Will Jagmeet Singh be THE game changer?

The media is buzzing about Jagmeet Singh being a game changer. Campbell Clark, writing in the Globe and Mail, says that “The NDP once picked stalwarts to fight the good fight as leader. Now, they have chosen someone who might disrupt Canadian politics. Don’t underestimate the potential for Jagmeet Singh to shake things up.” Chantal Hébert, writing in the Toronto Star, says “[Andrew] Scheer has to be hoping that Singh will give Trudeau more of a run for his money, for it usually takes a divided progressive vote for the Conservatives to win power.” And Lorne Gunter, writing in the Edmonton Sun, says that “Trudeau is a paper “progressive” – a poser – compared to Singh … [and] … unlike Thomas Mulcair, Singh’s predecessor as NDP leader, Singh won’t lose core social democrat voters by running to the right of the Liberals in the next federal election the way Mulcair did in 2015 … [thus, and] … In short, Singh is a headache the Liberals never imagined having. Compared to Trudeau, he is younger (38 rather than 45), smarter, at least as well-dressed and even more of a trendy, politically correct symbol.

But,” Mr Gunter says, while Jagmeet’s Singh’s selection is bad news for the Liberals, it “should be good for the Tories … [because] … It should revive vote-splitting on the left. And it should allow Tory Leader Andrew Scheer, while dull, to appear as the only clear alternative to the two Big Government leaders.

Two things ~ the progressive vote solidifying for the Liberals and young Canadians coming out to vote in force in 2015 ~ changed the game for Justin Trudeau. Can Jagmeet Singh do it for the NDP and, more importantly for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, can he change the game against Justin Trudeau?

Jagmeet Singh is young (same age as Andrew Scheer and eight years younger than Justin Trudeau) hip, stylish and exciting …

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… an urbane bachelor who is almost painfully different from Andrew Scheer ~ who wants to be seen as an earnest, conservative  family man …

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… but that’s OK, for Conservatives, because the CPC isn’t asking young, hip urbanites to choose between the almost stodgy Mr Scheer and Jagmeet Singh; the CPC wants younger and progressive Canadians to have to choose between Jagmeet Singh and Justin Trudeau … the CPC wants the young, progressive urban vote to split and allow enough Conservatives to “come up through the middle” to add 70± suburban and urban seats in Greater Vancouver, Calgary-Edmonton, Winnipeg, the Golden Horseshoe, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, and Fredricton, Halifax and St John’s to the 100± that  form the Conservative base now. The CPC must hope that Jagmeet Singh will revive the NDP’s fortunes, be Justin Trudeau’s worst nightmare and give Canada a majority Conservative government in 2019. Recent polls are suggesting that the Conservatives are either ahead of or statistically tied with the Liberals in popularity … Jagmeet Singh, it is to be hoped, will change the balance: pulling Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberals down while he pulls the NDP back up and, thereby, giving the Conservatives the small lift they need to get to the magic 40±% of the popular vote that often guarantees a parliamentary majority in Canada’s multi-party, first-past-the-post electoral system.

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