, 01.22.2024 02:38 PM

My latest: Trump’s on the ballot – in Canada

Canadians really, really don’t like Donald Trump.

The majority of Canadians, that is. And that’s why Justin Trudeau is again dangling the prospect of another Trump presidency as a Sword of Damocles above voters’ heads.

Now, it is true that traditional Conservative voters don’t fear Trump’s return. About 40 per cent of them say that a Trump presidency would help Canada’s economy, says the Angus Reid Institute. And a Leger poll found more than 40 per cent of Conservatives sided with Trump.

But Trudeau isn’t after Conservative voters. He’s after the NDP, Bloc, Green and Grit voters who fear Trump, and who together make up a majority.

A sampling:

• An Abacus poll released this month found that 66 per cent of Canadians want Democratic President Joe Biden re-elected
• Overwhelmingly, every Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc Québecois and Green voter felt that way – by a huge margin, sometimes as much as 90 per cent
• Also in January 2024, the Reid pollsters found the fully two-thirds of Canadian voters worry that American democracy would not survive another Trump term
• Meanwhile, the Reid Institute reported that 53 per cent of Canadians said a Biden re-election would be better for Canada – with only 18 per cent saying Trump would be better
• So, near the tail end of Trump’s reign, 338Canada’s Philippe J. Fournier pithily summarized what Canadians thought about Trump: “How much do Canadians dislike Donald Trump? A lot.”

And that’s why Trump’s expected victory in the Republican presidential nomination race represents some of the best news Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have had in months. Conservatives may dismiss it all, but they’re making a mistake if they do so: a Trump win is very good news for Trudeau. (The world, not so much.)

Proof is found in the 2015 and 2019 federal general elections. In both of those years, Trump was on the ballot in the United States – either as the GOP nominee, or as president. And, both times, Trudeau successfully used him as a stick with which to beat Tory leaders Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer.

For example, in the 2015 campaign at a Maclean’s town hall, Trudeau was asked about Trump. Said he: “I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric.” Big applause.

Then, in the 2019 race, when Trump was still running things, Trudeau was back at it. In that contest, Liberals reminded everyone how Trudeau had responded on Twitter to Trump’s executive order banning refugees and visitors from Muslim countries:

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada.” Trump officials – and Trump himself, who called Trudeau “so meek and mild” and “very dishonest & weak” at G7 meetings – were furious.

But every time Trump or his proxies go after Trudeau, it’s a political gift for the Liberal leader – in fact, it’s practically a campaign donation, so intensely do the majority of voters detest Trump. Which is why Trudeau has linked Trump and MAGA-style politics to successive Tory leaders.

And now he’s doing it again to Pierre Poilievre. Because it works.

Now, for those readying to run the Pierre Poilievre national campaign this year or next, there is an easy rebuttal to Trudeau’s claims: simply don’t ever let Poilievre sound like Donald Trump.

Easier said than done. As the Left-leaning National Observer has written: “Pierre Poilievre isn’t the second coming of Donald Trump, but he keeps hitting some unmistakably Trumpy notes.”

Examples include Poilievre’s Trump-style hatred of the news media, his past fervent opposition to abortion, his willingness to indulge conspiracy theories about “globalists” and the World Economic Forum, and his glee in picking unnecessary fights – as he recently, and inexplicably, did with the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City. His base eat that stuff up – but that stuff also makes it easier for Trudeau to brand Poilievre the understudy of Donald J. Trump.

The best indicator of Justin Trudeau’s future behaviour is always to look at what he’s done in the past. And, in the past, casting successive Tory leaders as MAGA fanboys has worked.

So he’s doing it again. And, with Trump inching ever-closer to the White House, it’s not a bad strategy, is it?


  1. Warren,

    Does anyone think the CPC is ahead by leaps and bounds because Canadians have fallen in love with Pierre or his personality? In a word, hardly. It’s all about inflation and the economy but only secondarily. The reason why we have the Big Mo is because this time, unlike the last two, at least a plurality of likely voters are sick of HimselfTM and his face. That’s precisely why it won’t work this time. Trudeau has finally worn out his welcome whether the Republican nominee is Trump, Putin or Mickey Mouse.

