The Myth Of Red-Tory Mass Appeal

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on March 17, 2022

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) are expert at losing elections. In 2015 they had commercials talking about Justin Trudeau interviewing to become Prime Minister, the well-known “he’s just not ready ad,” which foolishly put voters in the mindset of seriously considering Trudeau as the next Prime Minister. Andrew Scheer’s commercials in 2019 were an unmitigated disaster, leaving me wondering who they were trying to appeal to, outside of Andrew Scheer’s mother, as if someone like her represented swing-voters. Then came Erin O’Toole, the manifestation of every bad idea the CPC has had in the last decade.

Erin O’Toole was a product of the deep contempt that the higher-ups in the CPC have for the people in their base, and that contempt seems to come from the flawed data that the party relies on to shape their policy and rhetoric. O’Toole marketed himself as a “True Blue” conservative during the leadership race, only to do a full 180 afterward trying to win over Liberal voters by scolding his own party members on climate change and social issues.

There is one bad idea that no matter how many times it is disproven, the CPC will still believe it. The myth of the mass appeal of Red-Tory candidates. By adopting nearly all of Justin Trudeau’s policies without the blackface-themed debacles, having experience in the GTA, and rolling over to woke social ideology Erin O’Toole was supposed to bring in the GTA vote and cruise to victory. He failed miserably at a time when Justin Trudeau was at the lowest of his approval ratings. Why?

If you watch TNT Live, our weekly live podcast, you would have heard a lot about our “arch-nemesis,” the polling companies. There is a lot to say about how dysfunctional the relationship between the polling companies and the CPC. Essentially, the CPC is totally captivated by what polling data says, and the polling companies are designed to undermine the conservative movement in Canada.

Framing of a question has almost everything to do with how the general public will answer it. For example, when polling the Freedom Convoy the first question of the most questionnaires would be something along the lines of “The Freedom Convoy occupying Ottawa has been seen with many Alt-Right symbols, do you support them?”  Most people will reflexively oppose anything framed this way, yet even the most maliciously framed polls had people supporting the convoy at 35 percent. This led most “experts” to say that if the CPC backed the convoy it would be an electoral apocalypse. 

However, when the Conservatives walked outside parliament and met with the people in the convoy and started talking about ending mandates their numbers went up and so did their potential voter base. Justin Trudeau would not have backed off of his use of the Emergencies Act 9 days into invoking it if, like the polling indicated, its use was wildly popular.

This is the same story for almost every policy like the Carbon Tax is polled as “measures to protect the environment” not “A tax to increase the price of fuel to deter driving”. These phony numbers are read by the leaders at CPC HQ and then they think they need someone like Patrick Brown or Jean Charest to win the GTA, even if the real-world experiment with Erin O’Toole proved the opposite.

Brampton Mayor and Former Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown.

The truth about elections is that most people don’t vote with their heads, they vote with their heart/gut. You may be in the minority of voters who vote on policy since you are the type of person who made it to paragraph 8 of a political op-ed months before the CPC race is decided, but you are in the minority. 

Most people in Canada vote for something good or positive. So when Patrick Brown or Jean Charest do what Erin O’Toole did and play to the polls and say to GTA voters, “Hey, I know our base is a bunch of evil, stupid hicks, but I’m one of the good ones. I love Critical Race Theory and the Carbon Tax,” most people intuit from that is that there is something wrong with conservative ideology. Also, marketing yourself as diet-Trudeau will never work, doing so indicates that the real Trudeau must be doing a good job if you are mirroring his agenda.

Enter someone like Pierre Poilievre who has a rare skill in Canadian politics, the ability to make policy issues interesting in 2-5 minute clips. This is exactly what the Conservative party needs, someone to make the case for their values. 

As history has shown, when Conservatives have a leader who proudly promotes conservative ideas in a clear and positive way, they win. When they put up a Brown/Charest as the leader who spends more time attacking their base based on fictional polls, they lose.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

2 responses to “The Myth Of Red-Tory Mass Appeal”

  1. James MacEachern says:

    Ontario will normally vote Conservative if Quebec votes Conservative. That’s why Charest is a good choice if nothing else. It’s too bad Pierre is such a hateful person. CPC will never win with Pierre as leader.

  2. Lora Laz says:

    Agreed. Canada’s Conservative party NEEDS a voice that will counter the NDP and Liberals, not be LibNDP lite.
    All the conservatives I know are heartbroken they have no one to vote for that reflects their values and hope for the future bc all of them are Trudeau clones, no one except Pierre stands out on his own.
    I laugh at CBC and journalists like Warren Kinsella, (who fully promoted Trudeau and Biden, so his opinions mean less than ZERO to me), when they tell Canada the CPC fighting for the soul of the party is what’s going to destroy them, I say we NEED this fight to get it back on track. Kinsella also tells us Pierre is the last person who will win leadership and he will lose another election, seems to me Kinsella ‘doth protest too much’. It seems to me Kinsella et all are afraid someone like Pierre will win bc that may mean a path back to Conservative values so desperately needed right now.
    Pierre is also the only one fit to fight Trudeau hard, and in ways the rest never would, he could make Trudeau look like the uninformed selfy taking talking head that he is, who has no real idea of what hes doing or whats happening.

    People like to forget Sheer had 2 million more votes in the election and if Trudeau would have fulfilled his promise of electoral reform, chances are Sheer would have won. Trudeau dropped that promise bc he knew his chances of keeping power were better under this terrible and unfair voting system.

    I think we have a chance IF conservatives vote in the leadership race, this is one vote they can’t ignore.