by Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping It Real…

June 19, 2023

Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

It’s a line Oliver Hardy delivered to Stan Laurel in 1923 … and many times more over during their decades-long comedic career.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have also wanted to deliver the line as well this week to Public Safety Minister Mendocino over his ministry’s handling of the Paul Bernardo transfer from a maximum to medium security prison … with the Minister himself admitting he didn’t know for months what was going on.

Trudeau knows he’s in a mess … especially after the latest poll on his government’s popularity … or lack of it … with Canadians.

A survey of 2,000 Canadians from coast to coast by Abacus Data between June 6 to 11 showed 81% of Canadians “believe it’s time for a change in government.”

Only 20% of those asked said they believe Trudeau and the Liberals “deserve to be re-elected”; 31% want change “but there isn’t a good alternative; however, 50% think it’s not only time for change, but there IS a good alternative.

“Among those who want change and think there is a good alternative, 56% would vote Conservative, 25% NDP and 6% would still vote Liberal,” the survey found.

In BC, Abacus found the Conservatives favored by 35% of committed voters, the NDP 30%, Liberals 22%, and, the Greens, 8%.

And in the face of his government’s handling of the Bernardo case, the David Johnston/China inquiry fiasco, his personal ethics and the ever rising cost of living/borrowing/housing Trudeau himself evokes a negative impression among 49% of voters, while only 30% have a positive impression.

But Conservative Leader Poilievre scores only a 32% positive impression and a 40% negative impression.

Canadians clearly aren’t enthusiastic about either!

The writing on the wall is becoming quite clear for the Liberals: Trudeau will be a liability if he sees a third term: a new leader could be their only hope of defeating Poilievre/Conservatives.

Jagmeet Singh, the survey found, remains the most popular leader, with 38% positive impression and a 32% negative view … but under Singh, the NDP scores only 19% in Ontario and 13% in Quebec … thus, unelectable nationwide.

And the goal of ANY national party should be to attain power as government or at least be the Official Opposition … not just have a personally popular leader, who in third (sometimes fourth) place can promise everything to everyone.

(You can see the full poll results here:

In looking at these figures, it occurred to me it’s too bad NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh didn’t take my advice in February and take that long walk in the snow:

Every poll repeatedly shows under Jagmeet Singh, the NDP will NEVER garner enough support to become even Official Opposition, let alone govern.

BUT, with only 20% of the electorate still solidly in the Liberals’ corner and Trudeau’s personal appeal waning, the NDP … under a leader electable nationwide … just could have had a shot at becoming Official Opposition in the next federal election!

Instead, if Poilievre continues to pick up voter support, watch for the Liberals to step up their focus on soft NDP supporters … perhaps their only hope of stopping a Conservative takeover on Parliament Hill.

And the NDP will once more, languish in third place … or, maybe even fourth again, behind the Bloc.

Harv Oberfeld