, 01.18.2023 05:26 PM

My latest: go, Trudeau, go…but.

Trudeau? Go.

Go, go, go.

He won’t, of course. Not yet, anyway. But, for many, there can be no doubt: Justin Trudeau must go. If the Liberal Party is to have a shot at retaining power in the next federal election, not a few Grits believe, their leader needs to head for the exits.

The reasons are infinite and incontestable. But here’s just three.

He’s reached his Best Before date: ten years as Liberal leader, nearly eight years as Prime Minister. By any historical standard, that’s a long run, and nothing to be ashamed of. If Trudeau goes, he can go as a three-time winner.

He’s clearly disengaged: he never meets with Liberal MPs, he rarely meets with cabinet ministers, he’s increasingly described – including in the just-released sour grapes manifesto by his former Finance Minister – as aloof and distant. He looks bored with the job.

He’s dragging down his party: this is the reason that should most preoccupy Team Trudeau. For weeks, the Poilievre Conservatives have been inching ever-upward in the polls. Right now, Trudeau is losing – almost certainly because of Trudeau.

Take a gander at the latest Nanos, which ranks as one of the best pollsters around. They took the political pulse of 1,000 Canadians and released the results on January 12.

Nanos found that there is now an eight-point gap between the Tories and Grits: 36 per cent to 28 per cent, respectively. Depending on what the NDP does – they’re at 21 per cent, says Nanos – that means (a) Pierre Poilievre is getting closer to winning and (b) he could win the narrowest of majorities.

Why? Nanos doesn’t say, but we can reasonably assume the usual considerations are at play: the party brand, and the popularity of the party leader. As noted above: Trudeau is dragging down his party, right?

Well, yes and no. While many people obviously (and justifiably) dislike Trudeau, one other fact needs to be factored into the decision-making about his retirement: while voters don’t like Justin very much, they like Pierre even less.

Nanos, again, is the oracle. Notwithstanding all of the scandals and missteps, Justin Trudeau is still favored by 30 per cent of Canadians.

But Pierre Poilievre is preferred by just 28 per cent.

And therein lies the paradox: Trudeau’s party is losing ground against the Conservative option, yes. That seems to be happening because of Trudeau himself, yes. But when the choice is about leadership, and Pierre Poilievre is the other choice for PM? Trudeau wins.

What means, to this writer, is what this writer wrote in these pages a year ago: the Conservative Party of Canada has more money, is better-organized, and has the right priorities (economy and cost of living).  All big advantages.

But Pierre Poilievre still looks like the wrong choice. For reasons that are hard to define – and therefore hard to fix – Canadians don’t much like Poilievre, the man.

It’s not necessarily because he rarely smiles or is always pushing the fear button: as Opposition leader, Stephen Harper was the same, and he became Prime Minister. It’s not because Poilievre is so angry so often, either: Harper was the Angry Man of Canadian politics and won a majority.

Fairly or not, Pierre Poilievre’s biggest problem is something ineffable – something no pollster has defined, yet. And, when his opposition is someone as disliked Justin Trudeau, that’s a big problem.

What does it all mean? We don’t need Nanos to answer that one.

Under Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party needs to run the dirtiest, nastiest, most-negative campaign in recent history against Pierre Poilievre. Under Trudeau, it’s their only hope.

And it may just work.

51 Comments


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Sean says:

    For an opposition leader to be only 2% behind the incumbent in the *Leader only* horse race is not bad. Actually, I believe that’s about as good as it gets. My recollection is that # should usually be a 10-15 % gap at this stage. Make no mistake P.P. has momentum. Serious momentum.


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      Douglas W says:

      Serious momentum … and people are coming out to hear what he has to say.


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        Martin Dixon says:

        Not according to the press.


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          Sean says:

          Name a single P.M. who was in opposition first…. and was not denounced as being a hopeless loser by the press. There are none. The reason is simple. The sitting P.M. is announcing stuff, the press has to cover it and therefore always portrays the sitting PM as winning. There’s nothing more to it than that. In week three of the campaign all of that is over and no one cares what the horse race #s were 8 months ago.


