As I said yesterday, there are three weeks to go until the ballots are counted in the 2021 Canadian General Election. Some pundits say that the real campaign doesn’t start until tomorrow or, even, until next Tuesday and, therefore, the early lead that Erin Ot”Toole’s Conservatives have taken in the polls, turning the tables on the Liberals in the two weeks since the writs were dropped, is meaningless.
One thing that seems pretty clear across the media is that many, actually most Canadians agree that the election is unnecessary and some are angry about it. Something approaching 60% of Canadians say that the election is unnecessary: Justin Trudeau has to wear that. He will also have to wear waning consumer confidence in Canada. Canadians are worried and he is the fellow who is, naturally, the focus of their unease.
Now, if I was a Liberal voter the thing that would worry me as we approach the mid-point of the election campaign is that it seems to me that Justin Trudeau and his campaign team called and unnecessary election, which may have been a mistake, but it also seems, to me, that they called an election for which they were unprepared.
Where is the Liberal platform? They have a brief, sketchy 12 point on-line “plan,” but where is their answer to the Conservatives’ 166 page platform document? Where are the numbers and timelines into which analysts and voters can dig? Some Liberal-friendly pundits are saying that “their hearts are not in it;” they seem to have expected a coronation parade and instead they are in a. fight for which they are under-equipped. I think being unprepared is politically inexcusable; I think being unprepared AND deciding to “go” anyway is nearly suicidal. I guess hubris is the word I’m looking for, isn’t it?
When will the Liberal Party’s platform be ready? No one seems to know for sure but CBC journalist Travis Dhanraj said, a few hours ago, that:
It looks to me like people are beavering away, frantically, to respond to what the Conservative and NDP have already announced. Is that how a well prepared ed campaign operates?
If Justin Trudeau’s Liberals lose this election, as I sincerely hope, for Canada’s sake, that they will, then I think that the blame, 100% of it, must be laid at Justin Trudeau’s feet. It appears, more and more, that Prime Minister Trudeau called this election because:
- He is desperate for a majority because he fears that, sooner or later, the questions about his role, in the WE Charity Scandal, will turn towards §119 and §120 of the Criminal Code. I have no idea if there was anything illegal in the whole thing, as I have said before, I really hope not, but I will not blame those who ask the question;
- It appeared, based on the evidence up until Nova Scotia’s recent election, that voters were prepared to forgive and even reward those who led their jurisdictions through the pandemic.
Prime Minister Trudeau appears, as he did in 2015 and 2019, to be running against Stephen Harper. I suspect that will work with one, small and diminishing slice of the electorate, but, it seems to me, that most Canadians know that Erin O’Toole, not Stephen Harper, is the Conservative leader and Mr O’Toole’s negatives are declining, slightly, while Prime Minister Trudeau’s are growing rapidly. One big threat to Prime Minister Trudeau is on the left where NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is growing in popularity at Justin Trudeau’s expense. Not foreseeing this also strikes me as being part of a lack of planning and preparation.
I don’t know who is going to win on 20 September, nor by how many seats. I know what I hope will happen and my hope ~ see yesterday (link above, in the opening paragraph) ~ and it is (just barely, I hasten to admit) achievable. My hope is, however, being fuelled by Justin Trudeau’s hubris. He called an unnecessary election, something for which I expect many Canadians, including many, many Liberal supporters, will punish him by either staying home or switching their vote to the NDP or, in a few cases, to the CPC. But I also think that many Liberals are increasingly inclined to blame Prime Minister Trudeau for calling an unnecessary election for which both he and the party are:
That, alone, should make many more of my Liberal friends want to ditch their party leader and start afresh with a new “dream team” of real liberal Liberals.