Lawrence Martin wrote in yesterday's Globe and Mail that those who predicted Justin Trudeau would be this decade's Kim Campbell may yet live to eat crow:
When the poll numbers first came out last fall showing that Liberals led by Mr. Trudeau would beat all comers, no one took the numbers seriously. It was name recognition stuff. Voters weren’t paying attention. No big deal. In the ensuing months came the same polls and the same understandably dismissive reactions.
But now there’s been about half a year of it, and Mr. Trudeau has made some mistakes and he hasn’t put forward innovative policy. But his fantastically good numbers still stand.
Being a soothsayer is a difficult business. Nine times out of ten, you're wrong. But there is still one axiom about Canadian politics which remains true:
The big story of Canadian politics is its consistent pattern. Canadians generally hold to moderate values and vote pragmatically. They throw parties out and they bring them back when they get tired of their alternative.
While Justin's future is murky, the Conservative present is dim. The economy is stagnating. Those Conservative senate appointments are beginning to smell like fresh manure. And the F-35 debacle has blown a hole in Stephen Harper's claims that he and his confreres are paragons of fiscal virtue.
The truth is that governments eventually do themselves. Despite all of its preening, the Harper government is beginning to look tired and fat. Martin may well be correct in his contention that:
Those who say Justin Trudeau is nothing special are probably right. He hasn’t shown much. But what the soundings suggest is that it may well be he doesn’t have to show much. It may well be he need only present a decent alternative and let Canadian politics – which is about dissatisfaction with incumbents more than excitement with new faces – run its course.