Hey, how’s it going?
Look, I noticed that you’re in the midst of selecting a new leader and wanted to drop you a quick note to offer a few words of advice. This is a very important decision and you may want to hear what I have to say.
This may sound like I’m over-stating my importance — I am only one voter after all — but if you lose my vote then you will probably lose the next election. Why do I say this? Because I am somebody who SHOULD vote Conservative. I believe in typically conservative things like free markets, sound fiscal management, and low taxes. I also don’t particularly like Justin Trudeau. I think he’s entitled and out of touch. Nice hair tho.
Yet I voted Liberal in the last election. Why? Because integrity trumps ideology, and Harper had lost his integrity. He was no longer making decicions in the best interest of the nation and he had to go.
Some of the people running for the leadership of your party also lack integrity or other key qualities, and I can tell you right now that if they lead your party into the next election I will be forced once again to vote for the Other Guy. And if I vote for the Other Guy, a whole mass people less conservative than I will likely do the same. You need those people.
So when choosing your leader in a few weeks, there are some things I want you to think about:
- Reject any form of Trumpism. I don’t like the term “populism”, but you know what I’m talking about: divisive dog-whistle politics, disdain for facts, vilifiation of so-called elites, etc. Yes it worked for the Republicans in the U.S. but it will not work for you. First off, Canada does not have the same mass of disgruntled former $40/hr bolt-tighteners looking for someone to blame for the decline in their standard of living. Secondly, Trump was up against a profoundly unpopular candidate in Hillary Clinton. You do not have this luxury.
- You need someone who has a credible plan for the environment. Yes, that could include a carbon tax. A carbon tax is not the only option, but market-based solutions are inherently conservative and should not be dismissed. The point is that a large and growing number of people (including myself) are very concerned about climate change and will not vote for a party that does not appear to take it seriously.
- Don’t pick a reality TV star as leader. Personality and charisma are important in politics, but Mr.Wonderful is not a serious candidate. You need someone who can converse with ease (preferably in two languages) but also somebody with integrity.
- Stay away from the social conservative stuff. It is poison. Yes, there is a part of your base that believes that abortion is wrong, that gays should not marry, etc., but any talk about that shit will kill you. Seriously, just forget about it. Reject any candidate that even mentions it.
The luster is beginning to wear off Trudeau’s leadership as people see his dishonesty about electoral reform and difficulty managing a budget, but don’t think for a second that he is going to be easy to beat in 2019. He performs very well on the international stage and appears reasonable and progressive in contrast to some of the other leaders around the world.
I would like to see a legitimate conservative alternative challenge the Liberals next election, but you need to think beyond your base. You need to put yourself in the place of voters like me when selecting your next leader in May.
Cheers & good luck