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Opinion Sep 9, 2019 12:30 PM EST

Conservatives must fight for working-class votes

The Conservatives must make a huge push for working-class voters, redefining their party and taking advantage of the opportunity opened up by Justin Trudeau’s elitist-focused agenda.

Conservatives must fight for working-class votes
Spencer Fernando Winnipeg, MB

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

The United Steelworkers recently slammed the Trudeau government, unveiling an ad that says “Why would we choose Justin Trudeau when he doesn’t choose us.”

So far, so good for the Conservatives.

However, the next part of the ad says “There’s only one party that puts working-class people first—Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.”

Even with the federal NDP in a state of crisis, with horrendous fundraising numbers, trouble recruiting candidates, defections to the Greens, and bad poll ratings, they are still considered by many as the “default choice” for working-class Canadians.

This is a big missed opportunity for Conservatives, and it’s something they need to address. The Conservatives must make a huge push for working-class voters, redefining their party and taking advantage of the opportunity opened up by Justin Trudeau’s elitist-focused agenda.

Jagmeet Singh and the NDP are not at all a working-class friendly party, as his agenda of higher taxes, opposition to resource development, and “society-changing” schemes to “save the world,” will all be damaging to working-class jobs, and rip more money out of the pockets of working-class Canadians.

However, old party connections die hard, and the NDP is still maintaining some working-class support based on their past, which once included being a big booster of Canada’s resource sector, and seeking to protect Canadian manufacturing and production jobs, rather than let everything be outsourced to foreign countries and sacrificed at the virtue-signalling altar.

This is where the Conservatives are caught in a bit of bind. They feel that they need to support “free trade,” yet they find themselves locked into the same basic position as the Trudeau Liberals when it comes to always seeking out foreign markets at the expense of developing Canada’s economy at home.

Despite a seemingly endless number of free trade deals, Canada’s economy is at the point where about two-thirds of Canadians say the economy is ‘rigged.’ Very few people feel any connection to the government-released economic stats, and there is a clear sense that something in the economy is going seriously wrong.

The Conservatives have started to shift in a more realistic direction, particularly given Andrew Scheer’s pushback against the idea of signing a “free trade” deal with Communist China, and his call for the use of government authority to block Huawei. Additionally, if the Conservatives win and repeal the carbon tax, that would be a big financial help for many working-class Canadians.

Yet, the Conservatives are still seen by many as the party of Canada’s largest corporations, and that perception is holding them back.

If the NDP ends up being locked into a lower level of support, then the Conservatives can’t count on the same vote-splits to gain power. But, if they can emphasize a shift towards being the party of working-class Canadians, promoting economic patriotism that’s focused on building up our homegrown economy, protecting manufacturing jobs, defending sectors related to national security, promoting Canadian national resources—  including banning foreign oil imports, and restricting foreign ownership of Canadian assets, they can move our country towards a much-needed political realignment.

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