Election 2015 was not about defeating the Conservatives, it was not even about Justin Trudeau, it was about getting rid of Stephen Harper.
Harper used every opportunity to demonize his opponents and divide Canadians using the ‘tried and true’ American political techniques of racism, fear and negativity.
The sentiment “Anyone But Harper” that rolled across Canada was true to form. Canadians unequivocally rejected Harper, not Conservatives. And it wasn’t just Canadians that rejected Harper, most progressive conservatives and former senior members of his party had deserted him already, James Moore, James Rajotte, John Baird, Jim Prentice and Peter Mackay.
Harper put himself in a bunker, only trusted his own views, surrounded himself with a small group of ‘yes’ men. Harper should have, and could have, been so much better if he had had the confidence to trust others and judge less.
On the other hand, Trudeau’s team didn’t air one negative advertisement demeaning an opposing leader. Trudeau strives to have strong people around him, so by extension his leadership will generate more ideas, more varied views, more debate, better decisions and more accountability.
“Canada is a grand, yet unfinished project. And it is up to us, together with all Canadians to build the country that we want”, wrote Trudeau in his book, ‘Common Ground’.
Trudeau believes Canadians want to be led, not ruled and want a government that is kinder, more inclusive and more optimistic.
Trudeau’s message throughout the campaign was “Conservatives are not our enemies, they are our neighbours.” He re-affirmed this opinion on the eve of his majority victory.
Indeed, a new era has begun in Canada.