Conservative leader Erin O'Toole does 180 now advocating Bernie Sanders politics

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Mighty Middle
Conservative leader Erin O'Toole does 180 now advocating Bernie Sanders politics

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole gave a speech to the business community where 3/4 of his speech touted policies advocated by

BERNIE SANDERS!

Such as

  • Wages have been stagnant since the 1970s
  • Bemoaning the decline of private sector unions
  • Saying the free market won't solve Canada's problems
  • Unchecked Globalization

and the kicker

"Do we really want a nation of Uber drivers"

So should the NDP & Jagmeet Singh be looking over their shoulders as the Conservatives are going their vote?

Video below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3y23WXBf2Q

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Erin O'Toole will do or say anything to get elected.

This is exactly what happens. the Conservatives get lead by  Banana Republic to the south of us, following their desperate ' populist'  Republican playbook..

The last week or 2 of the election of the Orange Slug's final campaign commercials in 2016 would have you believe he was an orange Bernie.

I hope that shit doesn't happen here...It appealed to the very worst in our society. Canadians are as dumb as "Murica, It could happen here and O'Toole would be its pied piper. If Trump is re-elected, it's game over. For real.

Mighty Middle

alan smithee wrote:

Erin O'Toole will do or say anything to get elected.

This is exactly what happens. the Conservatives get lead by  Banana Republic to the south of us, following their desperate ' populist'  Republican playbook..

The last week or 2 of the election of the Orange Slug's final campaign commercials in 2016 would have you believe he was an orange Bernie.

I hope that shit doesn't happen here...It appealed to the very worst in our society. Canadians are as dumb as "Murica, It could happen here and O'Toole would be its pied piper. If Trump is re-elected, it's game over. For real.

The problem with the Conservatives is that they needs a salesperson to sell it - Trump was able to sell it, Doug Ford is able to sell it, I just don't see Erin O'Toole is convincing enough to sell it. He doesn't the charsima or "Blue Collar" image to sell a message like that.

Pondering

All the parties need a leader/salesperson to win.  Layton was a salesperson. Even Harper was a salesperson. He sold himself as a solid boring accountant family man type. It sold well against Liberal corruption. Trudeau is certainly a salesman. I thought Singh would be a salesman and to an extent he is but he isn't a strong enough leader.  Trudeau isn't a good leader either but he manages because he has the Liberal machine behind him and the Liberals are so mainstream he doesn't have to lead, or maybe doesn't want to. The Liberal leader and liberal backroom are in unison. 

Lascaris is both a leader and a salesperson. 

 

Mighty Middle

O'Toole just does't seem believable saying all this populist rhetoric.

jerrym

Mighty Middle wrote:

O'Toole just does't seem believable saying all this populist rhetoric.

He doesn't because he isn't. He's the son of an Ontario MPP, who went to the Royal Military College and became a captain in the army. After law school he practised business law as a corporate lawyer with elite clients in an elite law firm in Toronto before becoming a minister in the Harper government. Can't get much more elite than that. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_O%27Toole)

During the Conservative leadership campaign he portrayed himself to the right of McKay in order to overcome McKay's lead in the early polls and win over the right wing of the Conservative party, when historically both McKay and him were fairly close in their political positions. Having chosen the right wing of Conservative party, he cannot abandon it in a meaningful way without suffering a backlash from these party members.

His body language and tone is that of a smiling member of the elite, not working class. He gave his speech that you quoted to a business audience, not to workers or union members. His body is closer in looks to the Pilsbury doughboy than a worker. He has none of the air of a Doug Ford, who despite being worth many millions, can relate to workers in his body language and mannerisms, although his policies are anti-worker. Ersatz comments of O'Toole's type that are not reflected in meaningful policy will not work and truly meaningful policy aimed at making a significant improvement in workers' lifes is not going to be part of the framework of a Conservative Party because it is closely tied to Bay Street and the oil industry. 

Furthermore, during the fifty years since 1970, it is the policies of both that Conservatives' and the Liberals' governments that have helped keep real wages stagnant, saw the decline of the private sector unions, worshipped at the altar of the free market and privatized much of the government sector, and pushed globilization through free trade deals, the very things O'Toole is supposedly bemoaning now. 