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            Martin Dixon says:

            That is not accurate, the press was beating the Conservatives’ secret agenda about social programmes like a drum in 1993(a tried and true tactic) and the MSM had a love affair going on with the Liberal cult leader in 2015 and 39.5 per cent of the voting population fell for it hook, line and sinker despite the fact that it was patently obvious to any thinking voter that he was “just not ready”.


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            Warren says:

            It wasn’t secret. Campbell was bleating about it, right out in the open.


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          Douglas W says:

          Martin, the PMO has bought the press.


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            Ronald O'Dowd says:

            La D was so fawning over Martin it was way, way, way, beyond embarrassing for all of us. She made Rosy look non-partisan. Quelle surprise.


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        Derek Pearce says:

        Political junkies and diehard Trudeau haters are coming out to see him, but not Jane and Joe Front Porch. And I say this as someone who wants Trudeau to go.


        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          Martin Dixon says:

          Serious question Derek. How do you know that?


  2. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Gilbert says:

    Part of me wants Justin Trudeau to run because I think he’s vulnerable. But I thought he’d lose the last two elections, so I can’t underestimate him.

    Since Pierre Poilievre is not so popular, he needs to emphasize the team around him. He needs to be different from Justin Trudeau and not just talk about himself all the time.

    The NDP needs to take votes from the Liberals. At the moment they look like controlled opposition. It’s wise for the Conservatives to target the Liberals and not attack the NDP too much.


  3. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Narcs tend to believe that they can both part the Red Sea, or if necessary, walk on water. So that likely means his ego and pride just won’t let him leave. So, the only way out is a classic swan dive, just like the one Harper brought onto himself in 2015. From my keyboard, hopefully to God’s ears.


  4. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Pierre is smiling a lot more these days and is using a softer tone. If I had this PM as my likely opponent, I’d be pretty much ear-to-ear as well.


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    jj gibbons says:

    the polling these days is full of … crap


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      Martin Dixon says:

      Totally agree-underpolling PP generally and specifically women’s support.


  6. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Having Justin leave is one thing, replacing him another. I don’t see anybody that gets me inspired to go out and support them for PM in the current Liberal Party hierarchy. I still think he can win one more time.


  7. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Douglas W says:

    Government of One.
    Weakest front bench in the country’s history .

    It’s as if he’s bent on taking the party down with him.


  8. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Martin Dixon says:

    Personally, I don’t think it is complicated. And it isn’t fair or right. The MSM won’t give him a fair shake because they are horrified at the prospect that he might(gasp) win. So they are putting their fingers on the scale in favour of our “passive-aggressive, bad faith, petty, small ball, immature, childish, petulant, vindictive and silly” PM(thank-you @MartinPatriquin). That is the big problem that the Tories need to solve(and have always had to solve but more so recently) and it’s difficult. I think selective access is the only way(it worked for Ford). If he does succeed, he needs to do what everyone feared Harper would do and cut the media subsidy and defund the CBC’s “news” division. Likely why the CBC president is doing her current tour. They are worried. Perfect.

    On the economy, I am fortunate enough that I really don’t notice the vagaries of inflation(although my wife has been commenting on the price of groceries once in a while recently). But I got my second fuel bill for the winter the other day and went WTF and started to look at previous bills, prices and quantities to figure out just what was happening. I am sure I am not the only one.


  9. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Steve T says:

    You are right – that sort of campaign may well work. Why? Because, quite frankly, people (both in Canada and elsewhere) are drawn to the negative stuff.
    They would much rather hear what is wrong than what is right. They would rather watch someone get kicked down than someone lifted up. It’s why the pathetic reality TV shows do so well – they’re about conflict and strife. It’s why the old adage “if it bleeds, it leads” is still true in the news.
    It makes me sad and disgusted about society overall, but unfortunately it seems to be our nature as humans.


  10. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Douglas W says:

    Agreed: the only card the Liberal Party can play — run a dirty, nasty campaign in the spirit of Lee Atwater.

    Their assumption: Poilievre and his people aren’t equipped to counter punch.

    I think they can and will.


  11. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Curious V says:

    Who’s the heir apparent if Trudeau leaves? I can’t think of anybody. Also, I think the more they get to know PP the less they’ll like him. Also, who knows what kind of policy ideas are banging around with the liberals – maybe they’ll run on a pharmacare program?


