Many disgruntled people are sticking with the CPC because it is seen as the best option to defeat the Trudeau government. Abandoning the base and flipping on the carbon tax would trigger intense division and could lead to a mass exodus.
It appears there are increased rumblings that the Conservative Party under Erin O’Toole may be contemplating a flip-flop on the carbon tax, moving from opposing Trudeau’s tax hikes to supporting them.
“There are growing concerns within the federal Conservative caucus that leader Erin O’Toole will move the party towards accepting a carbon tax, the Star has learned.
O’Toole has promised a robust climate policy, and has embraced the Liberals’ goal of net zero emissions by 2050. O’Toole has ruled out maintaining the Liberal government’s existing carbon tax.
But multiple sources told the Star that Conservative MPs are in the dark about how the party will actually achieve that net-zero goal without introducing carbon pricing — a policy that has been long vilified by the Conservatives.
“It’s widespread,” said one party source, when asked about concerns among Conservative MPs that O’Toole will pitch a carbon-pricing scheme.
The worry among certain elements within the Conservative caucus “is that he is preparing to abandon the promise to do away with the carbon tax,” the source said, adding that O’Toole has been more “nuanced” on the issue since becoming leader.”
Now, I would generally discount rumours like this coming from the Toronto Star, except I can confirm that I have heard similar things from individuals within the Party.
And, you can clearly see how such a flip would mirror what O’Toole has already done, flipping from ‘True Blue’ to ‘Moderate Centrist’ since winning the CPC leadership.
Currently, O’Toole is struggling in the polls, with his message falling flat with Canadians while the Party base is demoralized.
According to the respected Angus-Reid poll, Erin O’Toole has picked up zero new support for the CPC, while half of the nearly 40% of Canadians who were undecided on him have now decided negatively:
“When he became CPC leader, 30% of Canadians expressed a favourable view of him, while 31% expressed an unfavourable view.
The most important number was the 39% of Canadians who hadn’t yet formed an opinion of him.
That is where there was room for growth.
However, much of O’Toole’s time as CPC leader has been consumed by reversals and shifts in messaging that simultaneously upset much of the party base, while failing to resonate with the broader public.
As a result, the latest Angus Reid survey now shows 29% of Canadians holding a positive view of O’Toole, with 51% holding a negative view.
Just 20% now say they don’t know what to think of him.”
The problem O’Toole has is that he can shift party policy all he wants, but if he doesn’t resonate with voters people simply won’t care, and won’t believe him.
At the same time, he will demoralize the party base, where volunteers and donors come from, and without which you simply cannot fight an election.
Right now, many disgruntled people are sticking with the CPC because it is the only party that can defeat Justin Trudeau. After all, given Trudeau’s incompetence, a boring and bland competent dude would be a step up.
However, if O’Toole were to flip on the carbon tax, in effect supporting a Trudeau policy that is widely despised among Canadian Conservatives, it would be devastating for the party.
How could the party go to people and ask for donations and volunteers after such a flip?
How could they have credibility in the future when criticizing Trudeau on other issues, when everyone will just be waiting for them to flip on those as well?
How could they possibly retain credibility as defenders of Canada’s energy sector if they back a policy that is pushing jobs and investment out of Canada, crippling the energy industry, and enriching competitor nations?
It would be an immense betrayal, and would leave the Conservatives with few real allies.
Consider that the establishment media will slam the Conservatives no matter what during an election, and then imagine what Independent Media will do in response to such a hypocritical move.
The CPC would be under fire from all directions, with their own supporters enraged, their MPs being ripped daily for hypocrisy, and independent media channeling the anger of a betrayed party base day after day after day.
In short, it would be an absolute disaster for the CPC, and that’s why we can see they need to decisively reject any embrace of Trudeau’s Carbon Tax ASAP.
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