Some commentators were disappointed that both of Justin Trudeau's convention speeches were not barn burners. But Michael den Tandt writes that Trudeau's second speech was masterful in the way it went after those who voted for Stephen Harper the last time around. He did not demonize them:
Appealing directly to disenchanted Tories, Trudeau first debunked the notion of the Blue base as “some angry mob to be feared.” Rather, he told his audience, “the 5.8-million Canadians who voted Conservative aren’t your enemies. They’re your neighbours.”
If the Conservatives plan is to run on the theme of promises kept, Trudeau's plan seems to be to contrast promises with performance. He knows that hypocrisy is Stephen Harper's Achilles heel:
“This Conservative party is not the party of John A. Macdonald. It is the party of Stephen Harper. And here is the hard truth about Mr. Harper. I believe that as a young idealistic reformer, he was a principled man. But over eight years as Prime Minister, he has abandoned the principles he held dear. And not just about senators.”
Trudeau knows there is dissension in Conservative ranks. Income splitting is the most recent example. And so, it was income splitting that Trudeau turned to in his speech. It was a bad idea to begin with, he said. But on this issue -- like so many others -- it's beginning to look like Harper will again betray his principles:
“He looked straight into those cameras and told the nation that they were being treated unfairly, and if he was elected, he would right that wrong.”
Trudeau didn't chew up the scenery. He didn't breathe fire and brimstone. He simply took direct aim at Harper's Achilles heel.