Fasten your seatbelts, folks. We are about to enter the panic stage of the joyous, peace-filled holiday season, otherwise known as OH MY GOD, IT’S MID-DECEMBER AND I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED MY SHOPPING!
Fear not, I am here to help you. I know at the top of your list of ‘to buy for’ people are your elected officials, so I am here with helpful suggestions for the politicians on your list.
For Conservative leader Andrew Scheer – a dog whistle. A nice subtle one. The Conservative Party made a bit of an error this past year, with an ad accusing Justin Trudeau of causing the cross-border migrant problem. The ad depicted a black man walking across a Trudeau ‘welcome to Canada’ tweet, towards a broken fence. The ad was quickly pulled, but it was seen. Scheer needs to walk a fine line between protecting his right of centre politics and aligning with U.S. President Donald Trump’s appeals to nativism. So Scheer’s dog whistle needs to be so discreet it can barely be heard by dogs.
For Justin Trudeau – A quart of Rocky Road ice cream because he is having one rocky time right now. The First Ministers had a decidedly frosty welcome for the Prime Minister at their conference last week, but were also quite busy squabbling with each other. The conference solved nothing — I know you’re surprised.
Another needed gift for Trudeau is more poor performance by the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh. In a strange bedfellows type situation, the Liberals are greatly aided, and the Conservatives hurt, by the poor showing of the NDP in recent by-elections and polls. For Trudeau’s Liberals this coming election year, the continued downward motion of the NDP means the Liberals can count on most of the left-leaning votes. That’s not good for the Conservatives, they need the NDP to get on a roll and siphon off Liberal votes, especially in Quebec and Ontario.
Therefore, Scheer needs an animated Singh in his stocking and Trudeau needs one with failing batteries.
And that means the appropriate holiday gift for Mr. Singh is a lift. A lift in the polls where the party currently shows support of only between 14 and 16 per cent of Canadians. He has got to do better than that or after the next election, his party may gift him with a leadership convention.
For Alberta’s United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney – more of the same. Christmas came early for Kenney this year, as continuing sliding oil prices — due mainly to an inability to move Alberta oil to markets because of pipeline infrastructure deficits — presents Kenney with a gift he plans to lay squarely at the feet of both Trudeau and Rachel Notley. In an election year, Santa just couldn’t be kinder to Kenney. Of course, Santa also needs to supply voters gullible enough to believe that every single problem Alberta has can be lain at the feet of the provincial NDP and the federal Liberals, but I’m thinking Santa has that covered. We will truly see Kenney’s magical powers next year, when if he wins the election as predicted, he somehow has to find a way to sell voters on any continuing problems not being his fault.
And now in BC, what to get the ruling NDP party, whose future suddenly rests on Speaker Darryl Plecas somehow surviving the current scandal? If Plecas, a former BC Liberal, now an Independent, is forced to step down, the NDP has troubles. Big troubles.
I will guess that Horgan et al would like to gift Speaker Plecas with a muzzle and nicely worded card asking him to please not speak. Ironic, given that his title is Speaker. The NDP would prefer a silent speaker for now.
Plecas spoke a bit last week, offering ominous promises of revelations of financial shenanigans in the Legislative budget that would rot the socks of each member of the Legislature once released.
Premier Horgan would no doubt appreciate a box of fine handkerchiefs with which to blot his sweaty brow, because hoo boy, is this going to be a nervous time.
BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson already has his gift — a scandal wrapped with a nice bow that he can tut tut about to his heart’s content, without any risk at all.