending scarcity.
The Liberals repeatedly pledge to outspend the Conservatives, then demand to know what the Conservatives will “cut,” putting the Conservatives on the defensive.
And since many elections become bidding contests where parties compete to offer more to voters, the Liberals benefit to the detriment of the Conservatives.
Now, the answer to this problem isn’t for the Conservatives to just outspend the Liberals, since that wouldn’t be too consistent with the Conservative brand and value system.
However, the Conservatives can achieve success by reframing the issue.
All too often, the Conservatives end up playing within the Liberal (and establishment media) frame, which traps the Conservatives into defending what seems like scarcity and tough times ahead.
Notably, the two most successful centre-right candidates in the Anglosphere recently have won by avoiding being locked into the scarcity frame, and instead campaigned from an abundance frame or abundance mentality.
Both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump ran campaigns that featured much more positivity than they get credit for. While Johnson and Trump spent lots of time demonizing their opponents (as their opponents demonized them right back), both of them shared a message of abundance, repeatedly discussing how their policies and approach would lead to greater wealth and opportunity for the country.
Instead of constantly defending “cuts,” they constantly spoke about “wealth,” “prosperity,” “opportunity,” “job creation,” and sold themselves as being strongly on the side of those who wish to get richer, achieve financial independence and financial freedom, and elevate their status in life.
It was an aspirational message, based on an understanding that free Western societies have an unlimited potential for technological innovation, wealth creation, and opportunity, so long as people are free to succeed and prosper.
That abundance mindset is increasingly essential, especially as economic pessimism and fear spreads. With Canadians increasingly burdened by debt, unaffordable housing, higher taxes, and a rising cost of living, there’s a feeling of malaise across much of the nation.
Most ominously, Canadians believe the next generation will be worse off, and that kind of loss of hope can be devastating to our society and our nation.
So, by shifting towards an abundance mindset and refusing to be stuck in the Liberal scarcity frame, the Conservatives have the potential both to win the upcoming election and unleash the true power and potential of the Canadian people.