Monday, June 08, 2015

Don't Make Book On It. But . . .


                                           http://www.vancouverobserver.com/

It's too early to make predictions about the federal election, but it appears that Justin Trudeau's support for Bill C-51 has hurt him. Michael Harris writes:

In his latest poll, Graves placed the NDP and the Conservatives in a tie with 125 seats apiece, and the Liberals at 83 seats, based on a 338 parliament. If that model were to hold, the Trudeau Liberals would see a pick up of 47 seats, the Mulcair NDP would add 30 seats, and the Harper Conservatives would lose 34 seats. Canada would have a minority government led by either Harper or Mulcair. Trudeau would be reduced to the most disappointed of political players; the king-maker who wanted to be king.

Trudeau has always known that the Harperites were gunning for him, not Mulcair. He knew that Bill C-51 was a carefully devised trap. By supporting it with promised amendments, he thought he could avoid the trap.  However:

Canadians seem to be getting tired of fear politics all the time. Support for the master of scare-politics, Stephen Harper, is at historic lows. The CPC’s support appears to be “baked in” at just under 30 per cent, with very little prospect for growth. Harper is still the first choice of a significant bloc of voters, but he is the second choice of almost no one.

The more Canadians learn about the bill, the more they are appalled by it. The prime minister still feels it's his trump card. Who knows? Maybe it will be. Either way, the Bill may turn out to be Justin's nemesis.

If present poll numbers hold, we may wind up with the possibility of a hung parliament on the eve of the election. And Canadians may choose -- as Britons did -- to stick with the devil they know. Or they may decide that Harper has to go and choose the person they feel has the best chance of ousting him -- think Lester Pearson in 1957 or Brian Mulroney in 1993.

Don't make book on it. But the Liberals could be in for another rough ride.


25 comments:

Rural said...

It is as you say early days yet, Owen, and it could go any which way but could well be a coalition government. With the choices between the 'established' parties being so close we should not count out the Greens as 'King makers' !

Kirby Evans said...

I think that the C-51 moment may be for Trudeau what that first Throne Speech and Budget was for Dion, the moment when a lot of Canadians saw the Liberals as just the wagging tail of the Conservative Party. I have always believed that if Dion had refused to support Harper in that first kick at the can, Canadians would have seen him as decisive and the Cons would never have been able to portray him as the dithering milquetoast that he became in most people's eyes. Bill C-51 may have been the very same sort of moment for Trudeau; instead of standing up for Canadians and the Constitution, he stood in line behind the HarperCons and now he is just another Dion (or Ignatieff) to way too many potential Liberal voters. It shocks me actually. I didn't think that they would make the very same rookie mistake that nearly destroyed them as a party, but I guess one should never underestimate people's stupidity (even highly paid professionals). The problem now is clear and devastating. The Liberals have demonstrated in this incident (and for the past 10 years) that they are just the obsequious sidekick of the Conservatives. Thus if Mulcair were to get in a minority position, he will never be able to govern because the Con and Liberals are de facto one party now. So it goes. . .

ron wilton said...

I was almost certainly going to support JT and the LPC in October, but after cautioning them not to support the harpercons on anything, let alone the illegal and unconstitutional C-51, and they supported that egregious bill, I submitted my financial support to the NDP(although I pprefer Elizabeth May by a mile)and my vote(although wasted where I live) will follow.

I instinctively thought C-51 was about more than it seemed and it would not surprise me in the least that JT was suckered into supporting it for all the wrong reasons.

If JT does not soon come forward and rethink his blunder, I fear he will have become a footnote rather than a force for change.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Rural. And I get the impression that, out in B.C., the Greens may pick up a few seats.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wasn't aware that Canadians got to decide, Owen. I thought the parties first negotiated to see if a coalition capable of governing could be formed. After that it's up to the GG. The Libs had better hope we don't wind up with another minority like the last. Iggy's performance was so cringeworthy that it set the stage for the Libs' trip to the cellar.

In supporting C-51, Trudeau exemplified the worst of Ignatieff. He put political expedience ahead of the country and, for that, he deserves to be hammered. Kinsella thought it was the right thing to do, an opinion that I'm pretty sure was echoed by Trudeau's advisors.

This is what can happen in an era of neoliberalism. The parties become led by technocrats without vision. The Liberals have become a party that embraces celebrities that simply can't deliver. They had fair warning that the NDP was out to become the new liberal party for Canada. They've allowed themselves to become hollowed out. Mulcair is pushing on an open door which speaks loudly to the times in which we live.

