I said, a long time ago, that I thought that many potential Conservative leaders, Rona Ambrose and John Baird, amongst them, sat out the 2017 Conservative Party leadership contest because they were convinced, and the historical evidence supports them, that Justin Trudeau, having won a solid majority in 2015, was almost guaranteed at least a minority government in 2019.
By late spring of this year, I was persuaded that Prime Minister Trudeau and his team was desperate because he and they were so visibly corrupt and inept that they would be defeated, handily, in 2019. I remain convinced that Team Trudeau is both corrupt ~ and, yes, I know the meaning of that word in both its legal and political senses, and I believe I am using it correctly ~ and inept, but the polls, as we enter the “dog days of summer” seem to say that Canadians don’t care: they mistrust Andrew Scheer, they are not ready to accept Jagmeet Singh as a national leader, Elizabeth May is a bit of a joke so many will hold their noses and vote for Priem Minister Trudeau, again.
The latest evidence is from Mainstreet Research. They say that “The Liberal Party of Canada led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds itself in the lead with less than a hundred days left to go before the federal election in October … [and they explain that] … Those are the findings of a new Mainstreet Research / iPolitics / Groupe Capitales Médias poll, which surveyed 2651 Canadians between June 27th-July 2nd. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.9% and is accurate 19 times out of 20 … [and Quito Maggi, President and CEO of Mainstreet Research, said that] … “The Liberals have rebounded thanks to a dip in Conservative support … [adding that] … The Liberals have significant leads in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada and would be the favourites to win if the election were held today based on these numbers”.“
The report goes on to say that “Among decided and leaning voters, the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau has 35% (no change since Mainstreet’s last federal poll in April), while the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer have 33.2% (-4.2%). The NDP led by Jagmeet Singh has 10.4% (-1.2%), while the Greens with Elizabeth May at the helm have 10.3% (+2.4%). The Bloc Quebecois has 4.5% (+1.4%) overall, but enjoy 19.1% support in Quebec. The People’s Party led by Maxime Bernier has 4.6% (+0.8 %).” That 4.6% support for Maxime Bernier comes from voters who should, in any other circumstance, vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. Will M Bernier, as I feared, be Justin Trudeau’s secret weapon to defeat Andrew Scheer?
““Regionally, the picture looks very much the same as it did in April, with the Liberals maintaining their leads in Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces,” Mr Maggi said “But the Conservatives have big leads in Alberta and the Prairies, along with a five-point lead in British Columbia … [but, he added] … It’s the large leads in Alberta and the Prairies that make the Conservative vote inefficient … [while] … The Liberals, on the other hand, have leads in seat-rich areas which gives them the edge if an election were held today.”“
Mainstreet’s data are somewhat interesting …
… first, no matter how you parse the numbers, the Conservatives and the Liberals are in a statistical tie, as they have been for months, actually. The difference, now, is that the pendulum is swinging back towards the Liberals. But look at the Greens and the NDP: they, too, are tied. That’s new. It is not Elizabeth May’s charisma or intellect that has done that; it is, I think, 100% Jagmeet Singh’s failure to connect with Canadians.
But the other person who has, thus far, failed, it seems to me, to “connect” is Andrew Scheer and I think he is now in some trouble. Mr Scheer, is, I firmly believe, a good, decent, capable and honest man. He is, also, I think, a social conservative who wants to lead a moderate to progressive country.
I have commented, time and again, about politics on the bell curve.
The “normal” bell curve tells us that …
… about 70% of us are in the “middle” of just about anything. But political preferences, which are often based on social questions and attitudes can be, and often are skewed towards either the right or left. In Canada, in the early 21st century I think we are skewed so as to favour the progressive left …
… I don’t think anyone, including the media or the education system, is to “blame” for this; I think it is just a reflection of us, as a diverse population. We are a fortunate people; blessed by nature and history and it is natural that we will be liberal, even progressive in outlook and in our politics.
That doesn’t mean Canadians will not vote Conservative or populist. John Diefenbaker was both and so was Brian Mulroney, up to a point and they are the only two federal leaders since MacKenzie-King in 1940, to have earned more than 50% of the popular vote … Pierre Trudeau never got more than 45.3% (1968) and Jean Chrétien’s best showing was 41.2% (1993). But it does mean that progressives, including, above all, the Liberals are very likely to have the odds in their favour unless they have been in power for ten years or so ~ Canadians get tired of sitting governments more that they decide to change governments. That’s what really happened in 2015: Canadians didn’t vote FOR “real change,” they voted to replace Stephen Harper with someone new.
The numbers may signal that while Canadians are disappointed in Justin Trudeau, and he acknowledges that they have reason to be disappointed, they may not be tired of him … yet.* Justin Trudeau enjoys a HUGE brand recognition factor … the ONLY reason he is prime minister is because of his name and a really splendid press agent. Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, two bona fide intellectuals, assigned roles to him as the party’s critic for multiculturalism and youth and then for post-secondary education, youth and amateur sport ~ that reflects their assessments of his abilities. But he’s photogenic, has, as I said, a brilliant PR team and many, many people like him. Those same people neither like nor trust Andrew Scheer and the Liberals are working, aided by some in the media, had to make Mr Scheer into some sort of social-conservative/white-supremacist/male-chauvinist monster.
I have no doubt, not even the slightest, that Andrew Scheer is in every possible respect a better choice than Justin Trudeau for any leadership role. I do not doubt that Andrew Scheer is honest, decent and principled, but I fear that Justin Trudeau will defeat him in October.