I’m no campaign strategist, but I sincerely believe that Justin Trudeau shot himself in the foot. On August 27 Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party announced that their platform would no longer hinge on a balanced budget, an established part of the liberal party record, and instead the would run three years of consecutive deficits in order to prime the pump, as a Keynesian might say, but this is erroneous for strategic purposes.
The liberal party has always been a broker party, and its won by stealing the middle and holding it. The liberal party has never really done well outflanking on the left or the right either the NDP or the Conservatives, yet it seems that with the NDP turning to balanced budgets that is exactly what Trudeau is trying to do. I can see the logic: Liberal strategists probably believe that their leader is anathema to most conservatives and they can practically hear the vitriol from their war rooms, but again I believe they are mistaken. Justin Trudeau does not seem like his father, a nationalist who fucked the west to save the east, but rather a man on a mission to power and by shifting his policy from balanced budgets to deficits this is the first indication he gives that policy doesn’t matter victory does.
Speaking to a friend recently, he said he would vote NDP and he would never consider voting liberal, why? Because the liberal party has no spine, it has no principles, and it has no ideology it’s just a waif that adjusts to the times. The liberals become contemptible because as Winston Churchill famously said, ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.’ The liberal party is unfamiliar with this adage.
But wait! there is a secondary component to this error. I like other conservative voters are sick of the wall of silence around parliament and the disdain for democracy that has occurred under the Harper conservatives. But what do we do? Trudeau had a chance at capturing centre right voters and seemed to be on that path with a modest fiscal policy and overtures to families, but he effectively killed that chance. The conservatives depend on swing votes to bolster their majority, and most Canadians I believe hold conservative sympathies but are nonpartisan, the supports of the NDP however are highly partisan, and if my peers are indication highly entrenched. Conservatives want a modest, and pragmatic, option that isn’t Harper. Trudeau could have captured that demographic instead he wanders the far left hoping he won’t infringe on Harper's turf.
Conservatives want conservative leadership and by not selling himself as such Trudeau has united the right under Stephen Harper. To put it bluntly, I’d rather have a corrupt dictator as a Prime Minister than an unprincipled progressive or a socialist, and I think many Canadians will reach the same conclusion in 2015.