Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau continues to lose ground in polling after calling a mid-pandemic snap election that some commentators have called “pointless”.
A poll released on September 1st by iPolitics/Mainstreet Research is just the latest to put the Trudeau Liberals behind the Canadian Conservative Party (CPC) after what is being regarded as a disastrous campaign by the Liberals weeks after Trudeau called for a federal election.
The Trudeau government, which has a minority in the Canadian parliament, could lose as many as 22 seats on September 20th. The CPC under leader Erin O’Toole stands to gain 30 seats, but despite this possible victory it would remain 19 seats shy of the 170 needed to form a parliamentary majority in the 338-seat chamber.
— Chris Tomlinson (@TomlinsonCJ) August 25, 2021
Prime Minister Trudeau’s motivations for calling an election in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, other than seeing an opportunity to form a majority in parliament, have been unclear, and have led long-time Canadian political commentator Rex Murphy to call the election “pointless”.
According to Murphy: “If such was the thinking, and we have been given no grounds to assume any differently — two weeks in the Liberals have given no substantial reason for why this thing was called — then it is a grotesque misreading of the Canadian electorate. It is the thinking of political charlatans, opportunistic before all else.”
This protest is extremely loud, some banging on garbage dumpsters, others with airhorn sirens. It is clearly distracting the speakers — local MP Brian May, Chrystia Freeland and Trudeau. pic.twitter.com/BNoy3Hy36S
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) August 29, 2021
The Liberal strategy seems to have greatly backfired in recent days, as Trudeau himself has been set upon by protest after protest by those angered over vaccine passports and other issues relating to the pandemic at events in several provinces, some of which were cancelled due to alleged safety concerns.
“Campaign protests are nothing new, but veteran reporters say these are angrier this time around than in recent memory. Surely, though, that’s unsurprising. Over the last 18 months, your average Canadian has had a lot more to be angry about than in recent memory,” columnist Chris Selley wrote on Thursday.
“Most of it wasn’t the federal government’s fault, if it was anyone’s, but if the federal government is going to call an election solely on behalf of the prime minister’s ego, then it should expect an earful,” he added.
Earlier this week at an event in Sudbury, Ontario, Mr Trudeau hit back at the protesters, saying: “The folks out there shouting — the anti-vaxxers — they’re wrong.”
“They are putting at risk their own kids, and they’re putting at risk our kids as well,” Trudeau accused.
Canada’s biz & progressives jointly put migration in overdrive — and they delivered slow-growth wages, spiked real estate costs & bigger wealth gaps.
This month’s national election gives Canadians a chance to reduce the damage. https://t.co/IUKhc8nt0F
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) September 1, 2021
As Trudeau continues to campaign largely on issues like vaccine passports, offering a billion dollars to provinces who mandate them, CPC leader Erin O’Toole has largely dodged any controversy or protest on the campaign trail.
Mr O’Toole’s economic proposals, such as protecting gig workers and introducing a “super employment insurance” that would pay workers more in a recession, have even been praised by one left-wing Canadian commentator, who noted the far-left New Democratic Party (NDP) had an “anaemic” economic policy in comparison.
On the subject of vaccine passports, Mr O’Toole has promised to allow the provinces to decide on their own what programmes they wish to implement, rather than encouraging them to adopt them, which is the stance of both Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who wants to roll out a national vaccine passport.
No Mask No Vote: Canadian Officials Threaten to Turn Away Unmasked Voters https://t.co/fcfcxBRX9M
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 21, 2021
The one party that stands opposed to the vaccine passports entirely is the populist People’s Party of Canada (PPC) led by Maxime Bernier, a former cabinet minister under former Canadian Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.
Earlier this week, Mr Bernier spoke to Breitbart News, noting that his party is also the only one running on a platform of lowering immigration levels, and said that he believes in celebrating Canadian heritage and culture.
“We must celebrate who we are. But Justin Trudeau says Canada is the first post-national nation-state with no clear identity … We must cut all funding for multiculturalism and celebrate instead what unites us,” Bernier said.
“[T]he anger that’s out there against the federal govt, against institutions like the Catholic church; it is real and it is fully understandable given the shameful history… the terrible intergenerational trauma… we are all collectively responsible” https://t.co/Y8p7vgg2Ji
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 4, 2021
Bernier’s message has resonated with Canadians, according to the iPolitics/Mainstreet research poll that puts the upstart PPC at nearly six per cent nationally.
But it is unclear if the party will have enough support in a single constituency to win a seat in parliament despite being ahead of the Green Party, which is expected to win around two seats while polling at 2.6 per cent nationally.
This week the leaders of the major political parties are scheduled to take part in a French-language debate — but despite polling ahead of the Bloc Quebecois, Mr Bernier, a native French-speaker, has not been invited, nor has he been invited to the English-language debate.