The numbers game

A few days ago I said “Many commentators, including some Liberal friendly ones, are noting that the Khadr payoff is being very poorly (even dishonestly) explainedand is not sitting at all well with many, many key Liberal supporters. It all looks a bit “shifty,” and it all ~ all that shiftiness ~ reflects, directly, albeit perhaps slightly unfairly, back on to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.The Angus Reid Institute, which self describes as being non-partisan and which says it used the most accurate online tools to poll over 1,500 Canadians on the matter of the payoff to Omar Khadr says:

  • The vast majority of Canadians say the federal government made the wrong decision in settling a lawsuit with former child soldier Omar Khadr and instead apologizing and paying him $10.5 million in compensation for his treatment as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba“;
  • Most Canadians reject the notion that government officials had “no choice” but to settle – but money appears to be the main source of opposition to the deal. Canadians are slightly more inclined to have said sorry to Khadr than offer compensation, had the decision been in their own hands“;
  • Two-thirds (65%) reject the notion the Trudeau government had “no choice” but to settle and offer Omar Khadr an apology and compensation;” and
  • How you voted in 2015 is an indicator of how you feel about this … even though no group was in favour of the Khadr payoff, Conservative voters were most strongly opposed:


In short, it seems to me that this issue “has legs,” as the journalist say, especially within the Conservative base, but, more importantly, it resonates with nearly ⅔ of committed NDP voters and with a (modest) majority (53% vs 47%) of young Canadians …Khadr9

… those numbers matter because we can see from recent reports from different sources that the Trudeau victory in 2015 resulted, in large measure from a HUGE number of young Canadians who are, normally, apathetic about voting and nearly 1,000,000 regretCanadians who switched from the NDP and voted for the Trudeau Liberals. If those two groups can be persuaded to experience a greater and greater degree of “buyers’ remorse” then it is likely that many of the 34 ridings that the Liberals won by less than 5% of the popular vote will go to either the Conservatives or NDP in 2019 … those narrowly won seats gave the Liberals a majority. If we can shift 71 seats from the Liberals back to the Conservatives (they took 96 from us in 2015) then the CPC will have a small but workable majority government in 2019. Those 71 seats are in Atlantic Canada (five to ten of them) in urban and suburban Ontario (30 to 50 of them) and in other urban and suburban regions, including in Western Canada, especially around Winnipeg and Vancouver, (five to 15 seats)  (Part of the CPC’s tactics for 2019 must be to instil more and more “buyers’ remorse” into both young and traditionally NDP voters who supported Justin Trudeau while, at the same time, uniting the Conservative supporters. The Khadr payoff seems like a good issue with which to do both, especially when harnessed with e.g.

The Liberals are vulnerable on so many fronts, aren’t they? They must be hoping that a long summer recess and stories that make Trudeau out to be the anti-Trump will lessen the stench of the Khadr payoff and it is incumbent on the Conservatives, the honest, unbiased media (there is some of that out there) and ordinary Canadians, like you and me, to keep this issue, these issues, alive until it/they helps put the Trudeau Liberals on the political dung heap.



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