Some voters might not show up for this election – and that could hurt Trudeau most

Some voters might not show up for this election – and that could hurt Trudeau most

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

There’s nothing like a bit of distance to gain a little perspective about the dynamics of this 43rd Canadian general election. I’ve been in the United Kingdom, the cradle of our parliamentary tradition, a place where politics is never boring but recently has been especially shocking.

To wit, in the last weeks we have witnessed Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce his intention to prorogue parliament, thus denying MPs an opportunity to scuttle his do-or-die plans for Britain to leave the European Union by Oct. 31. We’ve seen him defeated in his attempt to call a snap election, and suffer split judicial decisions over whether his tactics are lawful. We’ve seen the release of the documents detailing the government’s own worst case assessment of Brexit, including medicine and food shortages, mass protests and violence.

It’s dizzying. Yet recent polling gives Johnson’s ruling Conservatives a double-digit lead in U.K. vote intention.

By contrast, the first days of the Canadian writ period have veered between the comic and the corrupt. On Day One, the Liberal campaign plane was grounded temporarily when the campaign bus drove into one of the plane’s wings. It was perhaps symbolic of the party’s self-inflicted, SNC-Lavalin related injuries, and it came on the same day we learned former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was interviewed by the RCMP on the SNC affair.

In spite of SNC, the Liberal party has managed to climb out of the hole it dug for itself in the first half of 2019 and enter the campaign with some breathing room against the NDP and Greens, pulling even in polling with its main rival, the Conservatives.

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


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