10.01.2017 03:41 PM

Jagmeet and me


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Excellent news for the New Democrats!

    We need to take Singh very, very, seriously from the get-go. He could take us in the next round, if we aren’t at the top of our game. And right now, quite clearly, we Liberals aren’t.

    • Miles Lunn says:

      It would be tough to win nationally although not impossible for the NDP as we’ve seen bigger surprises. I think the main problem is much of Quebec, Atlantic Canada, wealthier 905 ridings, rural Ontario, and much of the rural West is off limits for the NDP. The bigger danger more is he would split the vote enough to let the Conservatives slip up the middle especially if they can rebound to around 35% (If in the low 30s it won’t matter as its impossible to win with under 35%). Still the Liberals should take him seriously, but off course a lot will happen between now and 2019 and while I think the idea of Sikh prime-minister will excite many, once the writ is dropped it will be his policies not ethnicity or race that will matter.

      • Greyapple says:

        The NDP dominated federal politics in Halifax and Saint John’s between the elections of 1997 and 2015, and is still strong in Halifax provincially, a comeback in those ridings is not out of the question.

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Possible, although realistically I can only see the NDP winning back three seats in Atlantic Canada and that assumes Jack Harris, Megan Leslie, and Peter Stoffer offer up again. Off course that could change a lot. I don’t think Singh will have any impact on the Conservative vote but certainly the Liberal one could but what impact it’s too early to tell

  2. Pedant says:

    This has no bearing on Mr. Singh, but with the CPC and NDP now with non-Quebec leaders, I think the Liberals’ re-election is all but assured. Those NDP Quebec seats will topple like dominoes and easily offset Liberal losses elsewhere.

    It’s perhaps impolite but it is a truism of Canadian politics that Quebec voters vote for their own in federal elections, almost without fail. With the BQ moribund, that leaves the Liberals to hoover up the remnants of the Layton/Mulcair Quebec base.

    We could be seeing a repeat of the 1980 election. That was the year T1 came back to power, taking 74 out of 75 seats in Quebec and simultaneously shut out in Western Canada save 2 seats in Winnipeg.

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Very good point although note the West and Ontario have more seats so Quebec’s clout is somewhat less. So if the West and Ontario go Conservative (not saying they will although I am pretty sure the Prairies will but BC could go for any of three and Ontario could go either way) it would probably cost the Liberals their majority. Off course if the Liberals get reduced to a minority, that is good news for the NDP as they can demand certain concessions from the Liberals in exchange for supporting them on confidence matters so I actually think the best thing for the NDP would be a Liberal minority with the NDP propping them up.

      • Pedant says:

        Well obviously West + Ontario have more seats than Quebec (duh?). Quebec 78, Ontario 121, West 107.

        We’re talking here about seats that may conceivably flip. Quebec has a history of sharp swings and it is within the realm of possibility that the Liberals will take every single one of the NDP seats in Quebec plus most of the Conservative seats there.

        Ontario isn’t likely to change much aside from a few 416 seats which may go NDP and some exurban seats that may return to the Tories. Out West there aren’t many Liberal seats for the Opposition to take.

        That leaves Quebec as the only significant repository of flippable seats at this time and it’s all in the Liberals’ favour.

    • Matt says:

      Everyone said you can’t win a majority without Quebec.

      Then Harper won a majority without Quebec.

      • Pedant says:

        Matt, Harper won a majority in 2011 by taking 75 seats in Ontario and running the board in the West. You really think they can do that in 2019?

        Moreover, winning without Quebec was the logical conclusion of Quebec’s declining demographic power. It was only a matter of time before a party won without them. It was the culmination of a decades-long trend.

        Quebeckers only voting for their own kind, however – that seems to be an eternal characteristic of the province.

    • BlueGritr says:

      Pedant, you’re spot on: a 2019 Liberal majority is a virtual certainty. In 2019, JT’s Liberals will have a 90-seat running head start: 25 seats in Atlantic Canada, plus at least 65 seats from Quebec. Throw in at least 60 seats from Ontario, and another 15 (the West + North) and they’re already at 165. Butts has done the math, and really doesn’t care what people think about matters like tax reform. He knows the Liberals have it made.

      • Pedant says:

        Indeed. But if the Liberals tank in the West, decline significantly in Ontario (watch affluent seats like Oakville; lots of incorporated professionals there), and only win on the back of a 1980-esque Quebec sweep….my how divided the country will look!

  3. Matt says:

    I would think, or at least as a Conservative voter LIKE to think this is bad news for Trudeau, and good news for the CPC.

