The Current

Harper's 2015 election strategy defined by Trudeau attack

The Conservatives have enthusiastically been attacking Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on anything and everything. In a year where the election date is legislated, we're asking our panel of pundits to ponder what this says about the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP.
The Conservatives' fixation on attacking Justin Trudeau has been defining the narrative in the lead-up to the election. (REUTERS)
Canadians expect their government to spend within its means. They understand that government cannot indefinitely spend more than it earns. Nor can it tax its way to prosperity.- Joe Oliver, Finance Minister

Last week, Finance Minister Joe Oliver hit many of the notes you'd expect with the clock ticking down to both next week's Federal Budget and an expected fall election. But he also took a little detour back into the history books.

''Many remember the Pierre Trudeau decade. Trudeau era debt clung to Canada like a bad flu. Take a look at Justin Trudeau's plans. He wants to spend money we do not have, increase taxes Canadians cannot afford, and repeal tax cuts families depend on. It is the 70s all over again."- Joe Oliver, Finance Minister

The attacks on Trudeau -- both Pierre and Justin -- have emerged as a running theme lately. 

'"I can remember as a boy once the small deficits started to be run in the early 70s by the Trudeau government and it went on for a generation to a point where we had to have drastic cuts to our services -- to health care and education. 25 per cent cuts."- Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Prime Minister made similar comments last week in North Vancouver. And even here at The Current last week, when we approached Minister Rona Ambrose's office about a government bill, the policy statement we received in reply managed to make mention of Justin Trudeau four times in its seven sentences.

To help us make sense of what's going on and what it means for the coming election, we we're joined by three people.

Susan Delacourt is a journalist, author and long-time Parliament Hill correspondent who now writes a weekly column for the Toronto Star. 

Althia Raj is the Ottawa Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post.

Tasha Kheiriddin is a columnist with The National Post and iPolitics. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott and Ottawa Producer Tom Jokinen.