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Pedant says:

      Anita Anand seems to be the likeliest at this point. She has the advantage of being a somewhat serious person, not smarmy like most others in Cabinet.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Douglas W says:

        Anita Anand … and Bill Morneau.

        Bill didn’t write the book for the heck of it. He’s making his move, and I’m betting he’s got people with some pretty good political chops, supporting him.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Martin Dixon says:

        She is overqualified for this bunch. I can’t even imagine what she thinks of her boss. Qualified people’s careers don’t end well in this crowd. They are a threat to the boss. Think Garneau, Andrew Leslie, Wilson-Raybould, Philpott, etc.


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          Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Nothing amuses me more that watching a bunch of fellow Conservatives prognosticating on a future Liberal leadership race. We need to all give our heads a shake: Anand is Defence Minister. That right there rules her out with Trudeau Liberals. Trudeau brought the party to the left almost to the point of becoming New Democrats lite. Anand doesn’t have a hope in hell in Trudeau’s Liberals. They’re collectively far to the left and will never choose her.


  12. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Robert White says:

    Poilievre has zero sex appeal for female voters compared to Prime Minister Blackface Feminist in Chief Trudeau.
    JT looks aloof because he is aloof and has always been aloof too.

    I don’t believe the Cons have any sort of chance to govern with a covert Social Conservative like PP. Canadians would not trust him to stay focused on left-of-center issues of poverty throughout major metropolitan cities like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver.

    Calgary Alberta is his center of politics. The West is not trusted to govern in a sinking economic environment. Poilievre’s only chance would be if the USA launched WW3.

    RW


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Curious V says:

      He’s unlikeable. I don;t think many, aside from a fringe in his party, like him. Jean Charest is a likeable guy who likely would have won the next election, but PP, the more they see of him the less they’ll like him.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Martin Dixon says:

        She likes him. And it will be very difficult to dismiss that once the campaign starts. I will take her opinion over yours, whoever you are:

        https://www.westernstandard.news/news/who-is-pierre-poilievre-s-wife-ana/article_02a7786c-32dc-11ed-a65e-fb5f4bd47a85.html


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Robert White says:

        He is unlikeable. You nailed it. Nobody wants to actually state that he’s unlikeable, but the facts are there given his angry white dude posturing.

        Poilievre can’t balance the books or direct Canada to a better path economically. The days of fiscally prudent Conservativism are over given the last half century of Keynesian Macroeconomic deficit spending which is absurdly outsized compared to actual global debt-to-GDP.

        Abortion is off the table.

        What do Conservatives under a Harper Constitution expect to accomplish if they don’t actually have any big tent issues to palm off on the electorate?

        Conservatives stand for absolutely nothing of significance. They are the Angry White Guy Party.

        We are actually looking at Harper’s one hit wonder.

        RW


        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Robert,

          That is the perception in some quarters. PP’s job is to make damned sure it’s not a reality by the time we get to an election.


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Robert White says:

            Warren advises hurting opposition to ensure they don’t succeed during elections. Poilievre should gird his loins in the run up to election because he has plenty of opposition and Warren advises everyone to trip them up so they can’t succeed.

            Conservatives want to privatize Canada’s medical system and Premier Ford is actually carrying that out via hip & knee replacement surguries.

            The only chance Conservatives have to succeed federally would be if Ford entered federal politics to replace current lackluster leadership that fails to work the middle of road. Poilievre doesn’t even have Premier Ford’s ability to garner support.

            Ford is likeable too.

            Without Ford federally the Cons stand no chance of attaining a majority or momentum.

            Cons drove off the road and into the ditch post-Harper.

            🙂

            RW


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Robert White says:

            Edit: Surgeries
            RW


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Robert,

            You know my level of lack of knowledge when it comes to Ontario politics but it’s my understanding that public funds will pay those doctors for visits in those admittedly private clinics that perform those surgeries. To me, it’s common sense and a good compromise where the patient doesn’t have to pay out of pocket for the visit. It does not contravene the provisions of the Canada Health Act.


