By Jonathon Van Maren
Erin O’Toole, the leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, is feeling confident. The election is Monday, and party insiders believe they have a good chance of beating Justin Trudeau. In fact, they have spent the past weeks attempting to assure Canadians that there is very little difference between O’Toole and Trudeau except for the fact that you might be sick of Trudeau and there’s a new guy who’d like the job.
O’Toole ran for leadership of the party by dubbing himself a “True Blue” Conservative. I wasn’t sure what it meant then; I’m even less sure now. Over the past weeks and months, O’Toole has systematically stabbed every sector of the Conservative base in the back, hoping that his betrayals will gain him enough centrists to make up for those who defect to Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.
Canadian firearm owners? The moment Trudeau attacked O’Toole on his platform, he promptly amended it.
Carbon tax? Erin O’Toole doesn’t object to the concept — he just wanted a better, more efficient one. He can afford to lose votes in Alberta, after all.
Vaccine passports? O’Toole is on board with it, and as a military man will probably do a better job of implementing it than Trudeau would.
And as for social conservatives, he couldn’t wait to sell them out. He promised the most active portion of his base only one thing: Conscience rights for physicians. The moment he was pushed on the issue by a Globe and Mail reporter, he switched his position. Medical professionals who do not want to participate in chemically castrating children or abortion or assisted suicide will, under an O’Toole government, be required to provide effective referrals.
Erin O’Toole voted for a “conversion therapy ban” that would ban some forms of prayer and even conversations between pastors and parishioners despite members of his own caucus seeking to have the legislation amended; he voted against a law that would ban aborting baby girls just because they are baby girls. On abortion, O’Toole wants Canadians to know that he is just as pro-choice as Trudeau is.
On Facebook this week, O’Toole made another pitch to Canadians, promising that the new Conservative Party, under his leadership, will be “inclusive, diverse, forward-looking, socially progressive.”
Which means that Erin O’Toole supports the LGBT agenda (including transition for children), killing children in the womb as a fundamentally Canadian value, and is disinterested in protecting the privacy rights, conscience rights, and freedom of speech of Canadians.
The fact is that 80% of the Conservative caucus is pro-life and voted to ban gender-selection abortion — but Erin O’Toole doesn’t care what his MPs believe. The Conservative Party is now “socially progressive” because he says so, and when he assures Canadians it will stay that way, he means that he will fight to ensure that any MP who seeks to protect children in the womb or stand up for fundamental freedoms keeps his or her trap shut.
That goes for social conservatives, too. He wants us in the tent but off the platform. Shut up and vote. He’s hoping we hate or fear Justin Trudeau so much that we’ll vote for someone who has genuine contempt for us and believes in the progressive transformation of society every bit as much as Justin Trudeau does. Journalists have marveled that O’Toole seems impervious to attempts by the Liberals to fearmonger about his conservative agenda. That’s because he doesn’t have one.
I understand strategic voting. I understand how badly we need Trudeau to be evicted from office. But Erin O’Toole’s total contempt for everything I stand for and his incessantly repeated promises to carry on Trudeau’s transformation of this country make it impossible to support him.