Donald Trump's increasingly likely candidacy for the US election in November 2024 allows the federal liberals to use the ex-president as a scarecrow against Pierre Poilievre's conservatives.
For months, federal liberal MPs have been attacking their conservative opponents and accusing them of pursuing a political style reminiscent of the populists south of the border. They even call Pierre Poilievre “Trump of the North.”
Conservatives say liberals are trying to distract people from affordability by spreading old stereotypes.
The Liberals counter that there is much more at stake.
They say they want to protect Canada from the far-right wave sweeping other democratic countries. In their opinion, these populists are damaging the recognition of the rights of LGBTQ people and the fight against climate change.
PLC national campaign co-chair, Hochelaga Rep. Soraya Martinez Ferrada, acknowledges that people are nervous and angry about high food prices and the lack of affordable housing. However, she regrets that conservatives are exploiting these feelings in the manner of Donald Trump.
We [les conservateurs] uses tactics to polarize emotions to present facts that feed his own ideology and instill fear in people.
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The Federal Representative for Hochelaga, Soraya Martinez Ferrada
Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers
This is how they want to do politics: This is something new in Canada. And this doesn't just come from the USA, we see it in other countries too. Things are different these days, she adds.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been behind in the polls for several months. Like his deputies, he sharply attacks Mr Poilievre and accuses him of wanting to imitate Donald Trump's campaign model.
In particular, Mr. Trudeau is trying to link issues such as the abortion ban and the decline in transgender rights to the Conservatives.
We might think that this will never happen in Canada, that it is the Liberals trying to scare the world as usual. I'm sorry, but this shouldn't be happening in the United States either. This happened because of the “Mr. Trump” conservatism. The threat is real, he said during a year-end interview with The Canadian Press.
Sebastian Skamski, a spokesman for Pierre Poilievre, says Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals are desperately trying to distract the electorate from the misery and suffering they have caused over the past eight years.
With millions of Canadians relying on food banks and increasing numbers of middle-class people at risk of losing their homes, it's no surprise that the Liberals are making ridiculous claims in a desperate attempt to divide Canadians, argues Herr Skamski.
The liberals hope that the population will forget their suffering.
Alex Marland, a political science professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, says the Liberals are trying to reduce the political debate to a choice between good and evil.
They are targeting people who have voted for them in the past but are fed up, he points out. They try to convince her to return home. One way to do this is to dissuade them from voting for the Conservatives by scaring them.