The differences between the Liberals and the Conservatives are getting starker. Susan Delacourt writes:
If this election is distilling down to a potentially ugly culture war in the final two weeks before the vote, much could rest on how Canadians feel about the people living around them.
Trudeau gave an important speech in Brampton on Sunday — one that all those who have dismissed him as ‘not ready’ probably ought to see for themselves. This being an election and all, it was analyzed immediately afterward through the prism of political strategy — for its ability to mobilize support, to give the Liberals the impression of momentum, and so on.
Simply put, Trudeau is clearly gambling that if Canadians have to choose between generosity and suspicion toward their neighbours, they will summon up their generous side. If that’s your view, the Brampton speech on Sunday probably spoke to your Canada in a way we haven’t seen in this country in a long time.
The Conservatives, on the other hand, are -- and always have been -- suspicious of their neighbours:
In case you missed it, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Women’s Minister Kellie Leitch announced the establishment of a special RCMP “tip line” for citizens to report people they suspect of indulging in “barbaric cultural practices.”
Already, the announcement has sparked widespread parody, including the website reportyourneighbour.ca, which lays out all the ways in which Conservative policies also could be regarded as culturally offside, if not “barbaric.”
In Winnipeg last week, Conservative MP Joyce Bateman presented a list of Liberal candidates she alleged to be anti-Israel, clearly believing it would be a crowd-pleaser at a debate sponsored by B’nai B’rith. It was not. She was booed down by many attendees and at least one shouted “shameful” as she tried to read out her list.
It's all very Nixonian. It's worth remembering that, on the White House Tapes, Nixon called Trudeau the Elder an "asshole." Pierre's response to the news was that he had been "called worse things by better people."
One wonders what Harper says about Trudeau the Younger in private.