Question for another podcast: I very much agree that the authenticity factor was key to the last election for the CPC. I think that a more honest, authentic Con leader can succeed. On the other hand, why do the Liberals, and Trudeau in particular, *seem* to not suffer from an authenticity gap? For example, he's for Reconciliation, cans an Indigenous minister; he's for middle class jobs, is dinged by the ethics commissioner for visiting an island, etc etc. These issues get covered and raised but then it doesn't translate into untrustworthiness.

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Feb 4, 2022·edited Feb 4, 2022

I wonder if the Conservatives are also fighting the negative perception of conservatism as a result of the more unabashedly far-right politics of the United States. I'm of the belief that average Canadians follow American politics far more than do they their own (sadly). Anecdotally, when talking to a lot of 905ers (where I'm from) leading up to the 2021 election, I got the sense some people voted Liberal just because they "feared Trumpism coming to Canada," or (even if they didn't explicitly say this) because they wanted to symbolically assert their opposition to that style of politics coming to Canada. Even if, ironically, O'Toole is a very moderate conservative. They heard "guns and anti-vaxxers" and ran away.

Left wing Canadian nationalism ("we are not Americans!") is so strong, that I can't see a Conservative embracing populism and somehow avoiding being compared to Trumpism right now. Unless the pandemic and associated restrictions tire people out to such an extent that they want some sort of change.

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