Benoit talks 2015 election


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August 5, 2014 9:51 AM

Vegreville-Wainwright MP Leon Benoit at the Vermilion Fair parade. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

MP suggests Liberals will be official Opposition

With a federal election over a year away, political parties are rallying to get candidates elected in each of the 338 ridings across Canada. Leaders of each party are also in constant stump speech mode appealing to the general public for their support.

In an interview with the Source, Vegreville- Wainwright MP Leon Benoit said he believes there are two distinct options right now for voters — the Conservatives led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper or the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau.

Benoit said that he isn’t too worried about the appeal that Trudeau has on some voters because at the end of the day, his positions have been all over the place.

“(The Conservatives) know that Mr. Trudeau has some appeal across this country, but we also know that he has taken so many contradictory positions and said so many stupid things that he will have so much to answer for before the next election,” he said.

Three of the major issues where Benoit said he believes Trudeau has put his foot in his mouth were his comments on abortion, a carbon tax and marijuana.

“My initial thought when hearing those comments that Mr. Trudeau made were that he is the gift that keeps on giving,” Benoit jokingly said.

“He’s just so incredibly weak as a leader, I believe the public will see that. I do believe though we need a level of support that is even, or equal, between the NDP and the Liberals, we could possible end up with a mammoth majority for the Conservative Party.

“We don’t want to be beating down one leader too much, so that another one would be getting higher in the polls than the other.”

Benoit said that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has much to answer for as well.

“The NDP are losing support as we knew that they would. They will lose a lot of seats in the 2015 election and that is pretty clear. So will we get them, or the Liberals get them, probably more will swing to the Liberals. So after the next election, the people will decide,” he said.

The next federal election is expected on Oct. 19, 2015.

“I think the Liberals will be official Opposition after the next election. I think that is what it should be, I don’t think the Canadian people will ever allow the NDP to form government federally,” Benoit said.

When Canadians no longer want the Conservatives, the Liberals will be in place, he added.

The Conservative brand has been strengthening since taking power in 2006, and Benoit said he doesn’t see any slow down of the brand.

“It has been strengthening since Prime Minister Harper took the leadership and formed the new Conservative Party. There are a lot of conservative Canadians who want to support the Conservative Party,” he said.

“In the polls, we are higher than we ever have been at this time before a general election. The national media tends to ignore that concept, we are always weak in the polls a year before the election.

“Then we gain heading into the last year before the election, because our message is less filtered by the national media. The prime minister and the candidates in each riding have the chance to get our message out unfiltered, because I believe we do much better when our message gets out unfiltered.”

The latest forum research poll released in mid-July has the Liberals with a commanding 44 per cent support across Canada, the Conservatives are second with 28 per cent and the NDP have slipped to third with 18 per cent.

When asked to say who would make the best Prime Minister, poll results suggested Trudeau edged out Harper by three per cent (30 per cent to 27 per cent).

When asked if he was planning on running in the next general election, Benoit said that he hasn’t made a decision yet, but will let everyone know as soon as possible on what riding he possible might run in.

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