Faced with the growing popularity of the Conservative Party, Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to participate in democratic life “with optimism” … with some indifference.
On Tuesday evening, he warmly thanked the sixty Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) supporters who gathered in a hangar at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport to hear him.
“I’m well aware that everyone has a lot of choices of different activities they can do on a Tuesday evening in October,” he said, after taking to a stage occupied by four maple leaf trees.
After eight years at the head of the Canadian government, Mr. Trudeau is concerned that there are fewer and fewer people who say: “I want to participate in our democracy in an active and engaged way, to be part of the conversations. »
“It’s very easy to point the finger at politicians, complain about inflation, the pandemic, interest rates, labor shortages, housing,” and then “move into anger, the ‘anxiety, fear, division’, on which his main opponent, Pierre Poilievre, is banking, he argued, microphone in hand.
A new face
The problem: the “responsible, sensible approach, anchored in shared values (by Canadians)” advocated by his government no longer convinces the population.
No less than 57% of voters want Justin Trudeau to step down before the next election, which is due in two years, according to reports. a recent survey by Angus Reid.
Worse, 41% of voters who supported the PLC in 2021 argue that it is time for the leader to hand over the reins of the party and the country to a new face. That’s a number that’s “even more painful,” according to the creator of survey aggregators Qc125 and 338Canada, Philippe J. Fournier.
Former Liberal strategist Jeremy Ghio also decodes a significant “desire for change” in the latest national polls. “Maybe there are Canadians who will be willing to hold their noses and vote for Pierre Poilievre to satisfy their desire for change, without necessarily (being) fans.”
The Conservative leader’s team has also seen its support in the country multiply, rising from 34% of voting intentions in June to 41% in mid-September, according to Abacus Data. And the Tory leader’s popularity has remained unchanged since the resumption of parliamentary work.
“Everyone places the conservatives in majority territory”, confirms Philippe J. Fournier.
No putsch in sight
Justin Trudeau has decided to seek a fourth consecutive term following the election of Pierre Poilievre as leader of the Conservative Party, which took place on September 10, 2022.
The Liberal leader fears not only that everything he’s built since 2015 to “create economic growth while fighting climate change” will collapse, but that Canadian democracy will collapse as well, should a government of Poilievre.
But is he still best placed to lead his party to victory at the end of the next election campaign? Philippe J. Fournier, Jeremy Ghio and political scientist André Lamoureux see no clear successor to Justin Trudeau.
“It’s a bit like the syndrome of the Quebec Liberal Party, which has the same problem. I don’t think Marc Tanguay is the future of the party. But in the case of the Liberal Party of Canada, if not Justin Trudeau, who is? » asks André Lamoureux, professor in the Department of Political Science at UQAM.
For Jeremy Ghio, Justin Trudeau remains “the person” the Liberals need to follow. And “there is no Quebecois better placed than Mr. Trudeau (who can) perform better than him in the rest of Canada,” he adds.
In short, PLC leadership hopefuls — including ministers Chrystia Freeland, Mélanie Joly, Anita Anand, François-Philippe Champagne, Sean Fraser, Randy Boissonnault and former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney — will have to wait.
Trudeau v. exchange
In the midterms, the prime minister must convince Canadians — and members of the PLC, which he has led for 10 and a half years — that he deserves a fourth consecutive term at the head of the Canadian government — a tour de force accomplished only by John A Macdonald (1878-1891) and Wilfrid Laurier (1896-1911).
The Trudeau government is on the wrong track on nearly every front, weekly polls conducted on behalf of the Privy Council Office from January to June, obtained by Global News under the Access to Information Act, also show.
Canadians especially disapprove of his handling of the economy, the climate crisis and indigenous issues.
For Jeremy Ghio, the government must “stop the bleeding” and, to do so, it cannot rely solely on the results of its eight years in power.
Correct for fear of “scratching”
As Pierre Poilievre toured the Atlantic provinces on Thursday, the prime minister announced the suspension of the carbon tax – which the Conservative Party is popular with an electorate struggling to reach both ends – on fuel deliveries for three years.
Some saw it as an attempt to save the furniture in this region where the Conservatives now have an eight-point lead over the Liberals, according to 338Canada.
“Giving up some ground on issues like these only gives conservatives victories,” says Jeremy Ghio.
In addition, Pierre Poilievre scoffed at the Liberal “dump” announced just before the holding of a “gigantic (conservative) tax demonstration in an Atlantic ring road of the Liberals”.
During these “very difficult times”, Justin Trudeau is asking Canadians not to wallow in pessimism, or adopt speeches like “OK, everything is broken, we have to start from scratch, we have to scraper everything we have, then the progress we have, to move in a new direction”.
And he invites them to stay with him on the “road of the sun”.
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