Could a change be happening in Canada's National politics?

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Could a change be happening in Canada's National politics?

Smarmy Justin, climate comatose Scheer, and the possible underestimation of Jagmeet Singh

 

by Charlie Smith on January 19th, 2019 at 4:47 AM

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  • All things considered, it's been a good week for Jagmeet Singh—perhaps the best since he was elected NDP leader in October 2017.

  • All things considered, it's been a good week for Jagmeet Singh—perhaps the best since he was elected NDP leader in October 2017.JAGMEET SINGH

These days, the leader of the federal NDP is all over the media.

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Jagmeet Singh benefited from a blizzard of publicity when the federal Liberal candidate in Burnaby South, Karen Wang, withdrew and then wanted to get back into the by-election campaign.

Singh took the high road, emphasizing that he wasn't personally offended by her comment on Chinese social media that he is of Indian ancestry.

He talked about the importance of bringing people together, regardless of their racial backgrounds.

And he refused to get dragged into discussions about whether members of his party want him out as leader.

In a word, Singh came across as authentic.

That counts for a lot in politics.

He's in an excellent position to win the Burnaby South by-election.

In contrast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared inauthenticas he tried to sugar-coat Jody Wilson-Raybould's demotion from minister of justice to minister of veterans affairs.

Trudeau also sounds inauthentic when he talks about fighting climate change while supporting liquefied-natural-gas projects and pipelines.

And he's increasingly looking inauthentic on one of his signature issues—promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Before the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau posed for a photo with Jody Wilson-Raybould on the shoreline to reflect how

Before the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau posed for a photo with Jody Wilson-Raybould on the shoreline to reflect how "B.C. was in his blood".

LIBERAL 2015 PLATFORM SCREEN SHOT

In fact, Trudeau can seem downright smarmy when he stands at a podium virtue-signalling to progressives that he's one of them when he's actually pursuing the objectives of Big Oil.

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But after more than three years in power, Canadians are learning that while Trudeau talks a good game on the climate and Indigenous issues, he doesn't always deliver.

One poll has his personal approval rating at the same level as Stephen Harper's a year before the 2015 election.

It's clear that the public isn't entirely satisfied with Trudeau. And many urban and suburban voters will never vote for Scheer's Conservatives.

It's not out of the question that a growing number of Canadians might start to look upon Singh as the least worst of the three major leaders.

Today, he'll speak at the nomination meetings of two experienced NDP politicians: Svend Robinson and Don Davies.

The narrative will start to change from rats leaving the sinking NDP ship to established NDP veterans sticking around in the hopes of having influence on a minority government.

This will be especially true if NDP MP Murray Rankin chooses to seek reelection in Victoria.

All of this offers the prospect of generating momentum for Singh's NDP.

Veteran NDP MP Don Davies is running for a fourth time in Vancouver Kingsway, which could help change the narrative around Jagmeet Singh's leadership.

Veteran NDP MP Don Davies is running for a fourth time in Vancouver Kingsway, which could help change the narrative around Jagmeet Singh's leadership.

NDP has compelling marketing messages

I can see the political ads to come: vote for NDP candidates to force Trudeau to keep his promises next time around.

Vote NDP to keep the Liberals accountable on the environment and Indigenous issues.

Don't give the untrustworthy Trudeau another blank cheque in 2019.

Vote NDP for true cannabis amnesty.

Vote NDP for humane physician-assisted dying legislation.

Vote NDP to truly end the war on drugs, treat addiction as a health issue, and save the lives of sick Canadians.

Vote NDP so people will never have to choose between prescription drugs and keeping food in the cupboard.

Vote NDP for a national housing plan with teeth.

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These are compelling political messages for progressive voters.

In the eyes of some, Singh is already coming across as more trustworthy than Trudeau or Scheer.

This is not something you're hearing nowadays from the grizzled, cynical veterans in the national news media or from the pollsters who serve as Canada's political oracles. They're too busy deriding Singh as not being ready for prime time.

Then again, they said the same thing about Trudeau when his party was in third place in 2015.

Before the writ was dropped that year, the pundits didn't foresee the Liberals accelerating down the back stretch and pulling ahead of their opponents.

Keep in mind that at this stage, the NDP appears very unlikely to win a national election with Singh as leader.

But there are grounds to believe that he will wield tremendous influence should the Liberals or Conservatives be held to a minority of seats in Parliament.

Singh's best days in politics may still be ahead of him.

 

 

https://www.straight.com/news/1190431/smarmy-justin-climate-comatose-sch...