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Robert White says:

            Ronald,

            It contravenes the spirit of the legislation via a milieu of privatization as an answer to piss poor management on the part of political parties and their representative politicians who used Managed Care to slowly reduce the control of socialized medicine.

            Canadians fought long and hard for socialized medicine because the poor in Canada could not afford basic medical care.

            Neoliberalism via management of medicine is not a reasoned arbiter of fairness or equity.

            Canadians deserve better management.

            RW


  13. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Martin Dixon says:

    I am actually laughing out loud at Katie’s Simpson’s horror at the latest obstruction of justice story in Alberta they were talking about on P and P tonight. We already know that is no longer a thing up here with any consequences. The CBC is laughable.


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    Peter Williams says:

    Justin will campaign on abortion. If you don’t think that will play, watch how the media will continuously mentionsthe US Supreme Court decision. They’ll say the Conservatives will do that here.

    Justin will announce a big new spending program. I don’t know what it will be, but it will target younger voters and university students.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Martin Dixon says:

      And 35% of the voters could actually be stupid enough(again) to fall for it especially with the MSM in their pocket.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Martin,

        Dion got it right when he said it was all about priorities. You know, the issues that the Liberals come up with that help them to win. It has nothing to do with being MENSA or stupid.


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      Pedant says:

      Far more likely that they will double down on payments to seniors rather than young people, who have already abandoned the Liberals due to the housing crisis. Youth have shifted to Conservatives (the guys) and NDP (the gals).


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Martin Dixon says:

        “Youth have shifted to Conservatives (the guys) and NDP (the gals).”

        Definitely away from JT based on those I talk to.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Pedant,

        No one gives a damn where anyone has shifted. What they should give a damn about is whether they vote in droves and whether this party has policy that will almost insure that at least a plurality of both sexes decides to vote for us, rather than for the other three parties.


  15. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    william shakesfeare says:

    Poilievre isn’t hard to figure out. He posts every day on Twitter like a drunken sailor and the same negative BS every time but oh the comments; people really really hate him. He has nothing good to say about anything.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Martin Dixon says:

      Have you read any of the comments about JT on various and sundry sites?


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Ronald O'Dowd says:

      WS,

      Politics is definitely in the eye of the beholder. The CPC needs to use negative ads to pound this PM into political oblivion. We’ve got the money and should spend it all in the next campaign.


  16. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    westcoastjim says:

    Pretty easy to tell why Canadians are uncomfortable with Pierre. His fiscal policy of bitcoin was idiotic. His promotion and palling around with domestic terrorist was horrific. His matching with a known white supremecist supporter was appalling. His open rejection of science and health care efforts was ridiculous.

    Trudeau is going to stick around because he is licking his lips in anticipation of running against this clown. He does not care about today’s polls because they have yet to attack Pierre. Clearly they are waiting for the election. An election that Trudeau thinks he will win and perhaps regain a majority. And running against this fool he just might.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Martin Dixon says:

      You forgot to mention his hair.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Ronald O'Dowd says:

      WCJ,

      This Prime Minister, by his own conduct, has turned his own house into a glass house. I suggest that his party seriously meditate on that before getting too cocky about the so-called failings of his opponent. Quite obviously self-introspection is not his thing and it’s there for all of us to see. This Emperor has no clothes. We missed that in 2015. However, we know that now.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        westcoastjim says:

        Ronald

        What a charming non-sequiter.

        I agree that it is impossible to rebut what a disgrace Pierre is and Canadians may get a chance to make their choice.


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          Ronald O'Dowd says:

          WCS,

          Whatever, floats your boat. As you wish. Meanwhile, I have plenty of work ahead to get ready for the next campaign. Someone is about to get the political life and education lesson of his life. The boomerang is already on the way back. And here’s a hint: his name is not Poilièvre.


  17. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    These TRUDEAU Liberals need to get the political thumping of their lives: their smug arrogance; phoney baloney; disingenuous behaviour; virtue-signalling while personally doing the exact opposite; their patronage appointments that aren’t merit-based; their contracts that aren’t tendered and that go directly only to relatives, families, friends and Liberal supporters; their own families who take private money from companies that receive government contracts. Such is the “cachet” of the TRUDEAU Liberals. I could go on but no one here wants to read a book.

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