Uphill for everyone in 2019?

Dan Leger, a Halifax based independent journalist who writes periodic columns for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, has warnings for both Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau in a recent column in that newspaper.

Despite the fact that, as he says, “the Liberals would love to carry on talking about their “progressive agenda”  … [he opines, and I agree, that] … I sense Canadians feel fully informed on that. It’s not a winning offering in 2019 … [but, on the ‘good news’ front] … Polls suggest the Liberals continue to do well on environmental issues. The political “resistance” to fighting climate change and “carbon taxes” creates noise but ignores genuine public concerns about the environment. Canadians aren’t unanimous about how to proceed, but the Liberals seem established as the party of the environment … [I said, not long ago, that we, voters, should ‘tune out’ those who make political promises about the environment; I suggested that a wise voter might support the party that makes the fewest big promises about climate change; and Mr Leger says] … Sadly for them, the 2019 election won’t revolve around the environment but the economy. For the Liberals, the economic auguries are not entirely propitious.

That sounds pretty grim for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, and I think it is. The economy, at both the micro and macro levels, is, according to the polling that I have seen, the one area where most Canadians trust the Conservatives more than they trust either or both of the Liberals and NDP.

But all is not rosy for the CPC, either, and he sees something others have missed: “What wasn’t expected in 2015 was Donald Trump,” he explains, and he adds that “His presidency has created uncertainty in Canada over the economy, trade, political affairs, immigration, the environment, national security and mutual defence. Trump is a slow-motion car accident for this country.” So what, one might ask … Dan Leger says that “So for all of the Liberals’ problems, Trump’s bumbling path into the history books presents a perfect foil for them. They don’t even have to mention his name … [and] … That’s why Conservative supporters hate it when Canadian media covers Trump. At the very least, he’s inconvenient to them, an embarrassment. Perceptive Conservatives know their neighbours despise the man and don’t want their party to be seen supporting his nasty regime … [but, he says, and again I agree that] … Still there are enough pro-Trump Conservatives to make the MAGA crowd within the CPC ranks dangerous. Eruptions of Trumpism during the election campaign would almost certainly undermine the Conservative message.” That last point is related to the post I made just a few minutes earlier about How to NOT win in 2019.

What’s worse,” Mr Leger says, is that “while Trudeau is seen to be opposing Trump, Scheer never seems to know what to say about him. The Conservative leader claimed he would have reached a better NAFTA replacement deal than the Liberals did, but I don’t know anyone who believes that … [and, he concludes] … If the economy goes sideways because of Trump’s incoherent leadership, the Liberals could get sideswiped, too. The most dangerous man in politics isn’t on the ticket in Canada, but his impact here is hard to escape.

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