Citizen X on Canadian election 2015, VIII : Justin Trudeau is a rock star .. and that’s the simplest truth?

Oct 18th, 2015 | By | Category: In Brief

“In an interview broadcast on CTV’s Question Period Sunday, the mother of three shared some insights into her family, issues close to her, and the possibility of leading a more public life.”

It’s now well into the evening … and we’re all back from Midland, Ontario, land of alluring autumn leaves and morning ice … and (October 16–18, 2015) archaeologists, aboriginal peoples, and others from Ontario, Quebec, and the Eastern States Archaeological Federation …  and, finally, a place where one studious young lady with cute curly hair said this morning, on noticing yet another report on the TV in the coffee shop : “Thank God this election will be over tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, I’ve had a quick last-minute look at various sources. Éric Grenier, master of the CBC Poll Tracker, has deftly summed up what seems to me the current consensus (as read by the CBC Poll Tracker, of course) : “Liberals poised for win barring Conservative surprise … Long and winding campaign has turned a three-way race into a contest with a clear leader.”

Mr. Grenier also aptly goes on : “the polls, at least, suggest that the day will go to the Liberals, installing Justin Trudeau as Canada’s next prime minister.” But the “gap that exists between the Liberals and Conservatives in the Poll Tracker is not wide enough to give the Liberals a high probability of reaching the 170-seat mark required for a majority government. It is also not wide enough to rule out the possibility the Conservatives could eke out more seats than the Liberals nationwide.”

In either of these last two cases — ie a Liberal or a (little less likely?) Conservative minority government (that will soon enough fall to the Liberals and the New Democrats doing something together), Justin Trudeau will have won as prime minister. But Thomas Mulcair will have won a game card called : you can’t ever pass a budget and get money to pay the bills unless you’re nice to me (well … my party really).  And if the two parties have to come together to defeat and then replace a new Conservative minority government, the NDP position will be even stronger.

The last Nanos poll ...

All this seems broadly consistent with the assessment in my aging mentor Randall White’s Ontario News Watch posting this past Thursday : “The Ghosts Of Canadian Elections Past ..  And The Mystery Of Election 2015 .”

The concluding Nanos numbers, on the other hand, are at least pointing to the bigger (and to some of us not exactly welcome) prospect of a Liberal majority government.  See, eg : “Nanos tracking: Liberals hit 39.1% support, Conservatives 30.5%.” The new Democrats, on this reading, are as low as 19.7%.  (And Jean Chretien’s Liberals won a majority of seats in parliament with 41.2% of the vote in 1993, 38.5% in 1997, and 40.9% in 2000. And the last Forum Poll today puts the Liberals at 40%,) If you are nonetheless still worried about or even just hoping for  minority government, click on : “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below. Meanwhile, remember, as our friends advise in the Great Republic to the south : Vote Early and Often.

* * * *

“This morning when Justin Trudeau was at 680 CJOB there was a lineup down the hall to the studio – just to get a picture with him.” Winnipeg, July 23, 2015.

If you are nonetheless still worried about or even just hoping for  minority government (of which we’ve now had a considerable number in Canada, including Mr. Harper’s first two governments, of 2006 and 2008), the CBC News site has you covered for the time being with :

* “Minority government could force Governor General to flex constitutional muscle … If it’s required, Gov. Gen. David Johnston can wield real power” (Kathleen Harris) ; and

* The 1st thing the Gov. Gen. should do in case of a minority? ‘Nothing’ … Constitutional expert wrote in 1984 what the Gov. Gen. does if no party gets a clear majority.” (Terry Milewski. And the constitutional expert here, btw, is the late great Eugene Forsey, nicely revived by his daughter!)

Meanwhile, I think myself the bottom line to what has finally happened (if that is what the democratic people finally decide in the actual ballot box) is that Justin Trudeau  has developed into a rock star.

And in the world we have today, you just can’t beat a rock star in politics, unless you have another rock star. And while both Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair are men of talent and ability, each of them in their own way seems the opposite of a real rock star.

Why not? The world today just may be crazy enough for it to work. And can you think of a better strategy when you’re finally finishing as the number three guy who just may have a big enough hand in the end?.

Meanwhile again, I liked “International coverage of Canadian election triggers memories of Pierre Trudeau” in the Toronto Star.

Especially when it went on :”How  is the rest of the world covering the Canadian election?. … A New Yorker online piece described conflicting feelings in Canada over Trudeau’s son leading the polls. His victory, it said, would be ‘an operatic turn in a long-running Canadian psychodrama.’” (And who says Americans don’t know Canada? Or did a Canadian expat write that?)

Finally, I’m told the most popular piece on the counterweights site at the moment is something my good semi-humourous friend Dominic Berry wrote, back on January 5, 2007, when Stephen Harper had been in office for not quite a year.  It’s called “Where is Canada going .. does Pierre Trudeau’s new grandson have anything to do with it?” And I think I can best end these final thoughts just before the October 19, 2015 Canadian federal election by quoting a few key paragraphs from this (written again by my friend Dominic Berry, back in the first days of 2007 :

“However you look at it, something about Pierre Elliott Trudeau still somehow stands for some kind of almost spiritual Canadian aspiration, rooted in all of bilingualism, multiculturalism, the rugged land, Lord Acton, and the transportation technology of the aboriginal peoples. And whatever this is still attracts more than a few diverse hearts and minds among old and new Canadians alike, and in various parts of the country today.

PHOTO : MARK BLINCH / REUTERS.

“From a distance it does sometimes seem that Sophie Gregoire has been helping both her husband Justin and his younger brother Alexandre come to grips with their own destinies in such a bright light. Now the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s first grandson has been born. And the mother is not Sophie Gregoire, but her friend Zoe Bedos …

“It has all the makings of a good story for the essential tabloid press, whatever else. Even the hard-nosed players who disparaged Justin Trudeau’s dilettante dabbling at the recent leadership convention in Montreal can see that the birth of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s first grandson has some at least longer-term advantages for the Liberal Party of Canada.

“Let all the critics laugh and make bad jokes. Say what you like, etc. This is a kind of fun that none of the old natural governing party’s rivals can match. It will probably not help the Liberals win the next election. But – as foolish as it certainly all is – it does somehow suggest that they really do know how to plan ahead.”

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