A few days ago, Trudeau called a women in Quebec a racist after heckling and her asking a question on the cost of illegal/irregular border crossings. It turns out the women was a white supremacist so his comments about calling her racist made some sense, but did he know in advance her background or was it just luck. Either way I am not happy about how Liberals and Conservatives are playing the whole identity politics and wish they would just drop the whole issue and focus on the more pressing issues like economy, jobs, health care, taxes, environment etc., which Canadians no matter what group they are from care about.
The Liberals may think playing identity politics is good in terms of helping them win the 2019 election, but I believe they are making a big mistake here. Certainly trying to bait the Conservatives to make intolerant remarks may work in their favour, but if they don’t take the bait it could backfire. Also insulting anyone who doesn’t agree with them which I’ve noticed Liberals seem to have a recent habit of doing and calling anyone who isn’t super politically correct racist could just as easily backfire since any time you insult someone, you won’t get their vote even if they agree with you on most issues. And more importantly I don’t believe it is healthy to create a polarized divided society like you have in the US. Sure the Liberals may see that as best for their electoral considerations since there are more progressives than conservatives so if you polarize the country where both sides hate each other, they figure since their side is larger they will always win. But the question is this best for the country? I would argue not and any party wishing to govern should do what is best for their country not furthering their own party interests.
That being said the Conservatives should quit taking the Liberal bait and just ignore them on this. Most Canadians may not care for super politically correct parties, but they despise racist ones more and any hint of racism will ensure Liberals come out ahead even if many have to hold their noses up. That doesn’t mean their cannot be debates on immigration, but its why the Tories need to be careful to address reasonable concerns, but also not sound intolerant. If 2015 taught us anything, polls showed most Canadians agreed niqab shouldn’t be worn during citizenship ceremonies, but the appearance the Tories were Islamophobic ultimately sunk them. So my advice to the Tories, quit taking the bait here and focus on bigger issues. In 2014 in Quebec, the PQ tried to make the Quebec charter the central issue and rather than get drawn into it, the Quebec Liberals focused on the economy and other big issues and they won. That is what the Tories need to do.
A final word on the Sir John A. Macdonald statues. I generally don’t think they should take them down, but it is not something I feel too strongly about. Certainly what he did to the First Nations was absolutely wrong and unacceptable, but we cannot and should not forget about our past. More importantly if we use today’s standards for tolerance, that will pretty much mean any PM before Lester Pearson we cannot do anything to reference as back then everyone was a racist, but thankfully that is not the case now. And never mind, the biggest reason I support John A. Macdonald is he helped found the greatest country on earth and if it wasn’t for him we would probably be the 51st state and that is something we can all be proud did not happen. I do think reconciliation with the First Nations is important and certainly I am open to perhaps putting the statues in different locations if that will help, but largely seems symbolic and does little in dealing with the real concerns.