ABOUT THE BOOK
The Right Path offers a roadmap to the Conservative Party of Canada to win the next election, and the elections beyond that. It traces the twin arcs of populism and conservatism in Canadian politics and analyzes their appeal in 2022 to three key sets of voters: New Canadians, urban and suburban voters, and Millenials and Gen Z. Based on research, data, and interviews, it prescribes how the Party can get these voters onside and build a big tent that both respects its principles and address today’s issues including immigration, inflation, housing, the gig economy, woke culture, the environment, energy policy, reconciliation, and more. The Right Path concludes with a bold vision for Canada that can change the conversation from one of pandemic strife and anger to a positive, forward looking, patriotic plan for the future, to chart the right path and inspire, unite and take Canada forward.
by Tasha Kheiriddin
Foreword by Lisa MacCormack Raitt
PRAISE for The Right Path
“I have been around Conservative politics all my life. In the 1980s, I formed two back-to-back majority governments with a diverse, progressive Conservative coalition representing all parts of the country. We made tough decisions grounded in evidence-based public policy on the economy, the environment, human rights, and the implementation of the GST. We made Canada competitive and set up the opportunity to balance the budget. Right now, our country needs a strong Conservative leader who can rebuild such a coalition and take Tasha Kheiriddin’s astute analysis of new voter trends to reach those constituencies to win the next general election.”
—Brian Mulroney, eighteenth prime minister of Canada
“Starting with a frank, honest, and articulate review of where Canadian conservatism is today and how it got there, Tasha Kheiriddin quickly pivots and outlines a compelling opportunity for the future built on a foundation of hope, growth, and opportunity. This is a refreshing and uplifting work from a leading conservative thinker and down-in-the-trenches activist who sees the bigger picture and knows what it takes to get things done.”
—Rick Peterson, founder of Peterson Capital
“A very astute observation of the evolution of the conservative cause in Canada by an ardent, committed Conservative.”
—Gerry St. Germain, former senator and member of Parliament
“In this era of political division—between the Left and the Right, between the woke and the ‘deplorables’—long-time Conservative Party activist Tasha Kheiriddin courageously wades into the fray, offering a common-sense solution for the future political success of a revitalized Conservative Party of Canada. For those looking for a political home, this is a must-read.”
—Janet Ecker, former member of the Ontario legislature
“Tasha Kheiriddin has been involved in the conservative movement for over thirty years. Her unique perspective on what it will take to win over cities and towns that were once bedrocks for Conservatives is a must-read for every Conservative activist and anyone who cares about Canada having a strong democracy.”
—Walied Soliman, lawyer and philanthropist
“The Right Path is a compelling read, carefully constructed by Tasha Kheiriddin. Her ability to analyze the political landscape and story-tell is unique. She asks the existential question: What is conservatism? By the end of the book, you’ll have the answer—and it may be different than you expected. If you’re a politico, this is a must-read.”
—Vonny Sweetland, writer and political organizer
The Right Path
I wrote The Right Path because I care deeply about the Conservative party and about Canadian democracy. After the CPC lost the 2021 election, I felt they needed a path forward to win the next election, and I wanted to contribute to that.
The book is not partial to one campaign. I made a point of speaking with people on all sides. The message is not about who should lead the party, but about how the party should lead the country.
They failed for different reasons each time, but ultimately for the same reason: a lack of trust. You cannot become leader saying one thing and then become Prime Minister saying another.
The problem is not keeping the base, it’s growing the base. And growing it where the Tories need to win seats: in eastern, suburban and urban Canada, among New Canadians and young people.
For New Canadians, the conservative trifecta of faith, family and free enterprise are key. For urbanites, and suburbanites, the conservatives have to offer economic opportunity. The chance to buy a house, and live and work in their community, and not have to leave. For young people, it’s about listening to them and addressing the issues that matter: housing, the gig economy, the environment, the need for community.
Opportunity is positive. It uplifts. Freedom used to be such a word, but not anymore. The Convoy killed it. Some young people do respond positively but not enough to counterbalance the voters that you lose.
They represent the current divisions within the Conservative Party and the broader electorate it seeks to engage. They are divided by geography, generation and employment, and their views on the pandemic and the Convoy protests.
Unlike previous divisions of social, fiscal, red tory, blue tory, and libertarian, these new ones are more dangerous because they are class divisions. They are harder to heal because the implication is that one group is keeping the other down, even within their own party.
Something new that they can all support. In Chapter Ten, I outline a vision for Canada that combines energy, the environment, and national pride with economic reconciliation for indigenous peoples and opportunity for workers of all classes.
Populism has been a force in Canada since the Progressive movement in the early 1900’s. They have consistently split the Conservative vote and allowed prolonged periods of Liberal rule.
Populism isn’t fueled by inequality, or racism, or immigration, as is commonly believed. It’s fueled by lack of social mobility, when people feel thatthey do all the right things – get that education, get that job, work hard, save – and they still can’t get ahead.
You don’t give in to it, but you don’t disparage it. People are hurting, and you need to address that. You offer policies that promote equality of opportunity, not equality of result, which is what the current government is offering.
Trudeau is Canada’s Obama. Sounds strange I know, because they come from totally different backgrounds, but they both had the same effect on their country. They furthered the cause of woke politics and provoked a backlash from the far right and right-wing populists.
I believe you can address the issues that matter to both groups, but at the end of the day, it’s the Conservative party. It is rooted in conservative principles, history and tradition.
It boils down to history. Unlike the United States, Canada was built by two founding peoples, in addition to the First Nations who were already living here. Navigating that linguistic and cultural duality took a lot of energy, a lot of compromises, a lot of negotiating. National unity has always been the preeminent job in Canadian politics, and ideological development took a back seat.
I think the best outcome would be for the Conservative party to choose the centre-right path. The Liberal-NDP deal has opened a huge window of opportunity to get blue–liberal voters into our tent. But the party could also split and see the creation of a new party, I suggest it could be like Macdonald’s Liberal-Conservative party that founded Canada.
This is not about the team I’m on, or “the Conservative leadership”. This is about leadership, period. Thought leadership, moral leadership, political leadership. It’s about where is Canada going and what are the Conservatives contributing to that.
We still have two months to go. I don’t think it’s a done deal. My goal here is to help members make an informed choice when they mark their ballot, and help whoever wins to heal the party and take it forward.