Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that supposed friend who says he will help you on moving day but then cancels on you at the last minute with a lame excuse about a terrible headache. Trudeau is also that boyfriend who promises you the moon and the Brooklyn Bridge and everything in between but spends most of his free time playing video games once you get hitched. In other words, Trudeau talks a good game but repeatedly fails to deliver when it counts. The constant disappointment, embarrassment, and failure have caused that wronged friend and hurt lover to run into the arms of conservatism in search of true appreciation and happiness.
A Blue Wave A-Rising
As more Canadians fall out of love with Trudeau ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election, a tidal wave of conservatism has crashed into the shores of the Great White North. This blue wave — not to be confused with the dreams of U.S. Democrats, as blue is the color of conservatives in most of the world — has made landfall and stretches from the Maritimes to the Prairies. It turns out that Trudeau and his many boondoggles have made conservativism great again – at least at the provincial level.
Right-leaning parties have won six provincial contests in the last year, meaning 82% are now governed by conservative leaders. The prime minister’s troubles began with Brian Pallister in Manitoba, followed by Doug Ford in Ontario, ousting Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals. The dominoes continued to fall: Francois Legault in Quebec, Blaine Higgs in New Brunswick, Jason Kenney in Alberta, and, most recently, Dennis King in Prince Edward Island.
The journey to the fall election has begun. Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party have the opportunity to oust Trudeau and the grits after just a single four-year term. Does Scheer have a shot? The latest electoral models and public opinion polls suggest that the Tories could win as many as 174 out of 338 seats, or a majority government.
Conservative leader Scheer has an approval rating of only 40%, but it looks like the electorate is willing to give the Tories another shot, seemingly because he would be an improvement over the incumbent. Ostensibly, as long as Scheer sticks to the party talking points and allows Liberal scandals and hiccups to dominate the news cycle, the Conservatives’ chances of winning in autumn increase.
Trudeaumania Is a Sideshow
What makes the provincial results an indictment of the Liberal brand is the fact that the party’s vote share tumbled to the lowest levels since Confederation in four of the six elections. Although the media portray Trudeau as Messiah 3.0 (President Barack Obama was Messiah 2.0), the trust fund baby has metastasized into a liability for anyone seeking public office.
If you look at his track record, it is understandable why incumbents and candidates are petrified to stand next to the high school drama teacher and ski instructor.
Take a gander at what has happened so far this year alone:
- The budget deficit rose to $22.8 billion when it was supposed to be eliminated in 2019.
- The economy contracted 0.1% in February.
- He removed Jody Wilson-Raybould as Attorney General and Minister of Justice for refusing to help SNC Lavalin in its court case.
- He expelled Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus.
- He gave billion-dollar supermarket chain Loblaw $12 million to buy new refrigerators.
- He implemented a carbon tax that adds nearly a nickel to the price of a liter of gasoline.
With just months to go until he faces voters, one can only imagine what other blunders he will commit.
On the campaign trail, which usually lasts between 40 and 60 days, it might be an awkward meeting because most Canadians disapprove of the job he is doing. To put Trudeau’s 40% approval rating into context, President Donald Trump’s average approval rating is 46%. This may be hard to believe because the mainstream media love to crow that Trump is the least popular leader in the world.
Trudeau’s sliding popularity was inconceivable just a few short years ago when he single-handedly resurrected the party from ashes. After former Prime Minister Jean Chretien left office, the Liberals started to take a nosedive when he was succeeded by former Prime Minister Paul Martin. After the Martin experiment crumbled, Stephane Dion embarrassed the grits, Michael Ignatieff lost his own riding, and Bob Rae was left to clean up the mess until a permanent leader was installed. Things hit rock bottom when the grits descended into third-party status while the New Democrats became the Official Opposition and challenged Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
Trudeau came into the picture and helmed a historical Liberal comeback that may never be mirrored.
Today, the Trudeau brand is on the verge of extinction and the Liberal Party likely will revert to mediocrity. The glitz and glamor of Trudeaumania could fade to black come October 2019.
Eye of the Hurricane
The orange crush has lost momentum since the death of Jack Layton. Sunny days have become dark skies. The green wave still has a long way to go until it becomes an F5 hurricane, no doubt one that will be attributed to global warming. The political landscape can change in the blink of an eye. For now, the conservative movement has garnered the attention of disgruntled and frustrated voters. Will that momentum be enough to pull the curtain on Trudeaumania and send Scheer into the dilapidated 24 Sussex Drive? For the love of peoplekind, many Canadians hope so.
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