Justin’s best friend?

MAC08_JAGMEET_SINGH_POST01Is federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new best friend? Is Mr Singh’s inept political performance, to date, going to weaken the New Democrats enough so that no matter what gains Andrew Scheer might make in the suburbs the Liberals will sweep back into power with another majority government?

Pollster and analyst Éric Grenier, writing for CBC News, says that “The list of New Democrats deciding not to run in 2019 is growing, depriving the party of experienced MPs and the electoral advantages of incumbency in some key ridings across the country … [and] … Two names were added to the list this week: Linda Duncan, the NDP’s only MP from Alberta, and London-area MP Irene Mathysse … [and, further] … In addition to these two, the NDP will be without the services of at least five other MPs going into the 2019 federal election, including Ontario MP David Christopherson and Quebec MPs Hélène Laverdière and Roméo Saganash​ … [and] … Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair has already stepped aside and B.C. MP Kennedy Stewart has announced his intentions to resign his seat as he makes a bid for the mayor’s office in Vancouver.” In fact it is Kennedy Stewart’s seat that Jagmeet Singh hopes to win in an upcoming by-election.

Éric Grenier provides a lot of interesting analysis on the whys and wherefores of incumbents choosing not to seek re-election but he concludes . by saying that “depending on how the next campaign goes, the New Democrats could easily gain enough support nationwide to compensate for it — or lose so much that an extra few points lost in a handful of ridings won’t make a difference. Regardless, this may be an early sign that things aren’t heading in the right direction for the NDP.

Even if the Conservatives can shake off the defection of Maxime Bernier and even if a considerable number of suburban voters wake up and realize that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals don’t give a hoot about the real middle class, the country, by it’s very nature and preferences, has, as Andrew Coyne put it in the National Post, “entrenched progressivism as the default mode of Canadian politics, leaving the Conservatives, to the extent they have occasionally demurred, looking like the outliers,” and that means that is there is no popular, viable progressive alternative to split the vote then the Liberals will almost certainly win in 2019 … thanks to Jagmeet Singh.

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