Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday June 13, 2015
Bill C-51 is killing the Liberals’ chance to become the official Not-Harper party
The federal Liberal’s cynical centre-of-the-road support of the Conservatives’ latest anti-terrorism legislation may be hampering its bid to become the Not-Stephen-Harper party.
The signs have been apparent for weeks: Liberal “progressives” — the civic-minded, donating, engaged grassroots types vital to the survival of the party — have found themselves horrified by leader Justin Trudeau’s support for a bill that has been criticized, hyperbolically, as the forerunner to a Canadian police state. The party has faced overwhelming social media criticism from its grassroots, a sudden surge of polls showing the NDP neck-and-neck with the Liberals and the Tories and, lately, there are even more ominous signs of Liberal struggle.
At least four Liberal candidates have stepped down in recent weeks and some tangential evidence suggests that a backlash over C-51 may be at least part of the reason. Of course, the trend pales in comparison to the handful of high-profile Conservative incumbents who have recently stepped aside ahead of October’s general election. It also happens to be fewer than the number of NDP candidates who have similarly done so — although the Dippers find themselves short due to their unexpected success in Alberta. (Three federal candidates were elected to the provincial legislature in May.)
While the Alberta bump may be contributing to the federal NDP’s rise in the polls, C-51 may be simultaneously weighing the Liberals down.
The Liberals announced they would support a mildly amended C-51 earlier this year in what was largely thought to be a bid to bolster the party’s flailing national security credentials. Trudeau’s contradictory stance on Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria proved to be none too popular among the middle class he’s so arduously trying to court.
But if Trudeau’s objections to Canada’s limited role in quelling revolutionary, genocidal jihadists in Syria and Iraq proved to be — shockingly — un-compelling, his support of C-51 is equally baffling. (Continued… National Post)
Published in The Kelowna Capital News, Grand Falls Advertiser (Newfoundland), The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, and National Newswatch. Illustrated a piece on the blogsite of David Akin a year later.