, 09.10.2019 08:48 PM

How Justin Trudeau could lose

In it for you.

It’s the New Democrats – now a sad shadow of their former selves – who, ironically, came up with the best slogan for the 2019 federal election campaign: in it for you.

That’s what just about every election campaign is about, this one included.  Which party best understands the lives of everyday Canadians.  Which leader actually has the best understanding of the struggles your family faces every single day.

Justin Trudeau is at a big disadvantage, here.  That’s because Justin wasn’t simply born with silver spoon in his mouth.

It was more like a silver shovel.

Trudeau is the guy who likes to talk about the middle class, a lot.  But he has never, ever actually experienced the middle class.  Trudeau has never had to worry about paying the rent, or coming up with the next mortgage statement.  

He has never wondered where he’ll get the dough to pay a hydro bill.  He has never wanted for anything.  His life has been one of mansions, private jets, and hanging out with celebrities like the Aga Khan.

Against Andrew Scheer – who grew up in a big immigrant Catholic family, and whose family didn’t have the wealth Trudeau did – the Liberal leader will likely appear privileged and out-of-touch.  Scheer worked as a waiter and a salesman.  

Trudeau, meanwhile, wears a $15,000 IWC Portuguese Regulateur watch and drives a Mercedes-Benz 300SL he got from his Dad.  (Which, apparently, can sell for millions.)

Who is in it for me – who best understands my life?

If the 2019 election ballot question becomes that question, Justin Trudeau is deep, deep trouble.  Smart Liberals know this. That’s why Trudeau rolls up his sleeves, and loosens his tie, and rarely wears a suit when on the campaign hustings.  That’s why he talks about the middle class all the time.

But not all Liberals are smart.

Last week, some less-than-smart Grits revealed a big poster of Finance Minister Bill Morneau wearing an expensive, tailor-made bespoke suit, tugging at what looked like French cuffs and pricey cufflinks.  It didn’t exactly scream “middle class.”

By this week, Liberals had pasted over that unhelpful image with campaign posters.

But the deeply-dumb Liberals weren’t done yet.  Shortly afterwards, some of them actually cooked up a hashtag to mock Andrew Scheer’s comparatively-humble beginnings.  One of them, a Liberal MP – the heretofore unknown Gagan Sikand, soon to be the former MP for Mississauga-Streetsville – actually tweeted this: “Scheer Was So Poor he had to buy his Conservative Values second-hand from Stephen Harper.”

Sikand, a lawyer, actually wrote that.  He actually tweeted that.  It was the 2019 campaign’s Beer-and-Popcorn moment: people with more, making fun of people who have less. 

Lots of other Liberals went online, too, giddily promoting the “Scheer Was So Poor” hashtag.

It recalled late 2005, when this writer was huddled on a cold bench at a hockey rink somewhere, waiting out a son’s early-morning practice.  A revelation hit me: the Liberals were Starbucks, and the Conservatives were Tim Horton’s.  The Tories were going to win with a campaign that was aimed at the Tim’s crowd, not the latte-sipping elites who frequent Starbucks.  And win they did.

No one should ever underestimate Justin Trudeau’s retail political skills.  No one should ever discount his party’s organizational chops.

But if this race truly becomes who is really “in it for you?”

Then Justin Trudeau is going to lose it.

 

6 Comments

  1. Pedant says:

    I can understand why the rich vote Liberal. I can understand why the poor vote Liberal.

    I cannot for the life of me see the appeal of this government for the middle class. My sister and brother-in-law are considered “somewhat upper” middle class. They had a baby a few years ago and due to changes to the child benefit rules, they get….zilch. I thought the benefit was supposed to be universal? When did it become a baby bonus exclusively for the poor who do not want to better themselves and now have even less incentive to do so, and who already pay zero in tax??

    The Trudeau Liberals have done more to concentrate wealth in the hands of the rich AND the poor than any other government in Canada’s history. Between excessively high immigration pushing down wages and pushing up housing, abusively high taxation to those with professional accomplishments, and a bump in public sector employment further entrenching the divide between a privileged, overpaid, and underworked civil service vs. an underpaid and overworked private sector, this government has been a disaster for the shrinking middle.

  2. Bill Malcolm says:

    Well, Scheer quickly dumped his “humble”origins at age 25, and rapidly adapted to a well-paid lifestyle funded exclusively from the public purse, from whence he has somehow made himself into a wealthy man. Not paying rent for over a decade no doubt helped immensely. Trudeau also “worked” at being a teacher or something.

    I have no time for either man – they’re both as out of touch with actual wage slaves as are their parties which kowtow to big business interests over the people who elected their respective MPs – but this column to my mind is a kind of carefully wrought rendering that purposely omits relevant facts so as to present a skewed viewpoint. Disingenuous. And Scheer is a Con, thus rendering him 100% entirely useless in my personal opinion as lacking any kind of imagination whatsoever, beyond the usual hackneyed Tory nonsense, repeated endlessly for the bewildered gullible since Maggie Thatcher thundered BS in Britain. That eventually got you lot in Ontario a premier well-known for his intellectual vision, yet one who seems to know how to butter both sides of his personal slice of wholewheat bread, while disclaiming any presence of dairy product whatsoever.

    Both Trudeau and Scheer are privileged far beyond your average Canuck, and picking out one as some blue collar “I’m for you, working man!” wunderboy, while excoriating the other as a dilettante is fatuous nonsense. A distinction without a difference related to their current circumstances.

    Why not list their current worths if you want to make a relevant comment?

    From the internet, Scheer’s current worth is $3 million, so he’s not begging for quarters on the streets. Trudeau at $12 million is ahead. I wish I had a few hundred thou myself.

    How about concentrating on some election issues yourself beyond the two major leaders and their circumstances? I know, no fun at all, is it? Kind of hard work. But that’s the meat and taters for the rest of us, which opinion-makers carefully avoid wading into, it seems to me.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      This is the best thing I’ve read about the election thus far. Well fucking said. They’re both woefully inadequate for the job and there’s nobody better on the horizon either. It’s a shit show.

  3. Bill,

    Thanks for making all of us think. Excellent points. A fine contribution.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “Thanks for making all of us think. Excellent points. A fine contribution.”

      Not really.

      Andrew Scheer at least comes from a middle-class family, and has worked as a waiter and a salesman (he has also ridden a bus and gone grocery shopping), Trudeau was born a trust-fund kid. No comparison at all, really.

      • Glen says:

        The narrative has sure shifted since last election. Trudeau was ridiculed by PCs for his lowly work as a teacher. A lightweight compared to Harper’s pre-politics analyst for a right wing think tank.

        And now Scheer is lauded for a couple years work as a waiter and in an insurance office. A working man , middle class, forget the need for a PM with a significant pre-politics resume.

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