Mighty Middle

And Tom Mulcair is an Erin O'Toole champion - sorry to tell you guys that. But everytime Mulcair is on the radio or CTV as politcal commentator he is full of PRAISE for O'Toole. As he had called him "strong" "solid" and a "forceful" leader with terrific french skills.

Ken Burch

For a second there, I thought the thread title said O'Toole advocates "Bernie Sanders Poultices".  I guess those would be special cloths you'd wrap around an infection to draw out the capitalism.

melovesproles

The problem is Canadians are pretty easily impressed by empty nationalism. That's kind of been the formula of the Liberal party. Harper just had to talk about ice breakers in the arctic to get points on 'standing up for Canada.' Canadians are just brainwashed from a very young age from watching Tim Hortons, Molson etc. commercials into believing that economic nationlism means corporations that pander to their identity (hocky, syrup, being nice, moose etc.) and not actual economic policies. O'Toole has a really low bar. It's not impossible he could figure it out.

Pondering

That may be true of partisans but it isn't of the average Canadian and certainly not of swing voters. O'Toole won't get anywhere in Quebec because he doesn't understand our priorities which are not the priorities of Legault or politicians in general. 

In Quebec the vote will depend on who will send our tax dollars back in the form of financing of infrastructure and health care. Climate change is also an issue in Quebec. 

If O'Toole offers enough to get Quebec votes he will piss off the West and Conservatives in general. 

josh

A swing back towards the Red Toryism of the likes of Stanfield would certainly be welcome.  But I'm skeptical.

kropotkin1951

Pondering wrote:

Lascaris is both a leader and a salesperson.

Until he becomes an MP, as a politician he is an under achiever. Layton won a city counsel seat before winning a seat in the House. I like Lascaris and might have joined the Green's to vote for him but I felt since I am committed to electing Gord Johns as my MP it it would be a little slimy since I still would not have voted Green if he won.

I wish someone from the green/left would wake up the Quebec City to Windsor corridor of voters because the rest of us are bound by the choices made by that half of the population of the country. I really like this graphic display. I really do live on the left coast. The Socialist Republic of Vancouver Island has a nice ring to it, if North America collapses into smaller units.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2019_Canadian_federal_elect...

Pondering

I'm pretty sure you are stuck with Canada. If any separatist movement were going to work it would have been Quebec.  I don't blame you at all for sticking with a candidate you support. 

What I will say is the next time there is an opportunity to turn the Green party eco-socialist you should take it. The Right wins a lot because they have no scruples. You cannot be a member of more than one party but there is no oath taken concerning how you vote in elections. How you vote is private for a reason.

In different times I would agree with you that to support one party's candidate while joining a different party to impact their policy is sketchy but these are not normal times. We are facing climate catastrophe. Joining a party but voting differently does not rank against what is at stake.

All four parties, NDP, Greens, Liberals and Conservatives have much of the same money behind them and they are all establishment capitalist parties. 

The size of the US  AOC squad has doubled. The left is taking over the party one seat at a time but it is very slow going. So far the NDP has stagnated hugging the centre left so hard they are at times on the right of the Liberals. 

The Green party is the only one small enough for a hostile takeover. Lascaris doesn't call it that but it is what it is.  The executive does not want to go eco-socialist and neither does the new leader. 

The only way to overthrow them is to have enough members to vote against them. Lascaris came so painfully close. Less than 2K more members would have done it. 

melovesproles

I've joined political parties 3 times to explicitly try to influence the leadership races and only once did I have any intention of voting for the party if my candidate lost. It seems like the odds are a little better to have your vote have any real influence on policy than in a general election. The same reason I buy raffle tickets instead of lottery tickets.  That said my candidate has never won and I haven't seen any evidence that this is a useful exercise but it takes little effort and I guess you never know. 

In the past I signed up other people in my social circle but I found the Greens were a hardsell after years of Elizabeth May and I didn't really disagree that it was probably futile. I think it will only be harder after Paul's time plays out. If Lascaris wants to have a shot, he needs to raise his profile, preferably by winning a seat.

Mighty Middle

Tom Mulcair: The normally efficient Liberal election machine will face big challenges in an inspiring new Green leader, and a disciplined Erin O'Toole

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/an-election-is-coming-and-it-wont-be-eas...

