Since Andrew Scheer has shown a strong level of stubbornness, the party is not going to win under him. But changing leaders is only a band aid solution, the party must make changes in policy otherwise it will have a similar result in the next election. Below are a few things I believe they should do.
Get serious about Climate Change
A lot of the base may be deniers and many just blindly oppose any taxes despite the fact we wouldn’t have universal health care, military, police, roads, or public education without taxation. Likewise concerns about climate change will only grow not disappear and a party who is unwilling to confront challenges of the day will not win. That is why I believe on the carbon tax it is time for the party to recognize a revenue neutral carbon tax is a conservative idea and to adopt one. People want real action on climate change, especially millennials who will see the long term impacts. Likewise all societies need taxes to function so this idea all taxes are bad needs to be dropped. Instead we need to focus on raising taxes for things we want less of while lowering them for things we want more of and a carbon tax helps achieve that. Some are concerned this will split the party, but as a resident of BC and a card carrying BC Liberal member, the BC Liberals adopted one in 2008 and the coalition has remained united and still wins in conservative strongholds. Base may not like carbon tax, but it will appeal to swing voters and at end of day, base has nowhere else to go. That doesn’t mean being anti-resource, in fact polls show majority of Canadians want both a carbon tax while still supporting pipelines so you can be pro-resource development even with a carbon tax. A carbon tax is a market based solution of pricing a negative externality. Likewise as a compromise, Tories could follow Kenney’s lead and impose one on industry but not consumers and to make it effective, it would need to be higher than Liberals plan, but this is one alternative which would allow them to distinguish themselves.
Drop Social Conservatism
People don’t just want a leader who promises to protect the status quo, they want a leader who shares their values and whose values are with the times, not stuck in the past. By marching in gay pride parades and slamming the door shut on not re-opening abortion, that makes clear the party is with the present times. Social conservatives are always going to be part of the party, but they should not play a major role and they should understand one has the right to hold socially conservative viewpoints, but you don’t have the right to impose them on others and banning gay marriage and abortion is imposing your views on others. Likewise we are a tolerant country and homophobia has no place in Canada and being supportive of LGBT community means supporting all their rights.
Develop a serious plan to deal with challenges
Party needs to quit promising simplistic solutions to complex problems. With an aging population, changing workforce due to globalization and automation, and large cities becoming less affordable, we have some serious challenges. But these require a strong coherent platform. As such the party should work on developing one to deal with challenges ahead and should role out their plans well before the election so they can make the case to Canadians why changes are needed. With such plan, people will be less likely to see the party as an ideologically driven one and attack ads will be harder to stick. Also perhaps look to experts outside the party to help craft plans here as Trudeau ran on listening to experts so if done this will inoculate from attacks. With a simplistic plan and lack of coherence, the other parties will fill in the blanks and it won’t be to the Tories’ liking.
Adopting some of these plans will help make the party more electable come next election, but to do this, Scheer needs to go, but changing leaders on its own is not sufficient.
2 thoughts on “Steps Tories need to take to win”
Some good points here. As I mentioned in my thoughts on Scheer’s continued place as leader, IMHO he has to stop appeasing the special interest groups and stop being a nice guy. I differ on many of your points laid out here. Climate concerns are not an issue Canada really needs to worry about. Even if you accept the worst of the alarmism, Canada can do SFA about it. Pride parades are a fashionable, political fad. Scheer needs to slam the door on nonsensical demands, period. Solid planning for Canada’s future, yep, all for that. Our healthcare system is going to be strained to the max with aging boomers. That is the job of government. Also, we need a robust economy that isn’t hamstrung by regulations, NGOs, and little Greta converts. Guess we’ll see how things turn out. My blog is over at happydiver.space if you’re interested.
I agree on special interest groups shouldn’t give into everyone, but lets remember you have some on the right like social conservatives and gun lobby who I feel the Tories are a bit too cozy with at times. On climate change, its true it won’t impact us as severely as others, but it still will have some impact. And more importantly, Canadians care deeply about others and you don’t win elections on appealing to people’s selfish interests, at least not in Canada. We shouldn’t go overboard, but shouldn’t do nothing either. We cannot stop it, but can do our part.
As for gay pride parade, I think marching in one, just one would put to bed the idea Tories are homophobic. LGBT community has suffered a lot of discrimination in the past and many politicians in the past have even promoted homophobia so marching in the pride even if largely symbolic shows this community whose side the politicians are. Tories need to reach out to all communities and especially groups who have in the past faced greater discrimination. Those who don’t face discrimination will vote across the spectrum, but those who do will automatically rule out any party that they don’t see fully in their corner. The way Scheer responded suggests to me he knows homophobia is wrong, but personally is not comfortable with LGBT community in that is not something you can have in a leader.
On health care, you are bang on. Real problem is the kind of changes to do with an aging population would be very unpopular politically and no politician wants to take that risk so they kick the can down the road, but that just means eventually it reaches a crisis point and the actions we have to take are a lot more difficult than if taken now. Probably best here is to explain to people the need for change and maybe even get an outside expert panel to recommend changes thus give strong credibility that is being done because it needs to be, not on the basis of ideology. Unfortunately too many believe politicians govern based on ideology and a large number even see issues through this lens so this at least allows whomever makes the changes to point out the experts agree and evidence is on their side.
I will check out your blog.