Jacinda Arden in New Zealand, Blaine Higgs in New Brunswick, John Horgan in British Columbia and Scott More in Saskatchewan …
… have all turned minority governments into majorities or, in Premier Moe’s case, been reelected with another majority.
How long can it be before Team Trudeau decides that it can do the same? What’s holding them back?
It seems to me that the only real problem facing the Liberal Party, the only thing standing in the way of a solid Liberal majority is:
The media (even the CBC) is, increasingly, reminding Canadians about his many ethical failures and the anti-democratic, strong-arm tactics he uses as he tries to cover-up something rotten in the WE Charity scandal. Some Canadians, some of the 20% or so of voters who very often vote Liberal but who can be persuaded to vote for other parties, are noticing … I hope. I’m not sure exactly where the magic number for a majority is, but it seems to be around 38% ~ it’s certainly well above 33.1% (Trudeau in 2019) and below 39% (Harper in 2011 and Trudeau in 2015). Stephen Harper won a strong minority (90% of the seats needed) with 37.7% of the vote in 2008; it depends on how “efficient” the vote is ~ electoral victory is determined by how many seats a party can win, not its share of the popular vote, as we saw in 2019.
If enough people in Québec and in the suburbs around Toronto and Vancouver switch their votes away from the Liberals then a majority will be out of reach. If too many people, especially in Ontario and Greater Vancouver, switch to the Conservatives then both Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party will find themselves on the political trash heap ~ where, in my opinion, Justin Trudeau needs to stay and where the Liberal Party needs to spend a decade or more reconsidering its values.
But I cannot see the Liberals dumping Prime Minister Trudeau even though they have some fair-to-good and downright excellent people in their caucus and waiting in the wings:
The current party power structure is behind him, some because they are pulling his string and some because too many of the better alternatives were dumped or bailed out over ethical things.
… will become public. It’s inevitable. Perhaps the Liberal filibustering will fail or someone will leak them ~ likely a disgruntled but highly principled public servant, or we may even have to wait for a new government that opens a full-blown, public judicial inquiry. For that reason, alone, I think Justin Trudeau wants, even needs, to go to the polls and reagin enough power (a Liberal–NDP coalition, anyone?) to keep whatever is so dangerous to Prime Minister Trudeau and his family and friends buried for as long as he can. (Is there a statute of limitations for offences under §121 of the Criminal Code?)
I hope that Team Trudeau heard the message that an election during the virulent phase of a global pandemic is a bad idea and calling one might have cost them seats. I also hope that the message of greatly reduced Liberal margins of victory in last week’s by-elections in Toronto sinks in. The Trudeau Liberal brand has weakened even more in the past year.
I expect (hope) that the national health-safety situation will improve by spring: maybe the current surge in infections will slow, markedly, maybe there will be a vaccine. My guess is that the Liberals hope for the same and that they already have a timetable for a general election in mid-May.
It’s only a matter of time. Justin Trudeau is ill-equipped to be the leader of a minority government and he has, as former ethics watchdog Mary Dawson said, “an ethical blind spot” that makes it impossible for him to stay out of trouble. He needs a majority government; he needs to be in control of the agenda; he needs to make his Watergate level coverup of the WE Charity scandal work. In other words, he needs an election. It’s only a question of when.
And because of that, please see my comments from a couple of days ago about Conservative priorities.