  2. Gilbert says:

    The irony is that Justin is a master of practising the politics of division. Though it’s true Donald Trump isn’t very popular in Canada, the reality is that we need a prime minister who can work with the American president.

  3. Martin Dixon says:

    So maybe they will stop running against Harper?

  4. Douglas W says:

    Trump becomes Republican presidential nominee: highly probable.
    Trump faces off against Biden: 50-50 at best.
    Trump faces off against slick Newsom: possible.
    Trump has his hand’s full with RFK Jr.: quite possible.
    Canadians will stick with Justin because he knows how to handle Trump: debatable
    Canadians care more about fixing their country than who is in the White House: absolutely

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Right. Was thinking about this this morning. If they have televisions in the food bank lines and they see an ad with Justin babbling about T, does anyone think that they are going to say, “yeah, he has my vote”. Same with the young people that will never own a home.

      On WEF, the only ones who care about that are Carney and his fellow travellers in the Laurentian elite. It is not a winner for Justin so I hope he uses it. People either don’t care or agree Pierre that he should keep his ministers away from WEF. There are lots of reasons he should. WEF was a good idea in theory at one time which deals with the fact he has attended but like a lot of NGOs, it has turned into parody of itself. People see it as a place full of hypocrites who burn a ton of carbon attending fancy get togethers in Davos while telling each other how great they are. Our host literally said they could not organize a parade. This was about the best thing I saw on X about them from Jason James:

      “Every panel is a masturbatory pseudo-intellectual labyrinth filled with finely tuned corporate HR slogans.”

  5. western view says:

    Desperate and shameless politics from a Liberal government that imports more “US style politics” than Harper, Scheer, O’Toole and Poilievre combined. Right down to getting scads of strategy and fundraising advice from top Democrats.
    Using a Presidential campaign candidate as cannon fodder for domestic purposes might pay dividends, but is it worth it if Trump wins the presidency and faces a lame duck and deeply despised Prime Minister?
    BTW: Joe Biden hasn’t been any big friend of Canada either. How many Canadians really want four more years of him?

  6. Arron Banks says:

    100% right on the money. If this election is on the economy or a referendum on Trudeau, Pierre walks away with the next election. If, however, democracy is on the ballot; specifically the fear that whatever transpires south of the border could spill over up here…

    This is where the difference between the US and Canadian political cultures is the most stark. If you’re making five bucks an hour in Georgia and you’re barely scraping by, the argument that “democracy is on the line” when “democracy” never got you a living wage…it won’t make you vote for Trump, but it won’t get you out to the polls to vote for Biden.

    In Canada, the Tories need women, immigrants, and visible minorities in the suburbs to vote for them. The cost of living crisis is hurting them to but if they feel an existential threat to their their rights or themselves, they’ll turn out to vote for whomever is not Pierre as their stake in Canadian democracy is much more than those poor undertrodden who (even in the golden age of democracy under Obama and despie the Affordable Care Act) were a medical crisis away from losing everything.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Except for the fact that there are a LOT of the equivalent of those Georgians making 5.00 an hour up here. Do you think they are going to listen to Justin when he is babbling about T?

      • Arron Banks says:

        “Except for the fact that there are a LOT of the equivalent of those Georgians making 5.00 an hour up here.”

        No there isn’t; that’s the point. The lowest minimum wage in Canada (Saskatchewan at 14 bucks an hour) is more than double that (accounting for the conversion rate; the US federal minimum wage is just under $10 CAD) and that’s with universal health care and relatively robust public services and public education system for their children (as well as a relativley accessible post-secondary edition options for them).

        People have a stake in Canadian democracy in the way many in the United States don’t that acts as a backstop to a type of political apathy that wouldn’t care either way whether democracy survived in their country.

        For example, it’s telling that Canada perhaps has the most first-generation (i.e. born elsewhere) serving in its national parliaments and provincial legislatures (and in all of the major federal political parties) whereas in the UK or US that is usually a dream reserved for one’s children if you came from elsewhere.

        That alone displays the kind of personal investment that a group of Canadians with relatively low social political capital feel they have in their country’s society and democracy; to have the audacity to think (as the current of Mayor of Edmonton did) that as a dude with an unusal name, an accent, and a bus driver he could serve as the head of government of his city.

