After three terms in power, will Justin Trudeau leave before the next election? Nobody knows. Quite possibly, not even him.
However, the more polls confirm the Conservatives’ lead, the more the question arises. First, within the Liberal Party of Canada. For the Prime Minister, this is a very bad omen.
A big salvo came this week from Percy Downe, a senator and long-time Liberal. Visor raised and words barely covered, he talks about the possible departure of Justin Trudeau next year. An exit that seems to particularly desire.
Although he thanks Mr. Trudeau the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2015 victory against all odds, harshly criticizes him for his management of public finances. He judges her as irresponsible and too spendthrift.
Your wish? That the next leader places the PLC back in the “center” of the ideological spectrum. The only way, he believes, is to fight more effectively against Pierre Poilievre.
There is no doubt that the stab hurts. The love of power and the hope of retaining it for a fourth term have something to do with it. It is undeniable.
For several jittery liberals, it also has a lot to do with the very real fear of losing more at the hands of far-right ideologue Pierre Poilievre. Make no mistake.
It is true that public calls for the resignation of a leader, direct or implied, are rare, but possible.
In 1987, Gérald Godin, then deputy and former minister of the PQ, faced with the catastrophic leadership of Pierre-Marc Johnson, publicly asked for his resignation. Which was quickly done.
However, unlike the PLC, the PQ was no longer in power. A putsch against the opposition is one thing. Against a sitting prime minister, it’s much more complicated.
However, since the release of Percy Downe, there is already collateral damage.
Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, now says he has not ruled out running for the next leadership of the PLC. At least if the head position is available…
At Globus and Mail, he even said that. Free translation: “I am not a career politician. Often, those who are tend to have a very simplistic view of (financial) markets. They don’t understand how decisions are actually made.”
This sharp arrow, as luck would have it, seems to be aimed at Justin Trudeau himself. Hence the killer question.
Will Justin Trudeau be able to turn the negative tide in the polls? Also, in the short term, prevent calls for his departure from multiplying and ambitious people raising their hands to express their interest in succeeding him?
In February 1984, his own father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, then prime minister at the end of his fourth term, announced his resignation after a legendary “walk through the snow”.
Many are now wondering if, 40 years later, his son Justin could do the same next February.
The very fact that the issue is being raised by the Liberals while Mark Carney is showing signs of life is a huge challenge for the Liberal leader.
A month ago, I wrote that Justin Trudeau was experiencing his annus horribilis. Obviously the year is not over yet…