In my book, The Right Path: How Conservatives Can Unite, Inspire and Take Canada Forward, I identify three key groups from which the federal Conservative Party must seek support in order to expand the Tory voter base: New Canadians, urban/suburban voters, and Millennials/Generation Z.
I explain the secret to winning the support of these groups.
Currently, just over one in five Canadians was born somewhere else; by 2036, that number is predicted to rise to three in 10.
Most of them settle in urban and suburban areas.
In the 166 ridings in Canada’s three largest cities, the Liberals won eighty-six ridings in the last election. The Conservatives won only eight. The Liberals won all 25 of the most urban ridings in Canada and 109 of the largest 150 urban ridings, while the Conservatives won just 23 of those urban ridings.
Millennials now outnumber baby boomers, comprising 33.2% of the working age population. As for Gen Z, they are projected to outnumber baby boomers by 2032 and millennials by 2045. These groups are the future of the party. The Conservative party needs to make their political platform relevant to all of them. The party needs to show them how conservative policies will solve their problems. Ultimately, all those groups are facing the same challenge: building a better life for themselves and their children.
They are all striving to attain the same objective: opportunity. That is the key word. Not freedom, not removing gatekeepers, or elites, or messaging that divides, but a message that unites people. For New Canadians, the conservative trifecta of faith, family and free enterprise is key.
For urbanites and suburbanites, the Conservative Party has 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 understanding their specific issues. Millennials and Gen Z are not monolithic. There is an excellent study by Deloitte that breaks these generations down into cohorts, some of which are very accessible to the Conservatives.
My book is about leadership, period. Thought leadership, moral leadership, political leadership. It’s about where Canada is going and how the Conservatives Party can contribute to Canada’s future.
In Canada the path to power does not run through populism. Instead, the winning strategy is to create a big tent to accommodate the groups that I have identified. The current leadership race has turned into a battle between populism and conservatism for the soul of the party. By writing this book I hope to help people better analyze the situation and make an informed choice, whatever that choice may be.
Tasha Kheiriddin is a writer and political commentator. She has recently released her latest book, The Right Path: How Conservatives Can Unite, Inspire and Take Canada Forward.