Sean in Ottawa

I always react to the "change is happening" theory in politics. We hear how slow change is. The truth is that there is no evidence to support this view. Political change is rapid when it happens. I see politics as a series of tipping points where pressure builds and then sudden change happens. The illusion of slow political change comes from averaging the rapid change over the long periods of inertia.

I say this here becuase of the title, but also to make the point that people often see political surprises becuase they see a power structure that seems resistant to change; able to withstand scandal and other bad news. Then suddenly it changes and we re-imagine a process in hindsight to average all that inertia with the earthquake.

People who have been here a while might remember what I wrote in 2010. There were prediction of 4-5 NDP seats after Mulcair's election. At the time I stated that was the least likely: the NDP would either burst through with over 20 seats or remain shut out with Mulcair and maybe one more. The reason is simple: people are similar to each other. What makes one person become ready for change makes many more or does not exist. A power when it is weak cracks - a crack will go across the entire surface -- not just a corner. slow political change is an illusion - we usual wait a long time for it but when it happens it is much more significant.

Having said that the NDP has a problem -- it is withdrawn to a small natural state. Without change the next election for the NDP will be heart-breaking especially since the vote is spread out and likely more inefficient than it has been in a long time. 18% of the vote with nothing in Quebec (as was the previous 2011 situation) would produce more seats than 20% spread evenly across the country. In the last election the NDP was still more concentrated in Quebec and able to get more seats there. (The 2015 result gave the NDP 28 outside Quebec and 16 inside also benefiting greatly from incumbancy). These numbers may be comparable to previous numbers but this should be seen with caution given the much larger House.

However, if something propels the party upwards, it would take little additional support to change the story. At about 23% the NDP vote would likey produce a larger number of seats. The party is tracking between 15 and 18% mostly now. A bump of 5-8 points is quite possible during a writ period (as is a loss of that much).

My concern is that the scenarios that would give rise to an NDP bump are less likely than those that could produce an equal size loss which would put the party below party status:

1) difficulty matching other parties in spending

2) close Lib-Conservative fight drive more to vote strategically - this can happen if the Bernier party does not succeed in drawing votes from the Conservatives. The likelihood of a possible Conservative government could drive NDP voters to the Liberals.

3) If the Bernier party gets traction and the Conservatives move to the right on some issues to contain it, this could set up the very battle the Liberals want where the risk of a Conservative government is reduced but the risk of damage should it win after all is increased.

4) Voters may vote out of concern for the economy which unfairly is bad for the NDP

However, scenarios such as the following are also possible:

1) sympathy for the third party seen as an underdog

2) If Bernier's party gets traction, then the Conservatives could be less of a threat making it more attractive to vote NDP to mitigate a Liberal win or protest "safely."

Then there is the dynamic a low NDP vote at the start of the campaign could deliver:

1) An NDP vote that is below its normal capacity could produce a correction that could provide momentum upwards. Low expectations when confounded are often not just corrected but an over-correction can occur.

2) A strong campaign from Singh (possibly even one directed towards those who looked with hope to the Liberals in 2015 but who have been disapointed) would come as a surprise and could throw many presumptions and even preferences out the window and a new dynamic could occur.

3) Canadians over the last few decades seem to have warmed up to the notion of minority governments and could vote for smaller parties without concern about creating one.

4) The sleeper issue of supporters of election reform could bite the Liberals if they asked the NDP to support them in the FPTP system as it would highlight the broken promise. I suspect there may still be more supporters of PR than present supporters of the NDP, even if this is a minority. The way the Liberals broke their promise on this is not pretty.

There is another dynamic which is the Green vote. This conventionally may lead some to presume that it is bad news for the NDP, and it could be, but it could also narrow things to the benefit of the NDP in terms of dynamics such as increasing the momentum against the major parties and changing the narrative of the election. It could also lead to some tag-teaming between the Greens and the NDP on issues where the fact that more than one party could make the same argument could be mutually supportive as we saw in the 2011 debates.

The greatest political variable, however, is not the NDP, as much as many may suggest that it is. This variable remains with the Liberals. The Conservatives hate Trudeau and that is a given. How people left of the Conservatives feel about Trudeau is a significant question. If Trudeau loses some votes to the Conservatives but they lose a corresponding number of votes to Bernier's party, the Liberals might look weaker on the left than they are prepared for. If the anger at Trudeau, which is mostly coming from the right in the population, spreads to the left, then the NDP has an opening if all else good happens for the NDP. However, if the left is largely satisfied with Trudeau and concerned by the Conservatives the Liberals are much less vulnerable.

Another two variables remain the economy generally and also how foreign relations affect it. This election, given relations between Canada and China and Trump, could make foreign relations more of an issue than usual in a Canadian  election.

