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Election Campaigning: things could get worse before they get better

TORONTO – I feel sorry for Trudeau. Nothing in his campaign seems to resonate with the general public. Every step his campaign designs instead appears counter-intuitive and “testy”. In fact, fewer and fewer people are willing to “cut him any slack”. It seems only yesterday that the easy solution to the country’s ills was a simple selfie of the Liberal leader. Today, polls are laying bare some acrimonious discontent. Some of it merciless. From Surrey to Cambridge to New Brunswick to Bolton to London, disparate crowds hound the Liberal Leader, hurling their profanities, their churlish rudeness and stones. Many among the protesters are women, giving a newer meaning to the term the “gentler sex”. 

Some of them used to literally fawn over Teflon Trudeau – former staffers, admirers, feminists, progressives, colleagues. It could not have come at a more inconvenient time: school “restart” and two debates to focus the mind.

From a political timetable perspective, it is “not too late” (but it is late) to redefine the campaign because the only asset in the Liberal campaign is fast becoming a liability. Liberals can thank former high profile cabinet minister Sheila Copps for reminding the public where that description should lead.

Mothers hoping to return to a semblance of sanity with return to school rituals but faced with a plethora of rules, new regulations and confused guidelines on safety measures, distancing, ventilation, health protocols are venting their spleen on the individual most immediate to the condition: the Prime Minister who “should have taken care of this”.

Welcome to a perverted return of the concept of “pater familias”. Can one criticize mothers who wonder why “authorities” like public health officials, and their supposed political masters (especially an apex practitioner like the Prime Minister), can ignore the hundreds of thousands of European Cup celebrants who were allowed to throng shoulder to shoulder in July without fear of contagion but, now, their children have to run the gauntlet of tests and retests as authorities try to figure out “what to do”.

Where have they been these last eighteen months, they ask. Where is the science? Everyone can read the numbers, they argue, but no one points to practical solutions sustained by proof. Trudeau stands accused of spreading hyperbolic alarmism for personal political gain – at the expense of their children. Is it any wonder they are in the front lines of anti-Trudeau protests?

On a personal note, I completed my double dose several months ago. Also, for the first time in my life, last year I took a flu shot. I was not motivated politically to do so. There are many for whom vaccinations present additional physical and medical risks. We are much too civilized to vilify them.

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