Mulcair really let loose on Justin Trudeau in this scathing oped.

Pondering

Tom Mulcair is talking through his hat to make a buck. He hasn't gotten over losing to Trudeau or being ousted from the NDP. He is saying vote Green or Conservative. He knows the Liberals are going to win the next election. 

This time around, things may not be that easy. Trudeau has a new and, for both him and Jagmeet Singh, worrisome opponent on the left. Annamie Paul won’t be impressed by anything Trudeau has to offer. She is as authentic and articulate in French as she is in English and is a breath of fresh air on the Canadian political landscape.

Elizabeth May made no secret of her penchant for supporting the Liberals. When push came to shove, she’d always be there for them. Paul seems to be cut from different cloth. The Liberals will be doing everything they can to figure out how the Greens, with just a few weeks to prepare, managed to give them a deathly scare in Bill Morneau’s old riding. Jagmeet Singh is still trying to assess who’s still in his camp, as Annamie Paul barnstorms and recruits relentlessly.

Paul is cut from exactly the same cloth as May. She's just a younger version of a different color. She won't support Trudeau because she wants an election. She will take Liberal votes if she can but her target is the NDP. 

The Conservatives, of course, will be the Liberals’ main opponents in the upcoming election. They have the highest floor (30 per cent even on Harper’s last try) but the lowest ceiling (cracking 35 per cent is a challenge). They too caused a surprise during the recent Toronto by-elections, coming within a hair’s breadth of taking the Liberal seat in York Centre.

That ceiling is getting lower by the year.  Lower voter turn out in by-elections allows smaller parties a chance if they can motivate their base. The seat wouldn't have changed the balance of power no matter who won it. 

Anyone who thought that Trudeau was bluffing when he and Pablo Rodriguez went “all-in” threatening to call an election over a parliamentary motion creating a new committee should think again. Although it would have been grossly irresponsible to call an election in the middle of a pandemic, the Liberals knew their path to victory was only going to get narrower.

Who would think he was bluffing? If he really wanted to force an election he would have put a poison pill in the throne speech for the NDP to have a fit over. He just doesn't want to take responsibility for calling an election. 

The last thing the Liberals want is to have to present a budget. That will require them to show real numbers and start raising taxes just before an election. Never popular and an opening for the Conservatives.

The Liberals don't have to present a real budget just one that is better than what the Conservatives or NDP would offer. They don't have to raise taxes on the middle class. They can continue with deficit spending. 

Normally, the Red playbook says, pivot to the NDP and Green base and say: sorry, but you have to vote for us this time otherwise those horrible Conservatives will get back in. It has often worked. This time, it’ll be a lot harder for Trudeau to pull that off. For one thing, progressives are fed up with his broken promises on key environmental and social issues. For another, the Greens have a new leader who appears, so far, to be able to reassure and inspire.

For one thing, progressives have always been frustrated by the Liberals appearance of progressiveness. Nothing has changed. If there were so many progressives worried about the Conservatives winning the Conservatives would never win. Fear didn't work in 2005 against Harper and hasn't been used since. 

The Liberals will continue to pummel the Conservatives with all they’ve got but, for now, O’Toole has been staying within the polling margin of error of his Liberal opponents. He too has been showing himself to be quite strong both in debate and in his press conferences. He’s clearly following Stephen Harper’s disciplined method to work on his French which, in just a couple of months, has improved markedly. The Bloc is clearly worried about O’Toole and they and the Conservatives will be fighting for the 40 or so Quebec seats outside greater Montréal, where they will be battling for the same votes.

The Harper method is out-dated. Social conservatives won't fall for it again. O'Toole is in his honeymoon phase.

Conversion therapy is the Liberals’ opening gambit with O’Toole who, like several of his MPs, has tried to duck and explain. When the Liberals brought the issue before the House, O’Toole said it would be a free vote. That, of course, has just put a circle around the stain. You are either against mentally torturing young people to change who they are or you’re for it. Period.

Unlike Harper, O'Toole is being forced to allow a free vote. O'Toole does not control the social conservative MPs in his caucus. They don't care if the Conservatives win nationally. They won their seats on social conservatism. 

