OTTAWA — Canadians will be asked this fall to choose between moving forward with the Liberals or getting ahead with the Conservatives.
But while they both seem to be urging voters to go in the same direction — onward — the messages underlying the two main parties’ campaign slogans are very different.
The ruling Liberals have settled on “Choose Forward” as their official campaign theme, part of their bid to cast the election as a choice between building on Justin Trudeau’s record of accomplishments or rolling back the clock to the era of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, have settled on “It’s time for you to get ahead,” with emphasis on the “you” — as opposed to the wealthy corporations and high-priced lobbyists whom Leader Andrew Scheer maintains have gotten ahead under the Trudeau government.
Both parties have also released new national television and online ads that expound on their campaign themes.
The Liberal ad shows a smiling Trudeau engaging with constituents in his working class Montreal riding of Papineau and delivering his campaign message while riding a transit bus.
He talks about things he says the Liberals have done to help average Canadians, such as cutting taxes for the middle class, creating the Canada Child Benefit and tackling climate change — all things he notes the Conservatives have opposed.
“The Conservatives like to say they’re for the people, but then they cut taxes for the wealthy and cut services for everybody else,” Trudeau says — a sly reference to the slogan employed by unpopular Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whom the Liberals are doing their level best to turn into an albatross for the federal Conservatives.
The ad concludes with the prime minister facing the camera and saying that “in October we’ve got a choice to make — keep moving forward and build on the progress we’ve made, or go back to the politics of the Harper years. I’m for moving forward for everyone.”
The ad is buttressed by a series of “stories” from individual Canadians talking about how they’ve benefited from various Liberal policies.