There's a bad mood in the air. Susan Delacourt writes:
This election campaign, soon to be over, has essentially been a bad mood looking for a place to land.
It isn’t just those wild-eyed crowds dogging Justin Trudeau’s tour and expanding the support of the People’s Party of Canada, either.
For Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, all the roiling, negative emotions running loose in this campaign may make the difference between victory and defeat on Monday. The sheer closeness of that red-blue contest, in fact, would seem a testament to a lack of widespread enthusiasm for either option.
Trudeau’s biggest problem isn’t the ugly mob anger he’s denounced so frequently along the trail. It is anger’s close relation — disappointment — and the prospect of disillusioned former Liberals flocking to the New Democrats and other parties.
O’Toole’s biggest problem, on the other hand, is anger that threatens to weaken his party from either side.
Both of the main contenders are deeply distrusted by certain voters:
Some disaffected Conservatives don’t find O’Toole sufficiently aggrieved and are drifting to the People’s Party, the outlet for white hot resentment of everything from pandemic restrictions to Trudeau. Other potential voters — those disappointed Liberals, for instance — may be worried that the face of the Conservative party remains too angry and negative, even after all O’Toole’s efforts to put a confident, smiling face on the campaign.
O'Toole claims to be attracting disaffected Liberals:
“Look, I will tell you I’m blown away by the number of prominent former Liberals, current Liberals voting for us in this election,” O’Toole said. “There are dozens that talk to me personally and some may even talk about it this week.”
He says he likes to see himself as a leader who “is not showing contempt for people that haven’t voted for us in the past.” One wonders whether this memo has gone out to MPs who have made their mark casting Liberals as evil over the past few years — Pierre Poilievre, for instance, or Michelle Rempel.
Justin claims that the other parties are selling cynicism:
The Liberal leader is accusing the other progressive parties — whether that’s the NDP, the Greens or the Bloc — of fuelling a lot of this disappointment, to the point of outright cynicism. Rather than accuse the Liberals of not doing enough, Trudeau says, their strategy in this campaign has been to say that the government has done absolutely nothing — on reconciliation, on income inequality or child care.
We're not happy campers. One wonders how happy we'll be when this election is over.
Image: The National Post