KINSELLA: Why I can’t vote Liberal on Oct. 21

I was Jean Chretien’s special assistant. I helped oversee his war room when he won in 1993 and 2000. I ran for the Liberals in B.C. in 1997.

And I can’t vote Liberal. I won’t. And I don’t think you should either.

Here’s why.

People vote for (or against) politicians for different reasons. In 2015, they voted for Justin Trudeau because he wasn’t Stephen Harper, who they’d grown tired of.

They voted for Trudeau because he was fresh and new and charismatic. Because he had his father’s surname. Because we (me especially) thought he’d be different.

They voted for him because he promised ethical and accountable government. They voted for him because he promised electoral reform, and balanced budgets, and harmonious relations with First Nations and the provinces and the world.

And now, many Canadians are voting against him because he didn’t do any of those things. He did the exact reverse.

But for this writer — who happily voted for Liberal Nate Erskine-Smith in the Toronto Beach riding in 2015 — I can’t vote again for the Trudeau Party, which bears no resemblance to the Liberal Party of John Turner and Jean Chretien and Paul Martin. I can’t vote for it because it isn’t a political party.

It’s a cult.

It bears all the hallmarks of a cult. Slavish and unquestioning devotion to the leader. The willingness to punish and isolate critics and outsiders.