10.20.2015

Settle Down, Exhale, Then Get to Work

After almost 10 years of Conservative government, Canada has ushered in a new Liberal era with Justin Trudeau at the helm.

The reaction from some on the right is reminiscent of what we heard from segments of the left when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won their majority in 2011: the sky is falling! Canada is finished! We’re doomed!

No. No, we’re not.

We survived one Trudeau (barely), and we can survive this one.

In a campaign which saw more Canadians vote on the basis of social issues than economic ones, the nation now finds itself feeling so much better about perceived environmental concerns and the fact the ‘intolerant’ Niqab issue has been put to rest.

Whew!

Of course, voting for change just for the sake of change is rarely successful.  One look at Alberta (where the still relatively new NDP government is sinking fast in opinion polls) proves that.

Nevertheless, we awoke this morning to a national Liberal majority.  I’ve already encountered many of my fellow conservative supporters speak of Alberta and/or Western Canada separation.  Certainly this isn’t a surprise, as there has always been an undercurrent of support for that idea.

But it’s one that I long ago rejected.

In Alberta, we have a blatantly anti-oil government that is now joined by a federal Liberal government which has historically seen Alberta’s resources as a cash-cow to fund their own agenda – perhaps none more than Justin Trudeau’s father Pierre, whose National Energy Program still sets off the old timers, and rightfully so.

PM-designate Justin ran on a platform which included intentional deficits and a possible carbon tax which is a double-bladed knife at the throat of the Alberta economy.

Make no mistake: the next few years are going to get very ugly.

So what now?

The first thing we do (once the emotional reaction subsides) is to acknowledge reality.  The federal Conservatives do not need to ‘rebuild’, as voter share translated into nothing less than a strong second-place showing.  The Conservatives do not need a massive overhaul of their policies which, even for many Liberal and NDP voters, had a few items they didn’t detest.

And lose the separation talk.  While some points within that concept may be more than valid, it is truly a non-starter and will only hand opponents a target for mocking.

We must relish the accomplishments the Harper government gave Canadians over the past decade.  They left Canada with a surplus and the wealthiest middle class in the free world.  They increased international trade.  They left Canada as “the most respected nation” in the world.

The opportunity for the future is amazing.  In a few years under the vastly under-qualified Trudeau, along with a term of the NDP running (ruining?) Alberta, voters in the province will be thirsting for that one key buzzword: change.

Canada is bigger than a federal government, no matter the party in power.

Instead of doing a cut-and-run, I choose to stay and fight for my province and my country.  And I will do so.

I encourage you to join me.

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His Name Was Steven