‘Fear-mongering’ tactic worked for Liberals in the past, so they’re trying it again


It took less than a week for the Liberal campaign to paint the Conservative party, and leader Erin O’Toole, as secret reactionaries who will roll back health-care rights such as access to abortion and assisted suicide. In the 2019 federal election, the Liberals hammered then-leader Andrew Scheer for his reluctance and inability to offer clear answers about abortion and same-sex marriage. The Alberta New Democrats tried the same strategy against Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives, also in 2019, but with markedly less success. The Conservative platform, released unusually early, on day two of the campaign, contains on page 147 a reference to conscience rights, alongside promises to ban conversion therapy and end the ban on gay men donating blood. “We will protect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals,” it says. Katy Merrifield, vice-president of Wellington Advocacy and the former director of communications for Alberta premier Jason Kenney, said the Liberal internal polling must be “incredibly concerning” for them to resort to this tactic so early.

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