Owen Gray said...

There comes a time when you have to take a stand, Kirby. I understand what Trudeau was trying to do. And a lot can happen between now and the election. But it appears that he did not recognize how significant his decision would be.

Owen Gray said...

Our political operatives are playing a game of inches, Mound. They've forgotten that real leaders see far beyond their own time.

Owen Gray said...

It's sad, Ron. Bill C-51 is such an overreach. It should have been easy to call Harper out on it.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Voting for a bill that 80% of Liberals don't believe in, I call that self destructing. Choosing politics over principle by accommodating the Conservatives and not the Canadian people is a game changer for me. They have lost my vote.

Anonymous said...

@Mound: Kinsella, I believe, also thought that Trudeau and the Liberals should have supported Harper's misadventure into Syria. If the Liberals had done that, they would have lost even more progressive votes even faster. And there would have been little doubt that Justin would have been viewed as Iggy II. Michael Harris also echoed the same sentiment (i.e. that Trudeau was partially saved by the fact that the Liberals opposed the extension of the air strikes into Syria) in one of his articles at iPolitics.

I think Kinsella is one of those "Blue Liberals" whose views on foreign policy agree closely with Harper's. I suspect he is a pretty strong supporter of Israel too. And he hasn't backed a winner for a long time .... Iggy, Pupatello, Hudak, Chow.

Owen Gray said...

If the polls are correct, Pam, a lot of people feel as you do.

Mogs Moglio said...

Bill C-51 will never stand up in a Supreme Court of Canada challenge that I believe Rocco Galati is already moving forward with. So I don't worry about it.

https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Rocco+Galati+challenging+Bill+C-51%3F

So if Rocco disappears prior we all know Harper and his American cronies are behind that disappearance.

The biggest thing on our palates is to 'Heave Steve' that is our number one priority as Canadians. I'd love the Greens to get in I believe they will pick-up seats in BC as the Liberals and Conservatives implode. And might I add out of their own doing. So Mulcair just may be our best option.

http://themudreport.blogspot.ca/

Mogs

Owen Gray said...

We'll have to see how much leadership comes from the bottom, Mogs.

Dana said...

Pamela said: "Choosing politics over principle by accommodating the Conservatives and not the Canadian people is a game changer for me. They have lost my vote."

This encapsulates my attitude toward the Layton NDP from 2006.


Owen Gray said...

That seems to be a virus that attacks all parties, Dana. And that's why choosing who to vote for is so difficult.

Dana said...

Not any more it isn't. I've come round to Mound's way of thinking. Green is the only choice that makes any sense at all. The others are equally into self-annihilation. There's little likelihood we'll have a Green government and just as little likelihood that the Canadian population would support truly Green policies. But who cares? The likelihood that this civilization won't even make it to 2050 rather makes any vote meaningless really. But at least a gesture of support for Green as well as an extended middle finger toward the status quo parties is all we really have left.

Owen Gray said...

At this point, the Greens may well be the best option, policy wise, Dana. But they'll need another party to help implement that policy -- just as the old NDP managed to work through the Liberal Party.

So the question is, Which party is the best partner for the Greens -- particularly in ridings where the Greens don't have a chance?

ombats in Hong Kong said...

I'm not so sure that Canadians are necessarily fed up with fear politics as much as they are fed up with weasel words. Trudeau missed a golden opportunity to show some spine but promising to change things if elected won't cut it.

Dana said...

None of the traditional parties. But it doesn't matter. That die has been cast. It's too late now for any mere political policy to make much of a difference. If the entire planet stopped emitting carbon into the atmosphere right now, this very instant, we would only avoid a very minimal amount of what we are facing and maybe not even that minimal amount. For all intents and purposes this game is forfeit.

Owen Gray said...

If the game is forefeit, then why vote at all, Dana?

Owen Gray said...

That's something that Mulcair does better than Trudeau, zoombats. He takes Harper on -- head on.

Steve said...

I doubt C51 is going to change many minds. The elusive 10% that will decide this election will be as usal voting with thier pocketbook and future expectations.

Dana said...

Why, indeed? Why continue living in fact. What do we humans on Gaia have left to express once we've assured the destruction of the civilizations we've co-created over the past centuries?

There's a point in living well I suppose.

Owen Gray said...

That's THE question, Dana. And the answer is different for each one of us.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, Steve, there are a significant number of us who approach citizenship as purely transactional -- people who ask, What can my country do for me? As John F. Kennedy suggested, they should ask: What can I do for my country?