Tom Parkin, CNC Opinion
For the second week in a row, Nanos Research pegged support for the federal Conservative Party at just 26 per cent, a low not seen since the party’s formation.
But 26 per cent is about 26 points higher than they deserve.
Week after week the federal Conservatives bring grievance and griping to Canadian politics, but if they’ve pursued a single idea to make Canadians’ lives better during this pandemic and recession, it is surely hard to name it.
To be sure, Nanos’ numbers are the lower end of the range for the party headed by Erin O’Toole. But the upper range isn’t much good news either, with the highest recent soundings showing the Conservatives at 31 or 32 per cent. Only one year ago under Andrew Scheer, the Conservatives received 34 per cent support – a level they haven’t seen since.
But why should a party that consistently does nothing have anything? There appears to be no reason the Conservative Party should exist, except as a rally-point for those whose depth of commitment to Canada is to launch vitriolic attacks.
Over the past week, the target of Conservative attack has been the Trudeau’s government delay in obtaining early delivery of vaccines. Other countries are slated to start vaccination programs in December while the Trudeau government says deliveries will arrive in January.
It is the job of the opposition is to hold government accountable. But the point has been made – and it’s an unfixable problem, which seems to be the Conservatives’ favourite sort.
Conservative griping does nothing to help Canadians. But it does help distract from problems that can be fixed – the terrible failure of several Conservative Premiers to fight the COVID-19 virus.
In both Ontario and Alberta, efforts to control the virus using the test-trace-isolate strategy was under-resourced and collapsed. Even now as cases surge, neither Premier seems to have any fix in the works by perhaps giving public health the money, people and resources needed to bring numbers under control. Ontario and Alberta this week posted new daily highs in COVID-19 cases.
As Conservatives fail in provincial capitals, it’s hard to find a single way in which the federal Conservative Party has been helpful for Canadians.
Unlike Jagmeet Singh’s NDP, Conservatives made no effort to advocate for financial support for suddenly-unemployed Canadians. And it was also Singh’s party that brought together the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to push Trudeau to increase support for companies limping through the pandemic recession.
The Conservatives spent have done nothing to ensure Canadians have access to sick pay. Or to help students or Canadians with disabilities. Or bring drug prices down.
Instead, in recent weeks Conservative MPs have launched shallow attacks on “build back better,” the mostly meaningless phrase adopted by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. We’ve been treated to empty comments from Erin O’Toole about his respect for unionized workers, despite a career spent hurting working class Canadians. Conservative MPs have promoted conspiracy theories about “globalists.”
The Conservative Party has become an empire of ash. For years the Conservatives fired up their supporters with nonsensical defenses for their climate change inaction. They treated the despicable Rebel Media as the hearth of their party. The fires they set have burnt down the Conservative Party.
Today, Conservative Party denialism and disregard for scientific evidence is confirmed by multiple polls showing its supporters far more likely to reject vaccines, refuse to wear masks or support workplace closures.
The Conservative Party is bringing nothing positive to Canada. Canadians should return the same nothing they give us.