• Michael Laxer

O'Toole flipflopping to a (small) lead: Election roundup #2

The Left Chapter's second election roundup.



As the first three weeks of the grand farce that is the 2021 federal election in Canada have ended and we are now past Labour Day, The Left Chapter is doing the second of its weekly election roundups looking at the developments to date.


Since our first roundup the rise of the Conservatives may (or may not) have levelled off, O'Toole is trying to play to workers while flipflopping back-and-forth on assault rifles, Trudeau's campaign is being plagued by extreme right protests as the People's Party is climbing somewhat alarmingly in the polls, the Greens are hanging on for dear life and the NDP is up to its usual bag of tricks on "universal" dental care.


There have also been a couple of rather humorous moments, though not necessarily for those involved.


Have the Conservatives levelled off?


Peaking too early in an election campaign is definitely a thing. If it starts to look like a party could unexpectedly win an election in the first two or three weeks voters have time to reconsider and hit the chicken switch.


This may be happening with Erin O'Toole and the Conservatives after what was not a particularly good week on the hustings.


According to the CBC Poll Tracker as of September 7:



Note that the far right People's Party is now polling over a point above the Greens who are in disaster territory. More on the kind of folks in the People's Party's orbit below.


If you can't be part of the solution, be part of the problem:


Last week we looked at the sham capitalist housing "plans" of the big three parties but it seems like BC Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed did not get the memo that his party is committed, in theory, to "affordable housing".


As the CBC reported August 30:


The Liberal candidate in the riding of Vancouver Granville has flipped more than 20 properties after less than a year of ownership since 2005, which has critics pointing to contradictions between his actions and the Liberal platform on housing.
According to British Columbia's assessment records, Taleeb Noormohamed has sold 41 properties since 2005 — 21 of them after less than a year of ownership — making $4.9 million in the process.
The news was first reported by NEWS 1130 in Vancouver.
The Liberal Party platform on housing, which was released last week, proposes an "anti-flipping tax" on residential properties that will require that such properties be held for at least a year. That means 21 of the properties Noormohamed sold would have been subject to the proposed tax.

Not a good look:


"Pro worker" O'Toole


There seems little doubt that Justin Ling's "Erin O'Toole, socialist crusader" will go down as a epically shit take on the election campaign.



Doug Nesbitt at Rank and File demolishes the absurd, but dangerous, idea that O'Toole is anything other than a tool of the capitalist class in his piece: Corporate O’Toole’s bait and switch scheme (rankandfile.ca).


Excerpt:


O’Toole’s promises for labour are a bait and switch. They look good on the surface but do not change the balance of power between workers and the business class.
O’Toole’s proposals for gig workers and Employee Ownership Trusts throw crumbs at workers to distract from the big favours for the corporate rich.
O’Toole champions private sector unions as part of a divide and conquer strategy. He wants to drive a wedge between workers in the private and public sectors. This is torn from the neoconservative playbook of the 1980s and 1990s. It worked a lot for them. Organized labour must unite against O’Toole, not be divided by him.
O’Toole remains the leader of a party built around privatizing public services, busting unions, and screwing workers so the business class can grow fatter and more powerful.

This does not mean that the appeal will not work. The right and the far right have often adopted the rhetoric of being for the "worker" and against the "elites" as part of their pitch to a section of the working-class and industrial or union workers disaffected from the left or unionism.


Keeping the pitch going O'Toole on Labour Day said he would "double the Canada Workers Benefit to $2,800 for individuals, or $5,000 for families, if elected." He claims this would result in a "raise of at least $1 per hour for workers earning between $12,000 and $28,000 a year". Of course, he could simply fight to see minimum wages increased both federally and by calling on the provinces to do so, but I suppose that would be too obviously "pro-worker".


Talking out of both sides of your mouth:


So, what do you do when there is no winning option? When one choice will alienate most of the Canadian electorate but the other will alienate your base?


You do this:


September 5:


September 6:




The Green Party's self-inflicted demise:


More fallout from the fiasco around her caucus members and the issue of Palestine:


Of course, David Suzuki also endorsed a Conservative (more on that below) and since the position of the Conservative Party is terrible on the issue of Palestine there is a bit of hypocrisy here.


Green Party leader Annamie Paul went on to "accidentally" endorse the Liberals during a press conference. She says it was a slip up, but given what her leadership has done to the party some, no doubt, are not so sure. Anyway as slips of the tongue go this one is both pretty bad and pretty funny.



Suzuki's Conservative endorsement:


David Suzuki's endorsements really show the problem with having political "icons". In the name of being "non-partisan" he apparently felt the need to endorse a Conservative, Michael Chong, in Ontario.


No Conservative will go to bat for the environment in any meaningful way at all. Only the most naïve person not understanding how politics work -- which is not Suzuki -- would think candidates can act independently of their leadership...that is simply false and we all know it.


"The environment is too important to be a partisan issue", said Suzuki....that is total nonsense. It is an absolutely "partisan" issue at least in the sense that any partisan of free market capitalism cannot be an environmentalist. Period. No Conservative can be. Period. And the Libs, Greens and NDP are a sham too, but at least they try to fake it.


"Non-partisan" small "l" liberal BS like this is part of the reason we are now in a terrible, terrible mess. With time for the planet actually and obviously now running out if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change (it may already be too late) the moment for such niceties is long, long past.


The Conservative Party in Canada is an OVERT enemy of the fight to limit emissions and is even more a tool of the fossil fuel industry than the Liberals and NDP. Endorsing a Conservative candidate at this moment in history is just shameful and delusional.


Any environmentalist doing it should simply fold up the tent and go home.


NDP's terrible dental plan


Everyone wants a good dental plan, right?



Well, the NDP has a dental plan, but it is not a good one. In fact it is only a slightly evolved version of their bad plan from 2019.


In other words it is a means tested plan and it is still crap. The NDP's new loathing of universality is telling, though universality is actually key to the success of any social program.


Headlines like this one are misleading:



Misleading as the "universal" coverage actually only starts for families making under 60K a year and ONLY if they are uninsured.


Canadian Labour Congress declines to endorse Canada's "labour party"


The NDP did not win in 2011...Harper did:


With some NDP partisans getting prematurely excited about a possible new "Orange Crush"...remember that that actually did not turn out so well:


Looks like some folks are angling for senate seats:


What can you even say about folks like this?


Totally unsurprising:


"The riding director for a People’s Party of Canada candidate in the upcoming election has a social media presence where he regularly trades in violent and racist language and imagery.


Often draped in a ski mask and waving a blackened, camouflage version of Canada’s Red Ensign flag -- a symbol of a pre-multicultural Canada -- Shane Marshall has walked the streets of Toronto and Ottawa as part of numerous anti-COVID restriction protests. In other distinct black and white images, he gleefully poses with known Canadian white nationalists."



PPC Riding Director Runs Multiple White Nationalist Social Accounts (antihate.ca)


Antihate.ca has also found links between the extreme right and the anti-Trudeau demonstrations that have been plaguing his campaign: Known White Nationalists Spotted At Violent Anti-Trudeau Demonstration


Ironically these demonstrations are almost certainly a boon to Trudeau and have forced both Singh and O'Toole to come to his defense.




FYI:




And then there was this...


Brutal, just brutal: First Nations leaders endorse Liberal candidate while at an NDP event


Look for our next roundup in a week.





1 comment