Statistics Say Trudeau Stays

There has been lots of idle speculation recently about whether Trudeau should step down as Liberal leader. If you follow this blog, you will know that I have been of the opinion for several years that he should quit before he’s too far behind. However, that was then, and this is now.

If he planned on leaving, he should have already done it to give the new leader a chance to make an impression. The recent lesson from the Conservatives is pretty plain. A new leader is at a disadvantage.


I checked a few polls to see what the public says…

“54% of Canadians say Trudeau should step down.” This is a meaningless number. 35% of Canadians are Conservative supporters who would never vote for a Liberal anyway, and don’t want him to run because he will probably win.

Note that Poilievre has achieved the hatred of 59% of us all by himself, with little help from Liberal propaganda.

“Trudeau’s popularity rating is 45%.” Under the First Past the Post electoral system, that’s a landslide win. 10 parties in the last 50 years have won with less than 40% of the popular vote, and all the last 7.

Possible seat projections for a coming election have Conservatives at 139 seats to Liberals 137. In other words, too close to call. The effect of Conservatives and NDP in Quebec seems to be key. In a race that tight, I’d say the Liberals don’t want to change horses.

Other Factors

Unfortunately, recent structure of the Liberal Party has painted them into a corner. We see this effect so often in political organizations, from amateur theatre groups all the way to federal political parties. Dictators rarely train up their own successors; it’s not in their genes. With so much power in the Prime Minister’s Office, there is little chance for backbenchers to make names for themselves, and even less chance for a challenger to Trudeau’s leadership to make any traction. Chrystia Freeland is so busy being wonderful at every job they give her that she’s had no time or energy for politicking, and there are no other names I even recognize on the potential-leaders list. Don’t be surprised if Freeland drops out. She’s going nowhere, and she deserves to be treated better.

The Bottom Line

It’s too late to do the right thing. The Liberals will now be fighting tradition; 10 years is the shelf life of most long-time prime ministers. Only three have made it to 15 years in the whole history of the country. So, they are going into an iffy election with a jaded political image and a charismatic leader with the gilt rubbed off. His best-case outcome is another minority government.

If you think about it, “hate the other leader” campaigns don’t work under Proportional Representation, because second-place votes count. If he had switched to Pro Rep like he promised, he would have had the same result for the last seven years and be in much better shape for the next election.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.