There’s good news and bad news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The bad news is that he’s dipping in the polls. For the first time since he was elected in the fall of 2015, Trudeau’s approval rating has dipped below 50 per cent.
The good news is that his approval rating remains higher than those of his two primary opponents, Jagmeet Singh of the NDP and Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives. So Trudeau is still the most approved-of federal leader.
But the further bad news, the polling company Angus Reid reports, is that more Canadians (46%) say it is “time for a change” than say the Liberals should be reflected (32%).
But further good news, Trudeau has plenty of time to shore up the numbers before the next federal election, almost two years away.
But Scheer and Singh have that time too. It’s just that neither of them is exactly catching fire with the average Canadian voter.
Scheer’s approval rating sits at 35 per cent according to Angust Reid. His disapproval sits at 36 per cent. And a whopping 29 per cent are unsure of the new leader. It goes without saying that he’s got work to do. He’s got to do more to introduce himself to Canadians. I’m willing to bet right now that if you showed Scheer’s picture to the average person on the street, they’d be hard pressed to tell you who it was.
Singh appeared briefly in the news this week, but it was because he got engaged, not for any political maneuvering. Singh also remains without a seat in Parliament. He has said he’s open to running for a seat — which, yeah, you kind of should be if you want to be Prime Minister — but he wants to find seat that had an “authentic connection” for him. Last month, Catherine McIntyre of Macleans Magazine posited that not having a seat could serve Singh well. First, he could lose a by-election, which would not be a good look. Second, he can stay above the fray, and the ugliness, and the partisanship of the House of Commons, and work the room from afar.
But he won’t be there for Question Period. And I don’t know about you, but I always found former NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair at his most impressive during Question Period.
So, not being in Parliament, Singh has to find another way to get his face in front of the cameras. And he probably will — he’s proven adept at social media thus far. But the fact remains, at least for me, that i’d like the candidate for Prime Minister to sit in the House. Notwithstanding, Singh’s experience in the Ontario Legislature, I’d really like to see him in the House, to get a better picture of how he operates.
Here in B.C., Premier John Horgan has finally found the time to call a by-election in Kelowna West to replace Christy Clark. Remember, he said he was too busy to call that by-election? I think he suddenly found the time only because the seat has been vacant for six months and he has to call the election. The BC Liberals are fairly confident that it’s going to go to their man, Ben Stewart, which would make the NDP minority a little tighter. Running for the NDP are Shelley Cook and Robert Stupka for the Green Party. Election date is Valentine’s Day.
By the way, the latest poll numbers in December show that Premier Horgan is the second most popular premier in Canada with a 49 per cent approval rating. Which is right around Trudeau levels, but Horgan’s is being framed as a positive, because he’s staying steady at those numbers and Trudeau’s as a negative, because he’s slipped. Go figure.