        Yes right now things are not perfect and are tough sledding for a lot of Canadians especially those at or near the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and Trudeau will pay for that at the polls if that is the central issue. But Canadians still believe in our democracy; they believe that fundamentally, the government acts in the best interests of Canadians (rather than they’re being a deep state swamp trying to screw us over).

        Make the election about that, Trudeau and his friends understand, and Canadians might hold their noses. Indeed, the only regret Trudeau may have about the last election is that he should’ve waited until the Trucker convoy to call it. That was another example where overwhelmingly Canadians took his government’s side.

        • Martin Dixon says:

          Here is what you are missing(and I literally see it-literally-every day), Justin has massively shifted the wealth from the lowest paid employees in the country to the upper 1% mostly the house rich millionaire baby boomers in Toronto who use people like me with fancy trust, estate and corporate tax structures to keep their OAS and even GIS. While bitching about the increase in the OAS age from 65 to 67. It’s sickening and explains the reason for Liberal fortress Toronto. You seem like a smart guy but that is the dirty little secret that most people miss. Everyone is patting themselves on the back because our GDP is growing but they seem to forget that there is a denominator to that calculation. Then it is not so great. It is stagnant and will perform the worst in the G(pick your number) between now and 2050. and any increase is going to the top 1%(people like me just for the record). I am obviously exaggerating about that 5.00 Georgian employee but so are you both about that and how swimmingly those people in the food banks and housing hell are doing up here. Re-elect him and that will continue. Literally the definition of insanity. Great for me and many of my clients. The country not so much. I am in a total no lose situation. Kind of nice position to be in, actually.

  7. Sean says:

    I don’t buy it, I don’t think middle of the road voters will buy it and it is a bad strategy.

    The man is incapable of standing up against a mild breeze in Tofino. The idea of Justin standing up to Trump is patently absurd.

    If Liberals want to play that card, they need to organize a Leadership contest *tomorrow* and reconnect to planet earth. Only with a leader people can take seriously, can Liberals make any credible suggestions that they oppose Trumpian ideology.

  8. Reid says:

    Trump banned refugees, Trudeau embraced them. The same ones Warren now rails against for siding with Hamas.
    And he thinks Donald is the problem….

    • Peter Williams says:

      Trudeau plans to bring in even more Hamas supporters.

      People who openly state their desire to rid the world of Jews.

      People whose idea of gay liberation is to throw gays off buildings.

      How progressive.

      • Peter,

        I absolutely expect the vetting to come out according to the usual Trudeau standard: somewhere between woefully inadequate and incompetently disastrous for our national security.

        • Peter Williams says:

          Imagine bringing in a whole bunch of people who want to kill Jews, kill gays, insist that a woman’s place is barefoot in the kitchen (wearing a head covering), are anti-abortion, and want sharia law for everyone.

          Is this now progressive?

  9. Martin Dixon says:

    First up on P and P last night was Justin’s consigliere, Dom. Tuned him out but that is when you can tell they are in trouble. Marc Miller came on babbling about something else and I kept the sound off.

  10. Martin Dixon says:

    Let’s assume the strategy works and JT and T both get elected after JT slams T for 18 months. Thinking T isn’t going to look too kindly on that and the entire country will pay the price. So JT gets re-elected but at the cost of sacrificing our relationship with our greatest ally and trading partner. Got it. Sounds about right though. It is all about him.

  11. Douglas,

    If Biden falters, it will be exactly like him dropping dead: then it’s Harris against Trump.

    Biden can’t and won’t win. No president under 50% ever has and Biden is in quicksand at 44%. In short, he’s already done as dinner.

  12. Martin Dixon says:

    Here is a stroll down memory lane from 2015.

    “Liberals will invest in the middle class and those working hard to join it by making it easier to find an affordable place to call home, said the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today.”


    Now almost 9 years later they decide to bring in some NGO “experts”(and others to advise on how to help the middle class) to advise them on how to fulfill that promise.


    I don’t know, if I were sitting there reviewing an employee who could not get the job done almost 9 years after making the promise, I would suggest that their time was up. The Tru-anons’ mileage clearly varies.

  13. Martin Dixon says:

    Liberal appointed judge. Overreach. No surprise.


