We are having an election because Justin Trudeau wants a majority government -- and he thinks he can get one. Certainly, the turmoil in the Conservative Party could work in Trudeau's favour. Stephen Maher writes:
These internal divisions are making it hard for O’Toole to stake out defensible turf. In his first media availability after the writ drop on Sunday, he tried and failed to dodge questions about vaccine mandates. He likely is not able to support them without his MPs rebelling, so he is jammed, stuck opposing a popular policy, which the Liberals will be delighted to discuss whenever anyone asks them about anything even vaguely pandemical.
O’Toole has shifted his party toward the centre, but the right wing is on the brink of open rebellion, and it is not at all clear that he has gone far enough to the left to appeal to the suburban voters he needs to break through in Ontario and Quebec. Or maybe his practical, sensible, centrist approach will find a constituency when voters get a better look at him. We don’t know yet, and should 36 days from now.
Jugmeet Singh, on the other hand, appears to have made inroads with voters:
Jagmeet Singh . . . looks chill. After an awkward start as leader, he is connecting with voters. As Philippe J. Fournier points out, the polls show he could stand between Trudeau and the majority he wants, if TikTok views translate into votes, which is something we stand to learn on Sept. 20.
It's hard to say what role Yves Francois Blanchet will play in this election. The resurgence of the Bloc Quebecois had a lot to do with the SNC Lavalin Affair. Quebecers always consider how well a prime minister is looking after their interests. The debacle over SNC put Trudeau in lots of Quebecers bad books. Perhaps his response to COVID will cause them to re-evaluate his commitment to la belle province.
Time will tell how wise Trudeau has been. Maher concludes that "this election is unnecessary, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be useful."
Image: The Hill Times