Trudeau’s Fall Election “Cold Feet” Could Prove Fatal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a big mistake in not calling a snap Fall federal election.

His next opportunity … although the next scheduled federal vote isn’t until 2023 … will come in the Spring. He will have a much tougher time with voters then as compared to now.

Spring is a time of house-cleaning; Spring is a time to renovate; Spring is a time of new growth; and, politically, Spring will be a time when many voters will be ready, willing and even enthusiastic about putting every memory of 2020 behind.

And even express their dissatisfaction with the ongoing negative impacts (long-term by then) Covid-19 has had on their lives, their kids, their families, their jobs, their businesses, their recreational opportunities and their vacation travels.

While Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole will likely be much better known by Canadians; will no doubt have a lot more to criticize in the government’s handling of Covid; and, the NDP and the Greens will both have had a chance to renew and redevelop their own policies to appeal to Canadians.

Trudeau, like Horgan, as I wrote in June, was clearly maneuvering towards a possible Fall vote, as polls consistently showed he would likely win … despite the WE scandal.

Trudeau lost his nerve! And decided not to ask Canadians for a vote of confidence.

Bad mistake!

All three provincial premiers and governments that did call Fall elections, despite the pandemic … B.C., Saskatchewan and New Brunswick …we re-elected, handily.

Voters from coast to coast have clearly been satisfied with how provincial and federal officials have dealt with the pandemic and managed public business despite the challenges of 2020.

In fact, a new poll just out by Ipsos shows the federal Liberals at 38 per cent public support, UP 2 per cent from September and still leading the pack with voters: Conservatives at 32 per cent; NDP 17 per cent; Greens 7 per cent.

BUT Trudeau’s personal popularity is starting to slip:

” Six in ten (59%) approve (18% strongly/41% somewhat) of Justin Trudeau’s performance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is down 15 points when compared to April,” says the Ipsos poll, done for Global News.

You can read full details of the poll here: http://Six in ten (59%) approve (18% strongly/41% somewhat) of Justin Trudeau’s performance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is down 15 points when compared to April.

And how’s this: the Prime Minister’s personal rating was highest in BC:

” The Prime Minister’s performance rating on COVID-19 is highest in British Columbia (69%), Atlantic Canada (63%), Ontario (60%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (60%), Quebec (60%) and Alberta (44%). “

Time will tell … but I’ll be surprised if the federal Liberals and Trudeau are still so popular by Spring.

So Trudeau will regret NOT going to the people this Fall.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for free First Alerts to all new postings on this BC-based blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, National | 3 Comments

Lots of Lessons in BC Election Results

The final figures won’t be known for weeks … but the NDP can celebrate with assurance they’ve won a majority government.

The NDP learned it will likely end up with 55 seats in the 87-seat Legislature; the Liberals 29; and, the Greens 3.

The NDP found out it’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and government itself, has received a fairly large people’s vote of confidence.

But they also learned although they are favored by voters on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, the Liberals are still favored in the east, centre and northeast parts of the province.

The Liberals learned their message sold in many interior rural communities, but fell flat on the coast and Vancouver Island.

They also learned their leader has got to go.

There were lessons for the Greens too: despite having won their first seat on the mainland, they are still failing badly at winning voters, capturing only three seats .. crushing any realistic hope of winning power in the foreseeable future.

The Greens learned that, while many British Columbians support environmental change, they prefer the NDP’s (and even the Liberals’ moderate approaches) rather than the Greens’ hate-on-for-cars extremism.

In most of the province, the Greens learned voters rejected them handily … I believe partly because of their extremist agenda and also because of the wide coverage of the fascist style governance of the elected Greens on the Vancouver Park Board.

Meanwhile, we all learned British Columbians like voting by mail … and I’d bet that method of balloting participation will remain strong, even after Covid.

And there’s a lesson in that for Elections BC: faster ways have to developed to validate and count those ballots …and also establish safe ways for voting on-line.

And from the relatively low turnout, we all learned that only if we feel motivated enough, only if the issues/differences are clear enough, and only it’s actually easy to vote … then more of us will.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau learned from BC (New Brunswick as well) that calling an election during a pandemic can work for incumbents: and he will probably regret not having done that, when he does go to the polls next Spring.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, seeing the strength of John Horgan’s BC victory, likely is grateful for another six months to build his own recognition and develop an updated platform, instead of facing the federal incumbent right now.

Even the Americans could have learned from BC and the other Canadian votes: that it is possible to hold elections, political campaigns, debates and disagreements without deep bitter divisions, fears of violence or packed rallies spreading Covid, illness and death.

Yes, lots to learn from BC’s experience this election. You can probably add a few more.

And if there are lessons to be absorbed, perhaps BC’s media learned that, when the signs are all there five months in advance that a Premier is clearly maneuvering towards a snap election , and when the blogosphere starts talking about those signs … maybe, just maybe, the media should really go after the “story”.

And not just wait for the official announcement.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter to get free First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, International, Media, National | 18 Comments