Monday, December 18, 2023

The Big One

The next election, Michael Harris writes, will be the most consequential in Canada's history:

It will be a choice between today, and all the tomorrows the planet may or may not have; between the cost of living, and the cost of saving what scientists warn is a planet being suffocated by carbon emissions.

Advantage Poilievre. Politics is not known for its long-term thinking, intellectual honesty, or factual reporting. It has become a string of self-serving narratives. Think of Poilievre’s absurd take on housing to deliver that point. He actually said that Canada has the most dirt, so housing should be dirt cheap.

Another comment from the shallow end of the pool. But this is the TikTok age, and Poilievre’s bumper sticker sloganeering resonates, especially if you happen to be living in a tent in a major Canadian city.

Justin Trudeau appears to be at the end of his run:

According to the polls, 58 per cent of Canadians have had enough of Trudeau. The dissatisfaction with the once shiny pony has shown up in poll after poll.

But his record is pretty good:

It is worth noting that public opinion seems to be impervious to the facts. When it comes to inflation, for example—perhaps the hottest of hot-button issues in today’s domestic politics—Canada has one of the lowest rates on the planet.

It lands in the top 10 countries in the world in fighting cost-of-living increases. Within the countries of the G7, Canada is right there with the U.S. and Japan with the lowest inflation rates. Canada is close to the top of the list of best countries in the world to live in.

But the way Pierre Poilievre tells it and sells it, Canadian kids are writing Santa Claus to ask for food, not toys, and the busiest bank in the land is the food bank. Farmers can’t afford to grow crops because of the carbon “tax,” and the media cheerleads for the elites, and death to the CBC, and don’t forget that Poilievre was a reliable paper boy.

According to the polls, while the prime minister rates a negative-33 on the favourability scale, Poilievre is in positive territory at plus-four. As for his party, the Conservatives are leaving the ruling Liberals in their vapour trail. According to the most recent Angus Reid polling, the Conservatives have a massive 17-point lead on the Liberals. At this moment, that is.

With such a huge lead in the polls, it will be in the Conservatives’ interest to get to an election while Trudeau remains yesterday’s political rock star, and today’s political liability.

This kind of data leads to one question:

Does the Liberal Party have a problem, or does it have a Justin Trudeau problem?

What would happen if Trudeau opted to leave on his own terms, rather than be fired? According to Angus Reid, 44 per cent of the soft Liberal vote would be less likely to consider voting for the Conservatives if there were a new Liberal leader.

Something to consider in this week before Christmas

Image: The Hill Times


Cap said...

I'm not convinced that Trudeau taking a walk in the snow will help. Once the party rot has set in, and it has, a new leader doesn't help. Think Kim Campbell, Paul Martin, Kathleen Wynne, Jim Prentice, and so on.

Owen Gray said...

I'm not convinced Trudeau will leave, Cap.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau is too arrogant to believe that people don't like him anymore.


Graham said...

JT stepping down as leader is the only hope for the Liberals. Except for the one faint hope of PP imploding in spectacular fashion some how. My only surprise is Harris is only suggesting this now. I’ve been thinking of this for over a year and it’s the only way forward for them. At least if the Libs want a chance to win.
A never to be spoken possibility is that the libs are happy to lose one and so give themselves a chance to regroup, new leader etc and for the electorate to get a good taste of the PP style of governance. After that the Libs come in with a shiny new leader and save the day. This possibility makes me dislike the Liberals even more. I am very upset that they have let things get to this point by scoring own goal after own goal. To me it has all been quite avoidable.

Owen Gray said...

That seems to be the conventional wisdom, GDN.

Owen Gray said...

If Pierre becomes prime minister, Graham, he will do a lot of damage.

Trailblazer said...

Anonymous said...
Trudeau is too arrogant to believe that people don't like him anymore.

Arrogance with a touch of ignorance has destroyed many a good country!


Graham said...

Yes he will Owen and in more ways than we may be able to imagine at this point.

lungta said...

And the big one will be decided by those good common people with whom I live on some guttural basic level of appeal with nary a thought for actual policy in contention
Or as Gene said it

Northern PoV said...

The NDP seem to be ready to wait for the slow dental plan rollout and likely see no upside to an early election. 18 months is a long time in politics and I don't think Jr is toast. Lots of time for 'events, dear boy, events'. And such a mundane discussion in the shadow of the impending collapse.

Or perhaps humanity will muddle-through and avoid a collapse? Kim Stanley Robinson weighs in:

Owen Gray said...

Hubris wreaks havoc, TB.

Owen Gray said...

That's why we're between a rock and a hard place, Graham.

Owen Gray said...

If we muddle through, PoV, it will be by pure dumb luck.

Northern PoV said...

I just noticed the headline for the Harris article you (kindly) reproduced outside the paywall.

"Canadians on cusp of most consequential election in our history"
Will someone inform the headline writer that 18 months away is not 'on cusp'.
"If we muddle through, PoV, it will be by pure dumb luck."

We'll need some dumb luck to muddle through the Canadian political imbroglio we've chosen to live in. But here the 'muddling through' is about the human race surviving climate change. Maybe there is more than luck at play?

In the linked podcast, KS Robinson talks about 'climate events speeding up'. Climate change is not only outpacing the moribund IPCC, but also going faster than the predictions in his 2020 Cli-Fi book.
At the same time he asserts that the climate-mitigation initiatives (outside the COP framework) are also speeding up. Hence he is slightly more optimistic (about successfully, ie not going extinct) muddling through.

Owen Gray said...

It's wise not to rely on pure dumb luck, PoV.

zoombats said...

Seamus O'Reagan will be groomed to be the first openly gay PM. My prediction.

Owen Gray said...

I'm not so sure, zoombats. Despite his at CTV, O'Reagan has trouble communicating.

Owen Gray said...

Liz Cheney keeps repeating the same question, lungta: Why do we keep electing morons?

Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

It's time to stop messing around! What will it take for the Liberals, NDP and Greens to get together and take us where most of us know we need to go? Really goes to show that all that professed love for the country pales in comparison to self interest. PW

Owen Gray said...

That kind of coalition has possibilities, PW.

Graham said...

To PW,
YES!!! Oh how I wish that would happen and potentially lock out the regressive’s for a long, long time.

Northern PoV said...

"What will it take for the Liberals, NDP and Greens to get together and take us where most of us know we need to go?"

Proportion Representation and/or ranked ballot. Done!