Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party have been a major disappointment in their first year in government. From ballooning deficits, cash for access scandals, broken campaign promises, and questionable vacations, Trudeau has shown his inability to move Canada forward in little over one year in office.
While the Liberals mistakes accumulate, 2017 appeared as a golden opportunity for the Progressive Conservatives to emerge with a fresh platform, the current leadership race has seen this opportunity squandered.
After a crushing defeat in 2015, the Conservatives sought to find a leader who could do what Stephen Harper could not; bring new voters especially millennials to the party, appeal to minorities and immigrants, and present a more moderate platform than the one Harper employed for his campaign.
So far the Conservatives have done the complete opposite, presenting an overcrowded field of 14 lackluster candidates, many of whom are political lightweights, sticking with mostly the same old ideas. You can barely tell the candidates views apart.
In light of the election of Donald Trump, the likes of Kellie Leitch and Kevin O'Leary have been floated as populist candidates who could face off against Justin Trudeau in 2019.
While Donald Trump's victory was a shock to most of the world, Canada is quite different than our neighbors to the south and divisive politics are not a catalyst for success in Canadian elections. The policies outlined by Leitch would surely hand the Conservative Party another major defeat in the next federal election.
Leitch represents a fringe aspect of the conservative party, taking a page out of Trump's playbook, she has faced enormous backlash for suggesting a Canadian values test for immigrants, to solve an issue Canada does not face.
Andrew McGrath, a former press secretary to Leitch when she was in cabinet addressed his former boss as saying "You were status of women minister-Shame on you."
Such backward policies will hurt the Conservative Party and should face condemnation from all Canadians.
Something has to Change for the Progressive Conservative Party to stand a chance against the popular Justin Trudeau in 2019. A Progressive candidate is needed who can grow the party, who presents bold new ideas while upholding conservative values.
Who Can Beat Trudeau?
Michael Chong is the clear choice to beat Trudeau in 2019, having stood out as the only moderate candidate with fresh ideas, Chong was not afraid to argue policy against the crowded field of candidates during the debates.
"It is not fair that comparisons paint O'Leary as Canada's Donald Trump."
Chong a two-time member of the Harper Cabinet presents a conservative agenda of fiscal responsibility which is important due to the current reckless Liberal spending. A plan for lowering income taxes for Canadians, and a plan to help small businesses. Chong is the only candidate proposing a Revenue Neutral Carbon tax plan to tackle emissions. Such policies would have great appeal with young Canadians and voters looking for a change.
Chong is the son of immigrant parents from Ireland and Hong Kong, and views immigration as an asset to Canada. Chong has early on criticized the divisive policies of candidates like Kellie Leitch, and called for new members to join the party. Michael Chong has the strongest policies of the 14 candidates.
O'Leary has been compared to Donald Trump in recent months, mainly because of his success in business, he could potentially be a problem for the Liberal party. It is not fair that comparisons paint O'Leary as Canada's Donald Trump, as O'Leary has often stated the importance of his immigrant heritage and has stated he believes the Canadian immigration system to be a great asset to the country.
O'Leary is adamant he can attract young entrepreneurs to the party, grow Canada's economy at 3%, and send important issues which face Canadians to national referendums. While his economic knowledge and understanding of the business world would be a great asset, O'Leary needs to go into more detail on his foreign and domestic policy, and how he would handle issues Canadians value beyond the economy.
"Conservatives will need a strong Candidate with a bold plan for the party to beat Trudeau in 2019."
As the projected frontrunner, Canadians should hear him out on policy before making up their mind. If O'Leary can better outline his social policies in regards to the environment, health care, and Aboriginal issues, to name a few, he presents the best opportunity for Conservatives to win the federal election in 2019.
Other Candidates who could be strong contenders in the leadership race with promising policies are Lisa Raitt and Maxime Bernier, yet both would face a major uphill battle to defeat Trudeau in 2019.
Conservatives will need a strong Candidate with a bold plan for the party to beat Trudeau in 2019. Voting takes place on Saturday May 27th, the day the new Leader will be elected in Toronto.
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