LILLEY: Vote for O’Toole, not just against Trudeau

After six years of a government that has sought to divide Canadians, we really do need a government that will unite us

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On Monday, I am hoping that enough of my fellow Canadians will be casting their ballots to elect a Conservative government.

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As I write this, polls are tight across the country and this has not been the campaign that anyone expected.

The reasons for voting to elect Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives are clear — we need a stable and competent government in Ottawa and the Trudeau Liberals have failed at that.

I could go on at length, and have, about the reasons why Justin Trudeau should not get a third chance to govern.

His decision to call an unnecessary $610 million election in the middle of the fourth wave of this pandemic is one of the main reasons.

There are also the scandals — the out-of-control spending, the condescending attitude and general lack of competence in this government.

Those are all reasons not to vote for the Liberals but I’m not just voting against Trudeau, I’m voting for O’Toole and his team.

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With Canada’s Recovery Plan, as O’Toole’s platform is called, we have a sensible blueprint for getting our country’s economy back on track, dealing with the problems before us — such as the pandemic — and emerging stronger than we were before.

After six years of a government that has sought to divide Canadians, we really do need a government that will unite us.

I may not agree with everything in O’Toole’s plan, and I don’t, but I doubt I would ever agree with everything in any government’s platform.

In politics, you only get to govern if you can assemble a coalition of voters across the country who can unite around common goals.

O’Toole has attempted to do that, find a common sense and moderate conservative vision that will appeal to enough Canadians to win power.

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There is no sense in putting forward a vision that will see you perpetually on the outside.

As a wise friend has told me for years, vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.

Which brings me to Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party.

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I said plenty about them in my column the other day, including explaining why I don’t think that Bernier is the true and principled conservative he has claimed.

He has put plenty of water into his wine over the years — defending supply management, handing out subsidy cheques — but now says he is the true thing and O’Toole is the imposter.

His nicknames of ‘Red Erin’ and ‘Liberal Lite’ may get his base excited, but they aren’t grounded in fact.

And speaking of Bernier’s base, I have enough experience with them to know that while there are some disaffected Conservatives in the crowd, it is mostly an angry, irrational mob who cannot form government.

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O’Toole’s Conservatives can and should form government come Monday.

They have a team that will be able to take control of the levers of power and bring back the type of government Canadians deserve — one founded on doing what is best for the country not the party or government insiders.

The Trudeau years have been great for the Liberals and their friends, they haven’t been great for Canadians.

With inflation on the rise and Canadians worried about affordability, putting the high-spending Trudeau — who doesn’t understand these issues — back in power would be a mistake.

So on Monday, vote for uniting the country and moving forward with a positive vision that put you and your family at the centre of government decision making.

Vote Conservative.

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