Rumour has it that Justin Trudeau will lead the Liberal Party of Canada. If this comes to pass, it is almost certain to be disastrous for Canada, and that is what has motivated me to write after months of silence.
Bear with me; I’ll be brief as I can.
1. If the NDP win a majority in 2015, Canada stands a good chance of becoming Mr. Harper’s worst nightmare: European.
Or more accurately, more social democratic, like Germany or Norway. Once Canadians experience that quality of life, that level of security, we will not want to go back and he knows it. 6 weeks of vacation, tax-paid post-secondary education, worker representatives on the Boards of highly successful companies, a rapidly greening economy – it would be like going from our current legal minimum of two weeks’ paid vacation to none. An NDP government has the potential to focus Canadians on places like Germany rather than following the U.S.A. It would actually be a coming of age for Canada, a maturing of our relationship with the United States.
For those who doubt me, remember that it was a Liberal/NDP minority that “managed to bring in many of Canada’s major social programs, including universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan and Canada Student Loans, and established a new national flag, the Maple Leaf. He also instituted the 40-hour work week, two weeks vacation time and a new minimum wage.” Thank you Wikipedia.
2. Based on recent polling, the NDP stand a decent chance of winning at least a minority next election.
3. There are a lot of people who don’t trust the NDP and/or would really love to see the Liberals riding high again.
4. Justin Trudeau is the only leader I can think of that will swing a lot of voters to the Liberals from the NDP.
5. The progressive vote is split once again, and Harper will win a second majority. Instead of becoming more European, we’ll become more American, including their declining pollution regulations, corporate accountability, government accountability, and middle class.
Trudeau seems a nice enough fellow, and no doubt very intelligent, etc, etc. But the party he would lead is a mess and they are not particularly progressive. We’re not going to see any significant change in direction. This is the party that signed Kyoto…and then did nothing about it. This is the party that stabbed Stephane Dion, their leader, in the back over his “Green Shift.” The Liberals are not going to green the economy.
And is the rot gone from the Liberal Party? I very much doubt it. There are still plenty of old guard and their views will not be ‘shifted’ by a young leader. Not overnight, anyway, and certainly not enough before the next election.
All that said, there are enough Canadians who get dreamy-eyed at the thought of the Liberals rising from the ashes – led by a Trudeau! – that if he becomes the leader of the Liberal Party, he will split the vote and Harper will get a second majority.
So close, we were.