By Chad Ingram
This federal election has devolved into the country’s two major parties asking us to choose which of their leaders is less terrible.
All political campaigns involve negative advertising attacking one’s opponents. However, with this particular election campaign, we are so far into petty muckraking that the multitude of major national issues that should be getting all the attention are being obscured.
It started long before the campaign itself, with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer attempting to make this election a referendum on Justin Trudeau by keeping the SNC Lavalin scandal in the spotlight as much as possible. The message we were supposed to take home: Trudeau is not fit to be prime minister.
Then, the Liberals dig up a 2005 tape of Scheer denouncing same-sex marriage. The message we were supposed to take home: Scheer is not fit to be prime minister.
Then, last month, the shocking bombshell that Trudeau as a young man apparently had a penchant for wearing blackface, with photos and video of him doing so on at least three separate occasions coming to light.
The Liberals then respond with allegations that Scheer sold insurance without a licence, which, as This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ Mark Critch pointed out, is a scandal as boring as the man himself.
On Monday, the Conservatives were trying to draw attention to apparent “unfounded rumours” regarding Trudeau’s exit from one of the schools he taught at.
That’s where we’re at. This contest is for the leadership of this country, and this is the stuff we’re talking about. This campaign has become largely about two men, one of whom most presume will become prime minister, and which one of them is less despicable. Do you want the anti-gay marriage guy, or the blackface guy? It’s not a desirable position to be in.
I’m not suggesting that these revelations should be overlooked or that Trudeau and Scheer should not be judged by them, but there are huge, important things to talk about; things like climate change policy and housing and pharmacare and the cost of tuition and on and on and on.
The direction this campaign has taken is petty and stupid and we deserve better.