Canada’s Liberals are sinking in the polls. This is mainly due to discontent with their leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, the Liberals were averaging a lead of 20 per cent over the Conservatives. Today, when all polls are averaged out, they are 4 or 5 per cent behind.
The Liberal Party of Canada has invested heavily in the persona of its photogenic leader. The good looks, the easy charm which comes from a privileged background, and instant name recognition made him seem the ideal candidate for a social media world. However, a combination of over-exposure and poor decision-making since the election have caused many Canadians to see him as a silly pretty boy rather than a serious politician.
Trudeau has never hidden his ideological stance and intention to pursue society-altering policies, and at first Canadians approved of this by a wide margin. Entering the 2015 election with 36 seats, the Liberals won 184, while the Conservatives went from 159 seats down to 99. After less than three years, Canadians are beginning to wake up.
Increasingly they are seeing behind the façade and beginning to recognise that instead of electing a national leader, in Trudeau they elected a national embarrassment. Their prime minister is the living embodiment of the Peter Principle which states that managers rise to their level of incompetence.
Despite their promises Trudeau’s Liberals have emerged as a politics-as-usual party, same politicking, same economy with the truth, same double-dealing. Their preachy moralistic tone and holier-than-thou attitude is beginning to grate on ordinary Canadians.
Liberals had looked for a significant lift amongst women voters, but that has failed to materialise. Of 1,003 Canadians surveyed by Ipsos for Global News, 35 per cent of women said they would vote Conservative, compared with 30 per cent for the Liberals and 26 per cent for the New Democratic Party.
Trudeau has long proclaimed his feminism, self-identifying as a feminist and stating that as a priority ‘we need to make sure that we have pay equity and gender equality right across the board’.
The one thing you can count on progressives doing is overplaying their hand. Trudeau’s Liberal Party has not grasped that women are not a separate species to be pandered to. Women are not a homogeneous group of single-issue constituents obsessed with the number of women on company boards.
Women have the same concerns as men. Women care about jobs, taxes and immigration. They are concerned about their children’s future. Instead of dealing with these concerns, Trudeau condescendingly throws around continual references to gender.
In his world the biggest problem facing Canada is equity between men and women. Half the members of his first cabinet were women, a decision he justified with the simple explanation ‘It’s 2015’.
The mind-blowing shallowness of this response illustrates the schoolboy nature of the Liberal Party’s present policies. Instead of selection by ability, Trudeau and his followers believe in selection by sex. This may be important to progressives, but not to ordinary people who are more interested in paying the weekly bills.
In the most recent ‘equality-focused’ budget presented to Parliament, the word ‘gender’ was employed 358 times. An entire budget was designed around a problem which does not exist and about which very few people actually care.
The budget did give some money to actual jobs for women: $70million was allocated to women-led technology firms, and $65.9million over five years to assist women to enter the trades.
However, in a sign of Trudeau’s priorities, the budget also includes a $100million financial commitment over five years to ‘Status of Women Canada’. This money is designated to support more initiatives to build the capacity of equality-seeking organisations, (feminist organisations) to reduce gender inequality, and to promote a ‘fairer and more productive society’.
This budget seems blind to the fact that Canada’s economy is facing serious challenges. Trudeau’s failure to broker trade deals will result in job losses for women as well as men. Productivity growth is weak and liable to get worse. Trump’s substantial tax reforms are making Canada’s industries less competitive than those of the USA.
A main reason the Liberals are falling in the polls is because they give the impression they are not paying attention to the bread-and-butter issues of concern to working people. Instead, they seem more interested in progressive social justice issues such as unfettered immigration and gender equality.
At a student meeting a female student tried to make the point that ‘Maternal love is the love that is going to change the future of mankind’. To progressives such a statement is wrong in so many ways. Trudeau immediately waved her silent and lectured her, ‘We like to say “peoplekind”, not necessarily “mankind”’. Later attempts to pass it off as a joke fell flat amongst a public who know a sanctimonious prig when they see one.
Service Canada, the government organisation through which Canadians access benefits and services, has instructed employees who interact with the public to avoid terms such as Mr, Mrs, father and mother, and to ‘use gender-neutral language or gender-inclusive language’. Never mind that most men and women are quite pleased to be a father or mother, the progressive ideological agenda comes first with Trudeau.
Despite falling support for the Liberals, backing for their main opposition, the Conservative Party, has not grown. Like other mainstream conservative parties throughout the West, they seem unable to grasp that disillusionment with progressivism and political correctness is an opportunity to stress the Christian cultural foundations upon which our civilisation is built.
The growth of populism in the West it is not solely a reaction to progressives. Much of the responsibility lies with those mainstream conservative parties who cannot see that social conservatism has a strong appeal to many, Christians and non-Christians alike.