Saturday, October 29, 2016

Justin Trudeau should get used to being heckled by disillusioned voters on the left

At an event organized by the Canadian Labour Congress this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was confronted with harsh criticism by young members of the labour organization who felt the Liberal leader had turned his back on them.

"Honour your promises!" demanded some.

This discontent on the Canadian political left is not yet a big problem for Trudeau's Liberals. They have more support today than they did on election night in 2015, much of those gains coming from past supporters of the NDP.

But as the government moves forward — or fails to — on a number of controversial files, from electoral reform to pipelines to peacekeeping, this discontent could indeed become a problem.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. Got a feeling Eric that it is going to be a long time before Justin really gets in trouble. To much charisma you know !!

    1. Charisma can only paper over the lies for so long ...

  2. Éric,

    The Trudeau government has to come up with a plan to make permanent the changing allegiances on the left -- imagine if Nikki becomes leader, or someone else, from the left side of the party. That would potentially be a deflating experience for Liberal poll numbers. They need to bake into the cake those new supporters coming from the left. Otherwise, if the new NDP leader takes off, their numbers will begin to fall.

  3. First off good on Trudeau to enter into a semi-hostile environment and try to engage those there. He was somewhat successful and that is definitely a feather in his cap. Whether one agrees or not with Trudeau it is nice to see the effort-he could have easily stayed inside the House of Commons.

    More protests and disheartened or luke warm voters are almost inevitable after the type of honeymoon Justin has enjoyed. I think the big split with the left won't come about due to electoral reform or lack thereof but, through the approval of pipelines and natural resource development and the impact these decisions will have on Indigenous people, their lands and rights. The economy as always will also play a leading role.

    I don't think PR as helpful to New De4mocrats as many think. By my count 20/ 44 NDP held ridings are rural or agricultural, in these constituencies the NDP benefits from FPTP. As Eric's estimation suggests PR is unlikely to give them more seats than they currently have (unless their popular vote increases), indeed, at this point PR would cost them seats. I would contend that when trying to rebuild a political party rule number one is: Keep the seats you already have. Arguably PR would put some in danger. Believe it or not, the NDP's base in now rural British Columbia and Quebec particularly Vancouver Island. Under such circumstances I don't see how the NDP could support AV and even PR holds risks. The best bet for the NDP to retain their current standing is FPTP.

  4. WGS,

    But won't they lose potential and actual support if they are suddenly seen as defenders of the political status quo for nakedly crass political reasons? I would argue that they have far much more to lose if they suddenly become proponents of retaining FPP.

    1. Hi Ronald,

      To answer your question: No. They're at 10% in the polls-those who are left are the ultra partisan diehards, they believe in the NDP. Secondly, they don't have to do anything, they simply participate through the special committee and continue to push their preferred option, I presume this is full PR and let the process play itself out. Thirdly, their constituencies are half rural, areas usually in favour of FPTP. Fourthly, most NDP voters are small "c"onservatives whether they be in rural BC or Alberta or nationalist Quebeckers. What was previously termed the "progressive left" has moved almost in its entirety to the Liberal party with small rumps remaining in both the NDP and Greens.


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