Pat Stogran – former Veterans Ombudsman and commander in Afghanistan – ripped into Justin Trudeau as “not fit to lead,” while kicking off his bid to helm the federal NDP.
Stogran is a retired Colonel and a Veteran of the Afghanistan War, who is entering politics for the first time.
In a speech starting his campaign, Stogran said Justin Trudeau hides behind “smiling selfies, and loquacious lies.”
Of Trudeau, he said “It’s just the same old garbage in a different-coloured bag.”
Stogran ripped into both Trudeau, and the Conservatives during his speech.
He said “Our system of government is morally and functionally bankrupt,” adding “I want to break the system.”
A long military career
Stogran served in Bosnia as a UN Military observer in 1994, and in 2002 he commanded a Canadian Infantry unit in Afghanistan.
Stogran was also the first Veterans Ombudsman in Canadian history when he was appointed to that role by Prime Minister Harper in 2007. Stogran was heavily critical of the government, saying they were under-funding Canadian Veterans, and Harper did not reappoint Stogran in 2010.
End “Monopoly Rule”
Stogran says he seeks to end the “monopoly rule” of the Liberal & Conservative parties, and says the NDP will need to “compromise” more on their social democratic principles if they hope to win.
Stogran’s initial policy prescriptions – some of which seem outside the traditional NDP playbook – include:
- Supporting oil pipelines
- Ending the use of fossil fuels gradually, rather than quickly
- Opposing carbon taxes
- Opposing toll roads
- Ending pensions for MP’s
Stogran was also critical of Trudeau’s marijuana legalization plan, saying it leaves “so many loose ends.”
However, aspects of Stogran’s messaging so far are somewhat contradictory. He called the radical Leap Manifesto (which would destroy our economy), a “great set of ideals that you should never sway from,” while also saying Canadians would never “elect a government that is going to leap on those issues to the detriment of all else, Canadians will just write that off.”
Bring in moderates
Despite some contradictions, Stogran seems to bring a much different approach to the table than the traditional NDP candidate. Stogran has a strong record supporting Veterans, and seems to be running on a more populist platform. While it is uncertain whether Stogran can win the NDP leadership, he could scramble the political spectrum, potentially pulling votes from the Conservatives, and Liberals, in addition to voters who have not participated before.
For that to happen however, he would need to win the support of the NDP base, which tends to push more for the failed far-left, big government solutions of the kind being offered by the establishment NDP candidates.
WATCH: Pat Stogran’s speech kicking off his leadership bid
— Pat Stogran (@PatStogranNDP) April 20, 2017
Photo – Twitter (Pat Stogran)