The last variable is the dynamic of social media and manipulation. This ought not to be taken lightly. Canada has much greater risk even than the US in this area for a couple simple reasons:

1) Canadian elections are less expensive, so it costs less to manipulate it

2) With the limitations on corporate donations, there is a real atttraction to shadowy social media spending that could be even greater than in the US

3) There seems to be a denial of the potential for election meddling in Canada and a presumption that the only risk of it would come from the Russians. As such, I think Canada is not preparing well enough for the kind of manipulation we are most likely to see. Corporate and big money efforts to influence the campaign are a significant threat from inside the country and there are more threats from US interests that are far greater in Canada and have significant policy desires, more than from more distant countries. Social media has opened up an area of influence on elections that was not there previously when limitations on spending were designed. The right may be better equiped than the left to take advatnage. This is not to say that the Chinese, Saudis and the Russians would not, particularly out of anger for various statements from the Trudeau government, be interested in the next election here as well. I think the emphasis on the outside which is a real but reduced threat has been backwards and this, to the extent that the threat is less credible, has minimized the argument that greater security over the election needs to take place. It is also coming at a time of reduced capacity for the NDP financially.

 

voice of the damned

Vote NDP for true cannabis amnesty.

"But, Trudeau already legalized it, dude!!"

Is how the average legalization-motivated voter is going to see the issue. I doubt the issue of an amnesty is on the minds of too many people who don't have a record for pot.

Vote NDP to keep the Liberals accountable on the environment and Indigenous issues.

This might work if the NDP was running against a Reform-style Conservative government, with their right-flank getting high media visibility with outrageous statements about how cows cause global-warming and how "indians" need to stop protesting and get jobs. As it is, though, I don't think you're gonna have much luck trying to frame Justin Trudeau as anything other than progressive on those particular issues.

And, yeah, I don't doubt that among the Straight's readership, there is a hefty contingent of people who DO make a distinction between the Liberals and the NDP, to the favour of the latter. That's not your average voter, though. 

 

 

montgomery

A couple of factors that will make a real difference:

1. Canada follows the US's political momentum and unfortunately they've been conned into moving to the right. After all, Trump's just a corporate psychopath who fooled the ordinary people into believing he was offering them the same as Bernie Sanders. And fwiw, the appeal to most of the Trump believers is a strong appeal to their sense of 'selves' being served by promotion of racism. But the light in the tunnel comes when they find that Trump has bullshitted them. Then those people are going to be looking for 'socialism' to some degree. Even though Americans won't be able to swallow the label. And that's when Canada will move with the backswell. We need to be ready because it's going to happen soon and most likely in a violent way!

2. In the US,  likely the most important consideration for a political candidate, bigger than any other consideration, is a handsome or pretty face. Too bad but that likely carries over to Canada too. Let's recruit Tom Cruz or one of their teen actresses to lead the NDP.

3. Number 1 and number 2 are not happy facts, but they're still facts. 

bekayne

montgomery wrote:

2. In the US,  likely the most important consideration for a political candidate, bigger than any other consideration, is a handsome or pretty face. Too bad but that likely carries over to Canada too. Let's recruit Tom Cruz or one of their teen actresses to lead the NDP.

3. Number 1 and number 2 are not happy facts, but they're still facts. 

I hope you meant Tom Cruise rather than Ted Cruz

montgomery

bekayne wrote:

montgomery wrote:

 

2. In the US,  likely the most important consideration for a political candidate, bigger than any other consideration, is a handsome or pretty face. Too bad but that likely carries over to Canada too. Let's recruit Tom Cruz or one of their teen actresses to lead the NDP.

3. Number 1 and number 2 are not happy facts, but they're still facts. 

I hope you meant Tom Cruise rather than Ted Cruz

Yeah, I meant Tom Cruise. Sorry I got the spelling wrong. So what do 'you' think? Have I missed something more important or did I pretty well nail it?

Just to add to the meaning of the whole thing, this is the perfect place to summon up Hitler. He used the Jews to move the hearts and minds of the German people. This is exactly the same tactic Trump is using with the emigrants and the Hispanics and the blacks stealing whitey's jobs. There's going to be a big backlash coming! 

NorthReport

More First Nations leaders question Trudeau cabinet shuffle after Grand Chief Stewart Phillip's blast on APTN

 

by Charlie Smith on January 18th, 2019 at 2:15 PM

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  • In 2014, Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted this photo of her with Justin Trudeau at the Vancouver Pride parade.

 

  • In 2014, Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted this photo of her with Justin Trudeau at the Vancouver Pride parade.JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD

https://www.straight.com/news/1190211/more-first-nations-leaders-question-trudeau-cabinet-shuffle-after-grand-chief-stewart