Jagmeet Singh can rebound, but has a lot of work to do

Jagmeet Singh can rebound, but has a lot of work to do
By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

It has been uncomfortable, to put it mildly, watching the leader of a major national political party appear to spend more time explaining his views about another country’s domestic policy than espousing domestic policy related to his own.

The Jagmeet Singh saga also raised thorny issues. Is it racist, or inappropriate, to question the NDP leader about his feelings toward dealings with elements of the Sikh separatist movement? How well do journalists cover and understand Canada’s minority communities? Is a public figure entitled to personal views? Then there are questions of whether Singh will be damaged by his handling of the issue. The answers are subject to debate. But how Canadians feel about him today is clear: Singh’s got a lot of work to do.

In general, Canadians aren’t exactly enamoured of their federal party leaders (they mostly answer “not sure” when asked who would make the best prime minister). But on nearly every measure of leadership, The Angus Reid Institute’s most recent polling shows Singh a distant third to Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer. Trudeau is seen as best prime minister by one-quarter of Canadians (26 per cent), Scheer by more than one-fifth (22 per cent). Singh? By just seven per cent. This puts him just two points above the Green Party’s Elizabeth May, who claims but one seat in the Commons.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site, where it was initially published.