Swing voters aren't paying attention yet so we have to guess what their reactions will be a week before the election when they know more about O'Toole and his platform. 

  • Spending and the deficit.
  • Corruption.
  • Western alienation and Quebec separatism.
  • The Oil Industry.
  • Trade deals exporting well-paying union jobs. (especially oil jobs)

Canadians want deficit spending not austerity. They know the economy is in deep shit and many jobs are gone. They care about corruption but they think all the parties are corrupt once in power and policy trumps it. O'Toole's blaming of Trudeau for western alienation and pandering to Quebec separatists, accusing Trudeau of being divisive for re-introducing the conversion therapy bill, is going to backfire. He will remind people of Trump fanning the flames of division. Every province is suffering from Covid fall-out. Canadians are in no mood for prima donna provinces and Quebec separatism isn't a threat. The attitude in the RoC to Alberta is "Trudeau bought you a damn pipeline we didn't want, quit whining". 

Canadians don't think Trudeau is "cool" or a great PM. They know the WE thing stinks regardless of whether or not it officially crossed any lines. They are voting for Liberal economic management. The Conservatives would focus on the deficit and cutting spending. The NDP would spend too much. The Liberal porridge is just right.

The Conservative ceiling is dropping. I think the NDP is in great peril from Paul. Singh cannot allow Paul to appear to be as leftist as the NDP. It would be disastrous for both the NDP and the Greens to let Paul eat in the the NDP base. I am 100% voting NDP in the next election. 

If the Greens increase their support it will strengthen Paul's hold on the party. If the NDP bleed more support to the Greens it will be very difficult to get it back. The NDP and Greens splitting support could allow the Liberals to win enough seats for a majority. It's getting very messy.

The NDP needs a fresh rebrand ASAP. A new Green Deal without the manifesto part could be the path forward.  AOC for leader of the NDP!

Mighty Middle

This Macleans piece was dripping with Acid from Mulcait.

Thomas Mulcair spends most of his time as a political pundit promoting how wonderful Erin O'Toole is, what a strong leader Erin O'Toole is and how great Erin O'Toole french

He barely mentions Jagmeet Singh or the NDP, unless they have unflattering coverage in the news. And Mulcair doesn't really defend the NDP, rather he agrees with whatever unflattering NDP coverage there is!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

And this is a surprise? The man amnd his party  of SoComs are progrerssive? Did saomeone dose my coffee with LSD 25?

At the veryy end of Trump's campaign in 2016 used this method. And it worked. Hopefully Canadians are more sober than  to fall to this pathetic ploy.

It worked for Trump.

josh

Mighty Middle wrote:

This Macleans piece was dripping with Acid from Mulcait.

Thomas Mulcair spends most of his time as a political pundit promoting how wonderful Erin O'Toole is, what a strong leader Erin O'Toole is and how great Erin O'Toole french

He barely mentions Jagmeet Singh or the NDP, unless they have unflattering coverage in the news. And Mulcair doesn't really defend the NDP, rather he agrees with whatever unflattering NDP coverage there is!

He'll probably end up being a Conservative.  And bring his portrait of Margaret Thatcher back out of the closet.

Rikardo

Maybe O'Toole has read Jerry Rubin's last book on the Expendibles (victimes of Liberal-neo-liberal Globalization) It can sound like Saunders (good interview on CBC the Current)

Mighty Middle

New article from "The National Post"

Why Erin O'Toole is gambling on building a new, union-friendly Conservative voting coalition

If the strategy works, it will reorient Canada's political landscape. But O'Toole also risks alienating his existing voter base and party caucus

Unions abhorred two Conservative private members bills that were passed during the Harper majority years, bills C-377 (which forced more financial disclosure on federally-regulated unions) and C-525 (which mandated secret ballot certification votes and made it easier to decertify.) O’Toole voted in favour of both. When the Liberals won their majority in 2015, one of their first moves was repealing both bills.

Jerry Dias, who as Unifor national president leads the largest private sector union in the country, isn’t about to let O’Toole forget about those votes — or the work O’Toole did on free trade agreements from 2013 to 2015, when he was parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade.

