Well folks, in less than two months time, Canada will elect its 43rd parliament.
Looking at most recent polls, the coming election appears to be a serious fight between Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals—with the kicker that Scheer could win.
For the politicos or well just about everyone who remembers 2015 and Trudeau-mania, the current circumstances are genuinely baffling. To most, including the Liberal inner circle, 2019 was meant to be an easy race against a smiley Scheer and a weaker NDP leader, ensuring another majority government.
Instead, the Prime Minister shot himself in the foot repeatedly, not by just failing to uphold his many promises, but by doing something most Canadians would consider past to point of allowance for the leader of the country. He broke the law, twice.
In Trudeau’s words, he did so in order to “secure jobs”.
Worryingly for us, and our capacity to trust our own leader, those jobs didn’t appear to need saving.
According to SNC-Lavalin itself, job losses were never brought up with the PM. According to the CBC, it is unlikely Canada would have lost that many jobs. The projects SNC would compete for are normally set up by the provinces and federal government, meaning that in turn, any company who takes the job will have to keep the job here. Furthermore, many of those jobs are already secured through multi-year contracts.
With jobs not being the clear factor pushing the government, it appears that Trudeau instead had gone out of his way to help further the private interests of a Quebec firm with an extremely worrying history of deep illegal political connections, largely with the Liberal party. And that’s not hidden, it’s literally fact.
According to the National Post, “a CBC investigation revealed new details about the scheme and listed for the first time individuals accused of indirectly funnelling almost $110,000 of the company’s money to the Liberal Party, and another $8,000 to the Conservative Party. The parties became aware of the lists during a 2016 investigation by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.”
With such a clear connection, it appears that the Prime Minister like so many times before in his tenure put the interests of Quebec and Liberal re-election far ahead of the interests of the country. Sadly, we may not even know the entire story.
The Liberal MPs alongside the Prime Minister have done everything in their power to stop a proper investigation from taking place into the SNC-Lavalin issue, choosing to both limit Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the Ethics Commissioner himself. In the case of the Ethics Commissioner, they literally blocked him from speaking at the Ethics Committee.
Yes. That is some Russia like manoeuvring right there, but here is perhaps the most interesting thing after our Prime Minister effectively ejected two whistleblowing cabinet ministers, lied to the public, and broke the law, he could still win. After all that the race is still close, and it’s not surprising why.
Most of Canada is not Conservative, and the fear of another Harper government pushes them to whatever progressive option seems viable.
The Greens lack the on the ground experience, while the NDP continue to spiral downward. Neither of these two parties have good enough candidates, or the cash to compete with the Liberals.
From the NDP to the Greens, progressives simply have no real option that can compete with the Conservatives, outside of the Liberals.
And so, they are willing to hold their nose and vote for the Canadian version of Donald Trump. An individual with allegations of sexual misconduct, who can’t keep his promises, has broken the law—twice and makes the nation look foolish on the world stage. They want a Progressive even if it means devaluing our democracy.
In 2019, that shouldn’t be the only progressive response, and there is a way to fix this mess.
The Green Party and the New Democrats must work together whether through a unity ticket or through high-level coordination.
While it is unlikely that either party would support the Conservatives or the Liberals, they could support each other and finally create a progressive alternative in Canada that seriously understands the struggles of pro-environment Canadians who genuinely care about climate change and the working class who are in tireless search for secure jobs and a safety net that makes sense.
A party focused on those kinds of issues could compete on the five main issues voters seriously care about, according to the most recent polling by Abacus Data. A party focused on just one or two, will forever be trapped behind the Liberal establishment.
This election, its time the Greens and New Democrats gave progressive Canadians a real third choice.