Policy pillars for the 2015 election.

Nobody wants to reveal their plan too early. The key is to take ownership of the major issue(s) at a time when your opponents are already committed and can only respond. At this time, there are probably three issues from which to choose and use with different emphasis. They are the economy, the environment and renewal.

While all are obvious and all parties will touch on them, it is building that basic pillar of each party’s campaign that will need to be credible, doable, understandable and visionary. And then you have to know how to market it to voters.

The economic pillar has been the mainstay of the Conservative’s last three election campaigns and that party has eroded its credibility over time with the excessive advertising of its meaningless economic action plan. It would also be a difficult subject for both the Liberals and the New Democrats if not linked to a specific program. It is therefore the economic program rather than the broad brush of economic action which has to be communicated and sold to the voters.

Judging by the Conservatives current efforts to sell themselves on environmental issues, their opponents might be overconfident of their own bona fides. It has already been determined that nobody understands carbon taxes (or any other kind of taxes) and you are best to stay away from them. The only problem is that the Conservatives have been lying about what kind of oil they want to ship out of Alberta for so long, there is a constituency that believes the propaganda. Nobody wants to bomb Alberta’s ambitions but we really need to find an alternative to the horribly polluting tar sands.

Renewal is the least clear policy pillar as it offers more minefields than easy targets. It is far more than just getting rid of the non-elected Senate. It is renewal of our democracy, our constitution, our country’s reputation around the world, our friendship with America, our relations with Great Britain, our use of the English monarchy, the role of the non-elected Governor General and the need to take a look at our country after 150 years.

While the Conservative party will have defined itself over the past four years of power, that can be both a positive and a negative. It is the presumptions about the Liberals and New Democrats that will cause the most problems for those parties. The Liberal Party of Canada really needs to define itself better than the vague BS that is used today. And the New Democrats have to decide if they are unionist socialists or some kind of social democrats. Both parties need to understand that what they decide they want to be needs to be credible.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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