Before Canadians went home for the Thanksgiving long weekend, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party gained significant momentum in the polls. If going to work with yet another leftover turkey sandwich for lunch wasn’t enough to cause an upset stomach, it is beginning to look like the Liberal lead is here to stay.
Ground zero of the outbreak in Liberal popularity is the most recent TV commercial released by the party. In this country, the campaign trail is an equal playing field when it comes to television advertising. Broadcasters are required by law to give significant coverage to elections, designating equitable treatment and coverage to all individual parties, leaders and issues. Whenever a broadcaster sells airtime to a party, it legally must offer the same deal to said party’s oppositions.
With that said, it is hard to criticize Liberal momentum if it came from television advertisement. Watching the Conservative and NDP equivalents, the Liberals have simply outdone the competition. The commercial in discussion was released three days ago and titled “Real Change Now!”. Again, in comparison to the other commercials broadcast throughout this election, the footage is crisp, they make Justin look like a sophisticated, capable speaker, and the message is clear: “Raise taxes on the 1%, so that we can lower taxes on the middle class”. But what if the message, as clear as it is, amounts to nothing but dog-whistle politics?
Nobody is denying that this election is taking place at a delicate time for the Canadian economy. Not Trudeau, not Mulcair, not Harper. And Canadians have every right to oust one leader for a new one if they truly believe it is the right thing to do for national interests. However if these conclusions are reached under false pretences, the results will inevitably create unwarranted dissonance among the electorate. Trudeau’s economic plan is leading voters to believe that raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians will solve everything. Undecided voters have the right to know that their taxes will be raised as well, and in this regard, they are being duped into supporting the Liberal Party.
How exactly the Liberal’s have gotten away with saying that they will not be raising taxes on Canadians outside of the 1% is simple, for the most part they’re not. Technically, what the Liberals propose is the removal of measures that allow for tax breaks, credits, and incentive cheques, rather than the introduction of “new” taxes. At the end of the day this means the Canadian middle class will pay more in taxes.
The average Canadian will lose $3360.00 in childcare benefits a year, $1170.00 due to the elimination of income splitting, $480.00 by cancelling the education credit, and much more. Stephen Harper said it himself, he’s not perfect, but Canadians have become used to these financial comforts, not realizing a change in government will negatively affect their personal wealth. The first question voters need to be asking Trudeau is how on earth does his tax plan not affect the middle class? More importantly, changes made to payroll taxes, tax hikes on the self-employed, and much more have yet to be announced by the Liberal Party. When they are announced, there is the possibility that they could be great news. However, the election is a only a week away and Canadians willing to look past a single flashy commercial can see that the Liberals are raising taxes on everyone, and we don’t even have a rough idea as to how much.
As glad as many are that the campaign trail topics have moved from the Niqab back to the economy, the prospect of a population being tricked into voting for something they do not want is alarming. Canadians all over the country are en route to the polls to vote for a party that will “raise taxes on the 1% and lower them on the 99%”. Then they will wake up on October 20th to the harsh reality that they too will be subject to significantly more in taxes.