“He’s really working on the premise that people have short memories,” Dias told the Post. “He says all of the right things, but the problem is his history is the opposite. That’s going to be his biggest hurdle, to convince people: ‘Everything that I have stood for was all bullshit. I’m a new man today.'”

O’Toole’s strategy is aimed at workers, not union leadership. But he’s also done himself no favours in this regard. “I will be Jerry Dias’ worst nightmare,” O’Toole told a crowd last January when he was launching his leadership campaign, describing Dias as one of the “fat cat union leaders.” O’Toole’s campaign later gleefully boasted about how Dias was running attack ads against him.

Dias said O’Toole is now trying to take the same path as Donald Trump in the U.S., and he thinks Canadians will see through the sudden shift to union-friendly messaging.

“I just don’t see it as genuine,” Dias said. “Am I pleased that he’s saying it? Yes. Do I believe he means it? No.”

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/why-erin-otoole-is-gambling-on-bu...

Pondering

While the party reliably draws about a third of the popular vote every election, it has little hope of ever consistently winning majority governments without substantially raising its voter ceiling.

That is what I have been saying. No more majorities and a difficult path to a minority. With the Liberals as horrible as they are right now they would still win at least a minority probably even with a strong NDP.  

Peeling off Liberal voters in large numbers is hard to do from the right; if a voter wants Liberal-like policies, they will probably just vote Liberal.

Yup, and social conservatives won't let them be Liberal lite. 

“Do we really want a nation of Uber drivers?” O’Toole said. “Do we really want to abandon a generation of Canadians to some form of Darwinian struggle? A future without the possibility of home ownership? A sense of inevitability? While some benefit, millions are losing hope and resentment is growing.”

Afterward, a panelist on CBC said O’Toole sounded more like Bernie Sanders than a Conservative leader. But the strategy behind O’Toole’s comments is based in part on what’s already worked in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, where right-wing parties have been picking up working class votes — and winning elections.

But every country has it's own peculiarities. The US right wins on anti-abortion evangelicals. 

At least one group of voters O’Toole is targeting are trades workers, such as people who belong to construction unions. As Conservatives sometimes point out, it’s unionized workers who build the pipelines and natural resource projects championed by their party. But the party’s stance against organized labour may be turning away people who would otherwise vote for them.

 

What unionized labour wants is federal money for construction projects. 

 But as he created an ideological map of Canadian voters, he found there was a “white space” made up of voters who are economically moderate or even left-leaning, but culturally conservative.

As soon as they start to tip-toe around social conservatives, even without it, the social conservatives in caucus are going to be crowing. 

“But they do tend to be quite culturally conservative in that they believe in the idea of Canadian identity, they believe in the idea of strong, controlled borders, they certainly believe that the justice system needs to be tough but fair,” Muttart said. “And they also have a problem with pervasive political correctness, cancel culture, those sorts of things.”

That would be the anti-immigrant vote and evangelical homophobics. Dog whistles are insufficient for that group especially after Harper and Trump. They won't accept a wink-wink approach. The press will pick at it and give the Derek Sloanes of the party air time. 

“The left always goes on about income inequality, and they have a point,” the adviser said. “There is serious inequality in Canada that Conservatives have to wake up to, and that is the inequality that exists primarily between those who are well educated, who live in a city, who have a higher income, and those who don’t. The gap just keeps getting bigger and bigger. That’s the inequality that needs to be addressed and that Conservatives have to take seriously.”

Tone deaf. It is inequality within cities that is the greatest concern not urban/rural inequality. 

O’Toole’s team believes left-wing parties are losing traction with working class voters. They point to the rail blockades in early 2020, where activists shut down train lines to protest the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline through Indigenous territory in B.C., despite court orders allowing the construction to proceed. During the leadership race, O’Toole promised legislation to make it easier for police to clear blockades of rail lines and other “critical infrastructure.”

“The people who were hurt economically by (the blockades) were working class people,” one adviser said. “And the NDP and the centre-left came down very firmly on the side of protests.”

That is all about oil workers. Liberals most definitely did not come down on the side of protests.  Outside the prairies people think the Liberals have done plenty or too much for the oil industry.

