I think it is fair that Canada is fed up with government, and as the federal government is something that most Canadian think that is ultimately in control of everything, the provincial governments escape the wrath of the voters. And with the key issues right now on housing and healthcare, provinces should be the first to take the blame.

In general, most voters are hopelessly mis- and under-informed. I am currently finishing the basement and have different contractors over every day. Sometimes small talk goes into politics and I gently probe what they base their political opinions on. It is interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that most of them, have no clue that:

Canada had 1/3 of the Covid deaths per capita of the US or the UK. And 1/2 of countries like Germany. Canada did really well in this area.

Inflation in Europe was almost 2 times worse in Europe than in Canada. Most of them think that Canada is the worst.

Food prices in the US (no carbon tax) have risen the same or slightly more than in Canada (with a carbon tax).

All these things are facts, easily verified, and yet, people believe the opposite. Just like Poilievre is relentless in claiming that Trudeau is personally responsible for every problem in the world, the Liberals need to relentless in educating the public about the actual facts are.

Expand full comment

Tbh I don't think that this will necessarily work for the LPC... most people simply aren't swayed that much by facts, and instead base their political opinions on "vibes"... If the CPC has convinced 40+% of the Canadian population that the LPC are "destroying "Canada, then I don't think that you can convince most of these people otherwise...

Expand full comment

If the Liberal response is to go all in on negative ads about Polievre they might as well pack it in now. If they don't come up with some smart policies to deal with housing quickly, so that by the time the next election comes around the housing crisis can be viewed as marginally less bad they're toast.

Expand full comment

Never count on a poll, I belong to many I never get asked a political question or who I vote for

Expand full comment

Well said! The ship has not sunk but it is listing. Time is still on our side for the correction to be made.

Expand full comment

The Liberals need to get serious about economic issues. As far as I can tell, economic issues bore Mr. Trudeau and most of the people around him.

I get the sense that the Liberals are not altogether united on housing. Too many of their voters own housing, and would not like to see the price of housing come down. And of course rents are tied to house prices.

But the Liberals are getting one policy right, i.e. tie grants to municipalities to the number of new housing units built, whether by reforming zoning regulations or lightening the bureaucratic load on builders, etc. I note that tying funding to increased housing was originally a policy proposed by Mr. Poilievre -- the only one of his policy proposals that made any sense -- and the Liberals stole it.

Canadian productivity, which drives Canadians' standard of living, has fallen for eleven quarters now, and is well below that of workers in the US or the EU. Perhaps reform of the tax system. Certainly more free trade deals -- and no more using them as a lever to try to impose our values on other countries (cultural imperialism at its finest).

Expand full comment

It is the other way around with housing. Poilievre stole it from the Liberals. The program and its rules has is been public for awhile. Poilievre just simplified it and claimed it as his own.

Expand full comment

Actually, the idea is quite old. I first heard it some twenty years ago from Richard Simeon, who was giving a course on federalism when I was in law school. Who knows whether it was original even with him?

I would say that, while the idea isn't original to Mr. Poilievre, he has focused on it to a much greater extent than the Liberals, who until recently had a housing strategy that tried to be all things to all people and as a result was not focused on this measure, but who have since recovered.

I have talked to Liberals who, as recently as a year ago, looked quite queasy at the thought of a policy that (through increasing supply) would bring house prices down. They preferred subsidizing buyers so as to afford the high prices. This, of course, is the road to even higher prices.

Expand full comment

Unless the Liberals can pull a rabbit out of the hat like UBI or an offer by government to do the actual building of affordable housing as per the WW2 affordable housing project, then they are screwed when it comes to the next election.

Expand full comment

I believed a number of years ago when the liberals were down and almost out that bringing in Justin was the answer and sure enough they came back from the grave. Now, I again believe Justin is the answer but this time booting him is the only hope.. Christia F would do the trick.

Expand full comment

Ms Freeland is unelectable aside from whatever Riding she currently lives in.

Imagine the camera ISO’s on her while debating a creep like PollyEver ..

Does one actually think Trudeau would ‘Cut & Run’ + plus set that up as ‘Legacy’ ?

Fight The Battles You Can Win.. PollyEver has plenty of time to drone his dogma

Is this all he’s got ? Sympathetic Pollsters churning up a narcissistic arrogant creep as a ‘Winner’ ?

Can he even ‘hold’ Carleton Riding ? Give me one good reason he actually can !

So far he’s afraid to even show his face there - instead surfacing cross country in safe evangelical Ridings

to essentially all white, polite church going bored people, mainly over age 45

& doing selfies with any people of colour they can find, ideally with children .. as props

It’s been an astonishing performance so far - complete with facial & body makeover

and of course his darling Ana.. quite the pair of political parasites

Expand full comment

Not Chrystia. At one time perhaps but not now. Too much of Trudeau has worn off on her. Anita Anand would be a good choice IMHO. But I agree, Trudeau is the albatross. Time for his "walk in the snow" as they say. But I doubt he'll agree to that, so he'll likely take the party down with him. I just hope pipsqueak Pete digs a very deep grave for himself and the cabal before the next election. And if they do win, I sure hope it's a minority.

Expand full comment

.. her unfortunate & somewhat bizarre ‘facial quirking or twerking’ just distracts & destroys credibility

My very first University Class & Lecture was Soil Science 101

The dear man suffered from Tourette Syndrome.. and ‘barked like a dog’ to introduce himself

Ms Freedman ? They’ve barely gone there yet.. but they will..

& people like me want to know about her (our ?) leadership re ‘The Lima Convention’

This mystery is deeply related to The Alberta Tar Sands Extraction, Toxic ‘Venting’

& Alberta Pension Fund ownership with South Korea Pensions of BC’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline to Kitimat

What are we doing in South America Ms Freedman ?

Expand full comment

Have you read the most recent Fred DeLorey substack ? If not - why not ?

My suggestion is read his previous 2 or 3 .. He may be the only sane CPC of the diseased bunch

Expand full comment

No, I haven't. I'll give it a read. Thanks for suggesting it.

Expand full comment

I agree with Thomas D'Arcy O'Donnell - Chrystia Freeland is unelectable outside of TO & she'd probably lose some of the TO ridings they currently hold. She is just as out of touch with the real world as the PM is.

Expand full comment

While I am a big fan of your work, I strongly disagree with most of this column.

As an NDP supporter, here is what I see team PP doing: splitting the NDP coalition by courting union supporting but culturally conservative Dippers; appealing to blue, John Manley-Liberals; seeking to divide the Bloc coalition by trying to win Quebeckers who don't support the Quebec elite consensus (this group is bigger than many think); making sure that PPC voters stay in the Conservative tent; and for good measure winning the odd Green voter who are really protest voters.

I get why you argue that PP is a Rorschach test that people can use to project their various anti-Trudeau feelings. However, I think you are failing to give team PP proper credit. It's just not Jagmeet's Rolex watch, