when he was pelted with a handfull of gravel by anti-vaccine protesters last week, the Canadian prime ministerJustin Trudeau, joined an illustrious list of political leaders who have thrown things at their head by dissatisfied burgers. To be father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, had stones (and tomatoes and eggs) thrown in his train car in the begin of the eighties.
But the gravel incident – which led to charges of anywhere with a weapon against the protester – pushed the image of An prime minister on the defensive on the front of an election die for many, is undesirable and has not had a coherent theme until now.
Trudeau called the snap elections in end of August, prompting grumbles that the country would cast ballots during the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. He defended the move, saying that after weathering a deadly pandemic, Canadians should say it in the countries future.
“After reaching 17 months of nothing like we’ve ever experienced, Canadians deserve to choose what the next 17 months, what the next 17 years and beyond, will look like. And I know that we have the right plan, the right team and the proven leadership to handle that moment,” he said. “So to the other parties: please explain why you don’t find Canadians should have the choice? Why don’t you think this is a pivotal moment?”
The first reaction was a collapse in the polls for the seated prime minister, who looking for his third term after six year in office.
Days for the country votes, numerous polls suggest that most Canadians don’t think the election is necessary. And Trudeau now follows Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, a… former air force pilot, average of almost two points in national polls.
O’Toole, who has run a middle ground campaign with an emphasis on workers’ rights, has argued that Trudeau .’s political ambitions in parliament – not health of the country – are the reason Canadians are facing their second federal elections in two years.
“Leadership goes over posting others first, not yourself,” said O’Toole during the only English language debate.
Despite his stumbling block in the polls, but Trudeau’s political fate is not necessarily tied to the horse-race nature of public opinion. Conservative support is the strongest in areas, like Alberta and Saskatchewan, where there may be fewer seats won. Liberals, on the other hand, are doing well in seat-rich provinces like Ontario and Quebec. in 2019, for for example the liberal party won 157 of parliament’s 338 seats, despite losing the popular vote to the conservatives met 1.2%, of 220,449 votes. the conservatives won only 121 seats.
And with the early days of the campaign playing out during the summer holidays, most voters have only recently paid attention to the lightning fast 36 days campaign, making Trudeau de chance to save his chances of a third win when Canadians go to the polls on Sept. 20
In the past few weeks there has been a wave of protests – some of die forced the cancellation of the prime minister’s public events – to have drawn attention to a virulent anti-vaccination movement, as well as growing influence of the extreme right-wing people party of Canada, whose followers are fixtures of the protests.
Directed by former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier (who itself was recently hit with an egg), the party campaigned for year on an anti-immigrant, Islamophobic populist platform, with little electoral success.
But months of public lockdowns have the party an opportunity to channel increasing frustrations – largely among male voters.
“[The People’s party] has taken this anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown, anti-mask platform and connected it to a more traditional, hard-correct agenda. And that gave her a lift in the polls die we haven’t seen before,” said Andrew McDougall, a professor of politics science at University of Toronto. “Whether or not die supporting the people party shall show up on Election Day is an open question. we do not know what effect this party will have – people still trying to understand of the.”
In fact, the PPC still has a low electoral outlook in to be bestcase scenario, but it has nevertheless overtaken the Green party, what is lost? in political power struggle.
“O’Toole is probably wary he might lose” votes on the edge to the People’s Republic party. And that’s something he’s going to do want in keep an eye on on. But he will lose more votes if he decides to embrace the hard-correct agenda.”
Feeling a chance to shift the stories of the campaignTrudeau has repeatedly attacked O’Toole’s refusal to embrace vaccine mandates as Covid-19 cases rise – and tried to link the conservative leader to the anti-vaccination protests.
“Shame on you, Erin O’Toole,” Trudeau said after being harassed by protesters. “You need to die to condemn people, you need to correct them, you need until use your voice and actually add it to those of us who understand that vaccinations way by this pandemic.”
O’Toole has repeatedly condemned the protests, but has been dogged by questions from reporters over unvaccinated members of its own party. While the party has said it encourages vaccines, it has stopped of supporting a mandate, instead suggest the decision should to be one of personal choice.
The protests have nevertheless been campaign something that was missing, said Aaron Wherry, a veteran political journalist at the CBC and author of Promise & Danger: Justin Trudeau in Current.
after a event was canceled due to protests, Trudeau met with reporters later in the evening.
“He went in front of the media and he spoke over the protests. And that was the first time it felt like he has some real energy.” Wherry said. “Until then it felt like he had grabbed for an idea of a story in this campaign. This seemed like the first time he would hit his pass.”
When Trudeau lost his parliamentary majority in 2019, party leaders pulled him gently back out of the spotlight.
But the to shoot down of a plane full of Iranian Canadians, national protests against pipelines and a global pandemic meant he withdrew from the public eye was short-lived.
Two years later, Trudeau finds himself in same position as for the last election: facing accusations of progressive voters that are government didn’t do enough on social problems and climate change and a vote that will probably be fought over social issues.
“He called elections because he wants a majority. And he knows exactly which rides [electoral districts] he should turn around in to make that possible,” said Lori Turnbull, a professor of politics science at Dalhousie University. “And so the national polls don’t necessarily mean much, as long as the seats add up to the way he wants.”
a weak one result for the liberals on September 20, however, the power brokering in parliament.
In 2019, Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the left-wing New Democratic party, ruled out working with the conservatives. This time round, he has expressed more openness to cutting offers with the current leader, O’Toole, who shares a focus on affordability and workers’ rights.
But Singh and Trudeau are more natural allies, and despite sparring in the most recent debate, are more closely matched in their progressive policies.
An arrow win on September 20 – even if that means a loss of seats in parliament – could help Trudeau captures a legacy with Singh’s help, including delivery of low-cost comprehensive childcare, a long-unfulfilled promise of the party that finally rolled out, says Wherry.
The climate of Trudeau plans, despite falling down attack during the most recent debate, have won applause from economists – and from a former top Green party leader, who called she is “daring and thoughtful”.
Before his election in 2015, Trudeau was in able to convert fatigue with Conservative Policy – and the Hope of An new, fresh way of doing politics – to a surprising parliamentary majority. Shortly afterwards, the elections of Donald Trump as president provided the perfect counterbalance to Trudeau’s image as a progressive leader.
But the forces die it in pushed the country… highest office – his promises of change, his youthful appearance and his fame – could work against it. All political leaders, especially established ones, inevitably face voter fatigue.
“You’re not just to go out and make promises and talk over how great things will be – you have to defend what happened over the past six years,” said Wherry. “Inevitably there is just wear. As much as the pandemic has strengthened and reset its image, you can’t resist gravity.”
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