Whatever Avalon Liberal MP Ken McDonald is; Said or I was going to say The most scathing assessment of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership released this week may have come from Janet Dyke, a patron at Tiny’s Bar and Grill in Paradise, New Jersey.
“I can’t accept Justin Trudeau anymore,” she told Radio-Canada. “He has charisma…but he’s a nuisance to me.”
These comments speak to the most fundamental challenge of political leadership. The television cameras that monitor politicians every day magnify every aspect and quirk of their personality. And the odds that political leaders will overstay their welcome, like guests who are blamed for any grievances about the economy, the real estate market or gas prices, increase with each passing day.
“I think the relationship between political leaders and the people is like a marriage,” Liberal MP Marcus Pawlowski told reporters this week, venturing into a different analogy. “After many years of marriage, things sometimes don’t look as rosy as they did at the beginning of the relationship. When you ask people why, they can’t point to one specific thing, but it’s the overall picture. A lot of things. ”
Sometimes it’s the little things.
“They loved him from the beginning because of his hair. Now they hate him because of his hair,” Pawlowski continued. “But is that really a reason to vote against him?”
Prime Minister Trudeau probably doesn’t need to be universally loved to remain in power through the next federal election, his fourth as Liberal leader. Perhaps he cannot hope to do so.
But he may still need to get some of the people who are feeling a little tired of him right now to take a second (or third, or fourth) look at him.
The ups and downs of Prime Minister Trudeau’s public image
This isn’t the first time Canadians are having second thoughts about Justin Trudeau. As time passes, the public’s feelings toward him have peaked and troughed.
In the fall of 2014, more than a year after he became Liberal leader, Abacus Data found that 39 per cent of survey respondents had a positive view of Mr Trudeau; 29% of people had a negative impression of By the summer of 2015, as his own missteps and Tory attack ads damaged his reputation, his personal number was under water, with 30 per cent of his positive figures compared to 30 per cent of his negative numbers. His number was 33%.
Immediately afterward, a movement began to promote Trudeau’s appointment as prime minister. In November 2015, Abacus found that Prime Minister Trudeau had a net score of +37 (+56 per cent, -19 per cent).
As a prime minister would expect, this figure fell over the next two years. However, after that, the numbers plummeted due to the SNC and Lavalin scandal in 2019. A year later, as Canadians rallied around the federal government’s response to the pandemic, the numbers flipped in the opposite direction.
Trudeau’s numbers didn’t definitively return to negative until the 2021 election. However, antipathy toward the prime minister continued even after that, and now there is a yawning difference in the line graph between positive and negative emotions. Earlier this month, Abacus found that Trudeau’s net score was -34 (+25%, -59%), almost the reciprocal of his highest score in 2015.
What is dragging him down now?
Unlike the decline in 2019, it’s hard to point to a single event that explains the shift in public attitudes toward Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s probably a combination of things big and small.
there is several factors That would be a drag on any prime minister right now. At least some of the decline in Liberal fortunes appears to have coincided with interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada. Although inflation has fallen significantly from recent highs, the effects of high prices are still being felt. Eight years have passed since the current government was inaugurated. (Prime Minister Trudeau too. Far from being the only G7 leader Recently, he has been struggling with public opinion. )
And while voters can eventually tire of any political leader, Trudeau hasn’t always behaved like a politician concerned about wearing down the public’s patience. He is a very public Prime Minister and is unlikely to do anything quietly until the Christmas holidays.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s decline in public standing may require major action. It’s like the Liberal Party’s 2015 election ad, which squarely took on the Conservatives’ argument that Trudeau was “not ready.” But Trudeau is also currently battling media coverage that tends to interpret any major movement as evidence of despair or unrest.
What the Liberal Party can do, and perhaps must do if it wants to win the next election, is ask Canadians to look hard at their opponents.
Will the next election be a choice system or a referendum?
“The important thing is to compare him to the replacement players,” Pawlowski said this week. “And if you look at the alternatives, as Canadians get to know Pierre Poièvre more, I think a lot of people will realize, ‘Well, Trudeau isn’t that bad.'”
The Liberals increased their focus on the Conservative leader last fall, and Trudeau used much of his televised caucus address this week to highlight his differences with Poièvre.
In the lead-up to the 2019 election, Trudeau’s team internalized the idea that voting needed to be “a choice, not a referendum.” For the Liberal Party today, that framework is perhaps doubly important. The Liberal Party won the election despite Prime Minister Trudeau’s personal number being red. Prime Minister Trudeau started his campaign with 35 percent positive and 46 percent negative.
At 25%, Prime Minister Trudeau’s condition has clearly worsened. However, his personal approval rating is not far below the 33 per cent popular vote the Liberal Party won in 2021, enough to win 160 seats and remain in power.
If inflation drops enough for voters to notice, and interest rates fall along with it, it could lift some of the dark clouds surrounding Trudeau and his government. Maybe then Canadians will see him in a different light.
That may be Trudeau’s best-case scenario. On the other hand, he may reach a point (if he hasn’t already) where too many voters simply don’t want to hear from him – no matter what happens. The Trudeau government must speak for itself.a significant number of voters can’t accept him and his hair anymore.
And if the Conservative Party can turn the next election into a referendum on Prime Minister Trudeau, Canadian voters may end up deciding to marry someone completely different.