    • Martin,

      Clearly, it’s time for Tuesday afternoon quarterbacking: I favoured the EA at the time but not the bank account freezing. Let’s see if it gets to the SCOC. If it does, will they reverse? This quarterback is now thinking about Section 91, The Constitution Act, 1867. But constitutional law ain’t my bag.

  14. Martin Dixon says:

    They said on the news that there will be a cabinet committee that is going to prepare for a T presidency. Someone needs to explain to me, slowly, how that is going to work while JT is running against T. Won’t they be working at cross purposes?

  15. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    If the average Canadian voter is dumb enough to fall for this BS, then shame on them. They deserve more Justin inflicted pain and incompetence.

  16. Curious V says:

    It doesn’t really matter what your party feels, up here in Canada. We have so much trade, we’re next door neighbors and best friends; we have to deal with whoever they elect, not matter what their politics are, so it makes sense to be prepared for either outcome. Common sense. Of course it’s just as obvious that electing Trump presents a special challenge, so why not be ready for it – it’s that the liberals recognize the challenges posed by a Trump presidency, and the conservatives join in with his rhetoric – a lot of NDP are going to switch to stop Poilievre, so it’s closer than polls would suggest.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Except for that minor detail that while we are preparing for the potential T outcome, Justin will be compounding the potential problems created by the outcome. Only to save his own skin. In Brantford, anyway, no NDP voter will switch to the Liberals-they hate them. Not that it will matter-their combined support is currently 37% with the NDP at 21%. More NDP types than you realize view the Liberals as the silk stocking socialist hypocrites they currently are.

      • Curious V says:

        I’ve voted liberal, ndp, and progressive conservative, but never conservative. Federally, I have to admit, I usually vote liberal, or to be precise have voted liberal in every federal campaign since I started voting – not a party member but I prefer the pragmatic center.

      • Curious V says:

        I don’t like the extremes on the right or the left.

  17. Curious V says:

    Danielle Smith is meeting with Tucker Carlson today in Calgary. Will Mr. Poilievre be attending? I understand they’re close political allies, so I wonder if he’ll show up to offer his support.

  18. Martin Dixon says:

    Looks like fellow axis of weasels member Jagmeet did not get the memo about comparing Pierre to T:

    “Singh said it’s unfair to equate Trump with Poilievre.”

    “Donald Trump, frankly, is in a complete world of his own. The things that he has done, the things that he says, the type of person he is, there is no other comparison to someone as bad for democracy, as bad for people, as bad for the planet as Donald Trump,” Singh said.”


    • Gloriosus et Liber says:

      I’m actually surprised by that. Normally the NDP are happy to go after the Tories as the big threat, inadvertently convincing their supporters to vote Liberal to stop the Tories.

      The NDP needs to attack the Liberals if they want to convince their own supporters to vote for them. But they have proven themselves to be too politically incompetent to get that.

    • Curious V says:

      He doesn’t want to lose half his votes to the liberals, so what else is he supposed to say.

  19. Martin,

    Singh just went up a couple of notches in my book.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Just watching him on the CBC. Just slammed the Liberals for the last 9 years. He does know he can put a stop to it, doesn’t he? Does anyone know him? Maybe someone could let him know.

  20. Warren,

    The POS Trudeau Liberals are as pathetic and desperate as anyone can be. TheIdiotPMTM even said that Pierre is a Putin ally on Ukraine. What a fucking moron.

    From Canadian Press:

    “And I told him [Zelenskyy] yes, we do. The Canadian government and most of the parties in the House will continue to stand with him. But Pierre Poilievre and his Conservatives chose to vote against support for Ukraine, calling it a faraway foreign land to appease (Vladimir) Putin apologists like Tucker Carlson and those who enable him.”

    They even pressured and bullied McDonald to withdraw his call for a leadership review. But even his hypocritical MPs are sick of this poor excuse for a leader: “The Liberals did give Trudeau a standing ovation as he arrived, but perhaps a clear sign of fatigue and wariness in the troops was the failed attempt to get a chant started calling for “four more years.”

    A handful of MPs joined in but were mostly drowned out by others who were clapping, as the chant attempt sputtered and died a quick death.” Even his own MPs want this fool gone.

  21. Martin Dixon says:

    Curious, is this racist seriously the guy you want to be our PM? Really?


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