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Canadian Federal Campaign American-Style
Canadian federal election turns American

Canadian political campaigning has taken a turn for the American-worse.

Historically, our Federal election campaigns have been quite, well, Canadian – which is to say that they have been boring, reserved and relatively polite.

In the past, candidate attacks or critiques have been mainly geared toward economic policy decisions, and were rarely ever personal. But in 2015, that appears to be changing. Canadian politics are following the trash mantra of America. And all parties are guilty of it.

Personal attacks are a part of the American political campaign culture because they divide the electorate with ‘he said she said’ on social issues such as gay rights, abortion, and racial challenges. Canadian voters, however, typically don’t appreciate attacks on a candidate’s character and are more respectful of opposing social beliefs. As a result, politicians in Canada are forced to focus on economic issues, the environment and sustainability of entitlement programs – the real meat and potatoes of a First World nation.

Unfortunately, in the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign, it is getting personal and off topic from what voters are most concerned with… to me, this indicates that none of the candidates have a real plan for the economy – the most pressing challenge in our country.


Mulcair and Trudeau Paint Harper as Lacking Compassion

The latest in the campaign of personal attacks appear to be an attempt to put blood on Harper’s hands, so to speak. These attacks pertain to the Syrian refugee crisis. We all saw the horrific photo of the young Syrian toddler washed up on the shore of Turkey. It was gut-wrenching to see. And Harper’s opponents used it to pounce on him as a leader who isn’t doing enough and who may lack the necessary compassion.

“Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing horrors: We’ve got to step up to the plate, we’ve got to be part of an international solution, we’ve got to start doing our fair share,” NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said.

He continued, “Mr. Harper has failed completely so far to do just that.”

“We need to provide the support we can, and we need to be making this situation better in various ways that, quite frankly, we’re not doing at this time,” Trudeau said.

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These comments by the two candidates are completely offside. Here’s why:

Canada’s record of taking in refugees is among the best, if not the very best, in the world. Canada is a small country with less than 1% of the global population. Yet of the estimated 16.7 million refugees in the world, roughly one in ten are taken in by Canada.

In 2013, for example, a total of “98,400 refugees were admitted by 21 resettlement countries, according to government statistics. These included the United States of America (66,200), Australia(13,200), Canada (12,200), Sweden (1,900), and the United Kingdom (970).”

The US, Australia, and Canada together admitted 90 per cent of resettled refugees in 2013.

What’s more, Canada has resettled roughly 25,000 Iraqi refugees. Bear in mind that these people became refugees because of a war Canada had absolutely nothing to do with… how’s that for compassion?

[Tweet “Canada’s record of taking in refugees is among the best, if not the very best, in the world.”]

There are an estimated 2 million refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq right now, with an approximate 10 million displaced Syrians. Mulcair and Trudeau’s solutions revolve around taking in between 20,000 and 50,000. Hardly an answer to the problem. Getting to the root cause (ISIS), and destroying it, is fundamental.

For Trudeau and Mulcair to use this refugee crisis as a campaign attack/critique on Harper is egregious and extremely amateur. In addition to taking in refugees, they should be talking about long-term solutions if they want to make this a political issue and show strong leadership. They should be discussing how Canada can persuade Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to take in refugees.

Donna Rachel Edmunds of Breitbart reported that “Five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism. Although the oil rich countries have handed over aid money, Britain has donated more than Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar combined.”

ISIS mouthpieces have publicly stated that they intend to use this refugee crisis to infiltrate Western nations.

Justin Trudeau came out yesterday, initially appearing to try and take the high road by organizing a meeting with Harper and Mulcair regarding the crisis, perhaps because his staff realized how wrong their critiques of Harper were, and stated he wanted “to not make this [Syrian refugee crisis] as political as it has become…” But only seconds later, contradicting what he just said, Trudeau stated “the fact is just this weekend Germany is putting us all to shame with 7,000 yesterday close to 10,000 today. That’s what you can do when you have political will. Unfortunately we’ve seen, right now, a government that hasn’t stepped forward as much as many Canadians would have liked it to.”

Great Canadian leaders of past didn’t win by attacking their opponents. They presented solutions to problems and proposed bold ideas for improvement. That was, and still is, how elections are won in this amazing country.