Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told delegates at the Liberal Party’s annual convention Sunday in Halifax that he practices “positive politics” while subsequently attacking the official opposition Conservatives for their “politics of fear and division.”
As the Canadian Press reports, Trudeau told the crowd that, “Positive politics means you fight for your ideas, you don’t demonize your opponents,” while he offered his oft-repeated adage of “Sunny ways, my friends. Sunny ways.”
That didn’t stop him from raining on the Conservatives. Trudeau began by insisting Canadians did not re-elect the Conservative government just because they had a problem with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “personal disposition” but “his policies” as well.
“And if there’s one thing — and there may be only one thing — we’ve learned about the Conservative Party under Mr. Scheer’s leadership, it’s this: It may be Andrew Scheer’s smile. But it’s still Stephen Harper’s party.”
The weekend convention is intended to raise the morale of party loyalists who have watched their leader’s popularity plummet in 2018 after a series of gaffes and a disastrous trip to India that ranged from outrageous photo ops to diplomatic blunders. Some polls put the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals in voter support.
Trudeau told the cheering crowd that he will run on his record — one he says is defined by taxes on the wealthiest Canadians, stricter gun laws and a national carbon tax. These are policies he says the Conservatives reject.
When queried by reporters after the speech as to whether his attack on Scheer and the Conservatives didn’t belie his commitment to “positive politics,” Trudeau insisted he didn’t join his opponents “in the gutter” when they called him a political lightweight throughout the 2015 election campaign.
The next federal election is scheduled for the fall of 2019, but the exact date is chosen by Trudeau.