Justin Trudeau is in trouble. Chantal Hebert writes:
Since the election call the Liberal lead has melted. At week’s end, a handful of polls put Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives in first place.
But while the current national numbers bear a striking resemblance to the CPC/Liberal 2019 finish, there are major qualitative differences.
The Liberals are losing ground to both the Conservatives and the New Democrats in Ontario. That trend could lead to a disaster for his party on voting day.
Yesterday, Trudeau was greeted by an angry ground -- middle fingers in the air -- shouting that his talk of vaccine passports was segregation, pure and simple. I have written that we live in a time when Superstition has overthrown Reason. Hebert asks the crucial question: What are progressive voters to do?
[Trudeau] must hope that the prospect of a possible Conservative government will drive at least some of those who have been looking to support the NDP and the Bloc to reconsider.
Calls for progressive voters to coalesce behind the Liberals to keep the CPC at bay worked for Paul Martin in 2004 and for Trudeau in 2019. This year, both O’Toole and Singh have been trying out different strategies to counter the impact of such appeals.
The CPC leader has spent much of the first stretch of the campaign distancing his party from that of his predecessors. While it often seemed that Stephen Harper in 2015 and Scheer two years ago were mostly interested in fuelling the passions of the Conservative base, O’Toole has taken a different approach.
He has been highlighting policies that contrast with the Conservative platforms of the recent past.
The CPC plan is not just worker friendly; it casts the party as a union ally. It features employment insurance tweaks that one would usually expect to find in an NDP platform.
Where O’Toole’s predecessors approached all drug-related issues as law-and-order matters, he equates drug addiction with a health issue.
This week, O’Toole’s efforts to put a more positive spin on his party and its policies got an assist from the NDP.
On the campaign trail, Singh left the door open to supporting a minority Conservative government.
All this sounds a lot like Jack Layton opening the door for Stephen Harper.
Elections are about the best possible outcome -- not the best outcome.
Image: CBC News