Diversity is our strength. At least, that’s what Justin Trudeau keeps telling us.
As a political slogan it works well. It’s brevity projects the feeling that Canada is a welcoming, and multicultural nation. A country where people from all over the world come to build a better life, where all are valued and where their different points of view benefit society at large.
That’s saying a lot for only four words. When combined with the Prime Minister’s constant virtue signaling it’s easy to see how this type of trite political messaging has been used so effectively.
Contrast that with Erin O’Toole’s leadership slogan “Take Canada Back.” As a message, it lacks positive or hopeful connotations and begs the following questions: take Canada back to what? Take it back from whom precisely? Neither question is beneficial to the Conservatives.
The first implies a return to some supposed golden age that may have either never existed or was not “golden” for all Canadians. Going “backwards” is almost always viewed negatively and is the direct opposite of the Liberal’s 2015 and working 2020 slogans “Choose Forward” and “Build Back Better.” When compared to Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” — which shares the Conservative’s idea of returning back to something — only Trump’s projects easily understood positive messaging: America will be great again.
The second, when held up against Trudeau — a Prime Minister who describes himself as a staunch feminist and multiculturalist — could easily be understood to imply taking it back to a time before feminism, multiculturalism and diversity.
When looked at alongside the aforementioned “backward focus” it’s not hard to see why it feels out of touch if not intolerant — perhaps even racist to some.