Here's, I think, my issue with Conservatives' demand that those of us unhappy with Harper's policies and Trudeau's policies hold back on critiquing what Harper did because the alternative was X, The-Even-Worse-Big-Government-Program from a Liberal or NDP (or both) government.
Like, sure. Fine. If all democracy is about is voting and passing laws, then I guess that might be the choice.
But it doesn't seem like it was the choice, does it? We didn't get Bad Conservative Policy Y instead of Worse Liberal Policy X, we got Bad Conservative Policy Y and then Worse Liberal Policy X. Nothing was prevented. So why, exactly, should people unhappy with both withhold criticism if they think the Harper government's bad policy was not literally the worst we could do?
The hard work against Worse Liberal Policy X includes a critique of Bad Conservative Policy Y when they're bad and worse forms of the same bad idea. The hard work of policy debate in a democracy determines what 'menu' of possible policies. The easy work of shoving a piece of paper in a ballot box just makes a choice from that narrow range. Democratic policy debate can't take place without criticism.
The Harper Conservative government (and all those who continue their reflexive opposition to its criticism) act as though they have to be judged by the relative options on the table at the time, as though this was an extraneous factor. But it wasn't, and it isn't. Demands for loyalty then and now have done serious damage to conservative and at least some real liberal participation in the much more meaningful process of deciding what's on the table by demanding shelter from the criticism due to bad policies.
You need to let people talk about why a policy is a bad idea, even if your party passed a law enacting it in the past, if you want things to improve in the future.