05.16.2017 08:01 AM

Trudeau vs. The Alternatives

So, Jagmeet, whose candidacy I invented, is in.  One of my Daisy colleagues was there last night, and said the announcement was awesome.

And Mad Max looks to be the guy to beat.  Tories I know say he’s gong to win.

So, how will both stack up against Trudeau?  If we were to do polling – and to do focus groups from sea to sea to sea, as it were – what would voters say are the key attributes of (a) Trudeau and then (b) Bernier and (c) Jagmeet?

Trudeau Attributes

  • Young and youthful
  • Unconvential
  • Not-bad-looking
  • Bilingual
  • Passionate
  • Idealistic

Bernier Attributes

  • Young and youthful
  • Unconvential
  • Not-bad-looking
  • Bilingual
  • Passionate
  • Idealistic

Jagmeet Attributes

  • Young and youthful
  • Unconvential
  • Not-bad-looking
  • Bilingual
  • Passionate
  • Idealistic

See the problem?  I hereby and herewith predict Trudeau is going to be facing off in 2018 with two guys who have the very positives that propelled Trudeau himself to power in 2015.  The two angry old guys he defeated in that contest are gone, baby, gone.  It’s a new day, etc.

Sure, Mad Max can be a nutty libertarian – but the prospect of power will smooth out those rough edges, I expect.  And, sure, Jagmeet wears a turban and that may be a problem in Quebec (as some ex-Layton folks have been shamefully whispering here and there) – but, then again, progressives never do particularly well when pandering to prejudice.

What does this all mean?  Well, it means this: when leadership attributes are a wash, all that you have are (a) ideas (b) achievements and (c) ground game.

Trudeau better get going on all three.  There’s two youthful, unconventional, handsome, bilingual, passionate and idealistic guys in his rear-view mirror.

And they’re getting closer.


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    Curt says:

    Hey Warren,
    You forgot to use intelligent as an attribute for Trudeau:)

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    Jeremy says:

    Is 54 considered young in politics now?

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      Warren says:

      Watch it, sonny

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    Gyor says:

    I think both people cheerleader for Jagmeet because he’s Sikh and against him because he’s Sikh are both being shallow.

    I will reserve judgement until I see some policies, which so far are absent.

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    P. Brenn says:

    should be exciting to watch …

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    Gord says:

    I wouldn’t assume the NDP will go with the candidate who has the most appeal to the general public. Lefties have a long history of sacrificing electability for ideological purity. I’ve seen some online chatter already from NDP partisans who are already slagging Singh because he’s too “centrist”, too close to the “establishment” and “from the people who brought you Mulcair”. Anyone who seems to have resonance outside NDP salons in downtown Toronto or East Vancouver is immediately viewed with suspicion.

    (See Corbyn, Jeremy; Hampton, Howard; Selinger, Greg)

    All I can say is that if the guy can rack up impressive wins in Peel region, a traditional no-go zone for the NDP, he must have something going for him.

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      Miles Lunn says:

      True enough, the NDP does seem to prefer ideological purity and even the Conservatives to some degree do as well. There is a divide between those in the party who want to win and move the country in their direction vs. those who are more concerned about ensuring come election time there is a party who supports their ideology on the ballot even if they cannot win and the Tories are no different although not to quite the same extent since unlike the NDP they have formed government.

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    Miles Lunn says:

    Don’t know enough on Jagmeet Singh to say exactly how he will do, but so far seems good for the NDP. As for Bernier, he will not to soften his libertarian stance if he wants any chance. Atlantic Canada is a Red Tory area and so I fear his policies will just ensure another shut out. Quebec is a wildcard and he could do well there, but I am skeptical. Considering he has a Hudak like platform not sure he will do well in Ontario although perhaps like Harper if he changes his policies he might do better. The Prairies is already largely Tory except a few ridings so not much to gain there. BC is a wildcard although recent election suggests the province tilts left, but if the Greens + NDP form a coalition or arrangement provincially and mess up badly (as I suspect they will) you might get the backlash to do well there. Part of the reason the Reform/Alliance did well in the 90s in BC was a backlash towards the provincial NDP thus that helped swing the province rightward. However not sure if 2 years is enough time for this.

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    Terence Quinn says:

    My bet is the dippers will quietly resort to their inner prejudices and not vote for Jagmeet to win the leadership. They desperately need to keep Quebec seats and will not with him, Quebec being what it is.
    As for mad Max he will not be able to sell his ideas in Ontario or the maritimes but I could see him inflict some seat damage in Quebec to the NDP in particular because several of those seats were simply anti Liberal votes.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Doesn’t matter who the opposition parties choose as leader. What counts is Trudeau’s judgment track record – – and that has been less than stellar of late.

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      Miles Lunn says:

      It sort of depends. If Trudeau has an approval rating under 30%, then he is toast, it simply becomes which of the two parties is the better one to take over. The Conservatives naturally have an edge since they have a much higher floor to start with. If his approval rating is in the 30s, then opposition leader does matter and if lousy he will win again, but if decent he is toast. Dalton McGuinty in 2011, Christy Clark in the most recent BC election, Paul Martin in both 2004 and 2006, and Harper last election all had approval ratings in the 30s. Since Trudeau was popular in 2015, Harper ran a strong campaign in 2006 they both defeated the sitting governments. Horgan ran a so-so campaign and opinions on him were mixed thus why we have the close result we did whereas Hudak in 2011 and Harper in 2004 scared enough people, that they stuck with the incumbents. If in the 40s, he will only lose if the opposition leader is really popular and really catches the imagination of Canadians. Lets remember McGuinty in 2007 and Harper in both 2008 and 2011 both had approval ratings in the 40s and were easily re-elected. If over 50%, he will win, its simply a matter of the size of the win. Trudeau’s big fear should be we are in unpredictable times and how he handles the unexpected will play a big role in determining how he does. Greg Selinger’s strong handling of the floods in 2011 helped save him that fall while George W. Bush’s bunging of Hurricane Katrina is when his approval rating nosedived. We may not have a natural disaster, but an economic crisis, terrorist attack, Trump does something stupid are all things that will test Trudeau’s judgement and ability.

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    Matt says:

    Well, both Bernier and Singh have to win their parties leadership first. I expect Bernier will, but don’t know a whole lot about Singh’s status within the NDP ranks.

    If Singh were to win, I think Trudeau has more to fear from him than Bernier.

    NDP and Liberal voters (not the hardcore supporters) move back and forth between the two. So if Singh does win and shows himself to be more competent than Trudeau, the million or so votes that went from the NDP to the Liberals may swing back to the NDP and drag additional Liberal voters with them.

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    Simon says:

    Singh’s slogan at the announcement appeared to be “With Love & Courage”.

    WK, have you ever seen a candidate or a campaign that had “Love” in its slogan before? It must be pretty rare.

    After the Trudeau relativism (i.e. there is no mainstream in terms of values, removing the office that monitored religious freedom etc.), I was seriously thinking of moving to the Cons simply because they are the most able to keep that worrisome ideology in check.

    But if Singh is going to be explicitly talking about “Love” in politics (even if the source of that “Love” is undefined), then I think he could pick up those near the centre for whom faith is important (however big that slice of the electorate is).

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