    The 1.1 million or so NDP voters who jumped to the Liberals in 2015 and are disillusioned by Trudeau now have a young, good looking, stylish, GQ cover appearing, hopey-changey, love is all you need leader of their own to come back to the party to support.

  4. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Quebecers don’t vote for leaders. They vote against leaders. They voted against Martin and Harper by and large provincially and have since expanded that to the provincial level: against Charest, against Marois and likely against Couillard.

    So Trudeau already had enough problems in this province before Singh became leader. Once they see Singh in action, in Quebec, in their own language, perceptions will rapidly change, in his favour. Again, big trouble ahead for Liberals. Sovereignist social-democrats will give Singh a serious look.

  5. BlueGritr says:

    Mr. O’Dowd, JT has no problems in Quebec. NDP’s Caron and Boulerice (had the latter chosen to run) would have been formidable foes for Justin; and Bernier, had he prevailed in the CPC race, would have given JT a bit of consideration in rural Quebec, unlike the ultra bland Scheer, who’ll be fortunate to secure three seats in the next federal vote. So please kindly explain why young Trudeau will be in trouble in Quebec in the next election, and where else those votes will go to?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Admittedly this piece from our friend Éric is somewhat dated but it does speak for itself. In addition, Quebecers are quite capable of moving beyond Quebec francophone leaders. That’s what we did with Jack. Justin should take absolutely nothing for granted. (IMHO, Telford and Butts better keep him in Quebec and BC a lot of the time. His home and second home won’t likely be as receptive as last time.)


  6. BlueGritr says:

    Should read: who’ll be fortunate to secure three CPC seats in Quebec in the next federal vote.

  7. ottlib says:

    I greatly doubt that Mr. Singh’s impact on the Canadian political scene will amount to much where it really counts, at the ballot box.

    We have to remember that when it comes to whom they believe can govern this country Canadians are very conservative. They have been alternating between the Liberals and Conservatives for more than 10 decades. For a brief interlude between 2011 and 2015 it seemed like Canadians might break that streak but it never came to pass. Canadians ignored the Official Opposition, the erstwhile “government in waiting” and chose to give the Third Party in Parliament a majority government.

    Many point to the fact that Mr. Singh is a dynamic leader but the NDP has had those in the past and they still never came close to the levers of power. Mr Layton and Mr. Broadbent were well liked and well respected by Canadians during their time and Mr. Layton in particlular was a good and dynamic campaigner but he did not win an election.

    The success by the NDP in 2011 can be placed squarely on Quebec. In the ROC the support the NDP received was only marginally higher than the historical average. It was in Quebec where they broke through but we have to remember the circumstances of that breakthrough. Stephen Harper was deeply unpopular in Quebec and the only federal politician less popular was Michael Ignatieff. With the BQ well on its way to becoming irrelevant Quebecers marked their ballots for the NDP. Does anybody really believe the same circumstances will present themselves in 2019. The answer is no. Mr. Trudeau is actually well liked in his home province. As well, it should be noted that the the NDP elected a Quebecer as Mr. Layton’s successor in an attempt to consolidate their gains in Quebec but to no avail.

    I would also like to point out that the historical voting patterns indicate that NDP success always goes hand-in-hand with Conservative success. When Canadians finally grow tired of the Liberals enough non-aligned voters desert them to vote for another party leading to them losing government. Most go to the Conservatives but enough go to the NDP to lift their seat count. When Canadians then get tired of the Conservatives those same non-aligned voters go to back to the Liberals reducing the seat counts for both the Conservatives and the NDP. This has been happening since the time of the CCF.

    Does anybody really think that Canadians will be sufficiently disenchanted with the Liberals to bring about a change in 2019? Again no, the Liberals have not been perfect but they have generally been competent. Some of the imperfections that they have displayed in the last couple of years are by no means fatal and unless Mr. Trudeau is proven to be a repilian kitten eater I suspect they will probably not do anything to change that fact in the coming two years. It will not be easy, they are going to have to work very hard, but I suspect that the Liberals will still be governing this country with a majority in November 2019.

    The election of Mr. Singh is a fine demonstration of how great is Canada. However, it has to be remembered that he was elected as the leader of the NDP, a party that has never been trusted to govern this country. It is possible that this will change but it is not probable. It is also possible that Mr. Singh may convince enough Canadians to trust the NDP with government but if he does he will probably not be able to do it in two years.

  8. BlueGritr says:

    ottlib wrote: “Again no, the Liberals have not been perfect but they have generally been competent.” Well, running deficits that have exceeded $15-billion, back-to-back years, is worrisome, and will, at some point, affect this country’s ability to help those in real need because more attention will be paid to servicing the debt. That’s why it’s important for governments to live within its means, like most Canadians do.

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