But changing the Conservative Party’s message on economic issues — and especially saying nice things about organized labour — comes with significant risk as well. There has already been some pushback from caucus members, sources say, though overall most of the party’s MPs and senators understand the need to forge a new strategy.

You mean understand the need to try to hoodwink Canadians. The Reform Party took over and MacKay lost. The RoC isn't interested in ideology. They expect specific promises which they will evaluate the week before voting. 

There’s also the issue of O’Toole’s own record. Unions abhorred two Conservative private members bills that were passed during the Harper majority years, bills C-377 (which forced more financial disclosure on federally-regulated unions) and C-525 (which mandated secret ballot certification votes and made it easier to decertify.) O’Toole voted in favour of both. When the Liberals won their majority in 2015, one of their first moves was repealing both bills.

O’Toole’s office did not answer directly when asked whether O’Toole regrets his votes on those bills or would vote differently today. “Mr. O’Toole is committed to unionized workers and is looking for new ways to support workers,” a spokesperson said. “We will have more to share in the coming weeks.”

Ha ha ha. He doesn't have the nerve to say he regrets his votes. Nail, coffin. 

That brings up the biggest question of all: what does all this mean for a campaign platform? Is O’Toole’s new approach largely just a communications strategy, or will it result in concrete promises that substantially differ from what voters have seen before?

O’Toole’s team, for obvious reasons, is not giving away their platform — above all because it’s still being developed. Expect it to be tough on China, tough on crime, and heavy with emphasis on building strong communities. What that actually means is yet to be seen.

Canadians are very "show me the money".  During what are percieved to be "good times" that means lower taxes and reigning in the deficit. These are not good times. What provinces and citizens want now is more government services and infrastructure money and whatever it takes to "save the economy". People want pharmacare not privatization. 

Conservatives have an existential problem. 

Their core constituencies are antithetical to the majority of Canadians. The anti-LBGTQ2+ and anti-abortion anti-imigrant contingents are no longer welcome in polite society and never will be. It is no longer an "issue" that has two sides. There is only one side and it is acceptance.  Climate change is no longer an issue it is an emergency. Demographics are against them. If government intervention was a debate in the past during the Covid era it is no more. People want government action and the Green New Deal. 

There is no reason to fear the NDP "splitting the vote" because the Conservatives still won't have enough support to win a majority and likely not even a minority. If we have anything to fear it is a massive Liberal majority. 

Mighty Middle

Polling from Ekos has shown that the Conservatives are making inroads in the "Working Class" vote and "Middle Class" vote

With the NDP in a distant third as they have lost support among those two voters

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:
Polling from Ekos has shown that the Conservatives are making inroads in the "Working Class" vote and "Middle Class" vote. 

With the NDP in a distant third as they have lost support among those two voters

That graphic is ridiculous. It is comparing apples and oranges. Polls vary widely during the year. Just pick the ones from each year that suit your argument. 

The election will be decided in the last week or two well after platforms have been released. There will be few top issues. In no special order, climate change, the economy, health care. The economy includes jobs, daycare, support for the unemployed. 

This is O'Toole's honeymoon phase. The veils will drop when he presents his platform which will be right-wing. He has already signaled his intentions. Sabre-rattling at China, (and the US over Keystone), anti-trade deal rhetoric, anti-immigrant/refugee, more autonomy for provinces except for pipelines which should be forced through. 

Even if the election isn't until 2023 we will be faced with a soaring deficit and economic depression. Conservatives will be focused on the deficit and supporting the oil industry and the supposedly growing threat of western alienation.

The Liberals will be focused on fueling the economy with federal money and an uptick in immigration.  They may dangle pharmcare yet again and more support for daycares. 

If the NDP is smart they will focus on climate change, wealth taxes, pharmacare, and minimum basic income. 

Provincial premiers and cities will have their hands out. 

​The Conservative base is fiscal conservatism. free market libertarians, and anti-abortion social Conservatives with some anti-immigrant sentiment thrown in. 

If Conservatives look like they can win, people will flock to the Liberals to prevent it from happening. If it happens it doesn't mean that there isn't a strong underlying support for the NDP and socialist solutions. Longterm climate change including fallout, economic and environmental, are the issues of the century. Small government and low taxes will not be popular anytime soon. Conservatism has no solutions for those issues.