Since Justin Trudeau’s blackface photos emerged I’ve seen a lot of people debating how they’re going to vote but, whatever baggage Trudeau may be carrying, the Liberals are the only option if people want to return to the Harper years. 

The NDP isn’t an option, they are dying. They do not have enough support to win an election, and they barely have enough candidates to form a government even if they swept. They are also broke. They don’t have enough money to run a serious national campaign. They have so little money that they can’t even be an effective check on power because they won’t have enough money to run an election before 2023 – they are really broke. Anyone who tells you that they are a viable alternative to the Liberals is, at best, engaging in wishful thinking.

The Greens aren’t a real option because they do not have sufficient national support, have very little money and don’t seem to fully understand themselves what they stand for. 

Even if you don’t like Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party is bigger than just Justin. It includes the most diverse caucus and cabinet in Canadian history and a very diverse party from the grassroots up. 

While they certainly haven’t been perfect, and haven’t done everything I would like but it would be an outright lie to say they haven’t accomplished anything. The Canada Child Benefit is credited with lifting 800,000 children out of poverty, and the Liberals have pledged to increase it if re-elected. They have not done enough on climate change, but they have done as much as Canadians will let them get away with. The carbon tax may have cost them more votes than the SNC Lavalin affair, and if they are not re-elected the conservatives will quickly undo what they have accomplished. The Liberals have allowed as many refugees and immigrants as Canadians will let them get away with and these are just a few of many, many accomplishments. For a full list of what they wanted to do, what they accomplished and what they got partially done see Trudeau Metre.

If Scheer, the only viable alternative to Trudeau, is elected all of this and more will be lost. We will have a regressive government until the Liberals get enough support to take over again. We’ll return to the Harper years on poverty, taxes, environmental protection, immigration, firearms protection, tar sands production and more.

If Trudeau is thrown from office for racist incidents 20 years ago, he and his diverse cabinet will be replaced by the openly homophobic, increasingly racist Conservative Party of Canada.

It would be nice to have multiple viable candidates for leadership, but we don’t. If climate change is a crisis, and it is; if the plight of international refugees is a crisis, and it is; If the rise of right wing populism and white nationalism is a crisis, and it is then we do not have the privilege of casting protest votes that ultimately help Conservatives to make ourselves feel better. This is a life and death election. 

If you don’t like Justin Trudeau, or you don’t think the Liberals are green enough, or you think their policies on other issues are good enough then don’t just vote for them, join the party. Go to riding association meetings, conventions, meet and talk to other Liberals and try to push your views onto the platform. Help choose Justin Trudeau’s replacement as Liberal leader but don’t let Andrew Scheer shred the progress of the last 4 years and take the country down the Doug Ford path because Justin Trudeau has flaws (even really disturbing and embarrassing flaws).