Despite my own reservations about one of Andrew Scheer’s policy statement regarding selling more Light Armoured Vehicles to Sausi Arabia (and please consider the important and reasoned criticisms from some of my friends about my views in the comments which follow my earlier post), most Canadians seem to be seeing past the Trudeau fluff, which has been much on display during almost fawning year-end interviews on the major TV networks, and have seen the substance in Andrew Scheer.
According to a recent poll reported on by the Angus Reid Institute, “At the end of what has been a challenging and at times chaotic year across the federal political landscape, Canadian approval of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to decline … [and] … With less than a year before an expected election, the number of people who favour Trudeau has fallen to 35 per cent, down from 46 per cent this time a year ago.” And this is not just a “blip” on the radar, as the article notes the decline started, according to another Angus Reid poll, last Christmas when ” For the first time since the 2015 election, the Angus Reid Institute’s quarterly analysis of polling data finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval below one-half. Further, half of Canadians (49%) [then said] they disapprove of the PM.“
The numbers, now, a year later are more startling:
“Younger Canadians,” the article says, “who were outliers in their majority approval of Trudeau until now, appear to have lost some Liberal love. The Prime Minister’s approval drops to 42 per cent among 18-34-year-olds, from 56 per cent last year at this time.” But while that is good news for Canada there is still some ‘fog’ because, the article says, “NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer remain a question mark to significant segments of potential voters. But while Singh holds the approval of just one-in-five (21%), Scheer’s approval is tied with Trudeau’s (36%).”
There is still work to be done to get Canadians to know, trust and like Andrew Scheer ~ and, like it or not, being “liked” does matter in 21st century politics.
Justin Trudeau scored the most points in 2015 for, simply, not being Stephen Harper. Canadians, and especially the mainstream media, had never warmed to the introverted, policy wonk, prime minister from Alberta, and, after nine years of really good management, especially during the and after the 2008/09 financial crisis, they just wanted change … had Jack Layton still been alive I suspect we might even have had an NDP government ~ he was that popular and that good a campaigner. But he also scored points with younger voters when he made several vague by attractive promises that seemed “nice” and “in tune” with the values that Canadians think they should hold: everything from accepting a lot of refugees, through election reform and ending the bombing of Syria, through to some “nation building” by running a few, small, short term deficits. Of course he failed to follow through on those promises and Canadians, including the younger Canadians, who came out to vote for him in their millions, now see that they bought the sizzle and there was, is no steak.
The issues that are at the top of voters’ minds, according to the Angus Reid Institute, are:
It is important to note that the issues about which I bang on about most, grand strategy, our own national defence, free(er) trade, immigration (I want more) and refugee policy (I want to help in a different way) and irregular migration (I want zero ~ this time None is Too Many), and, yes, what my friend calls “international ethics” (and no, it’s not an oxymoron) are nowhere to be seen. But I believe that there is some room on that list for some Conservative big ideas in 2019 and I will return to that in a few hours.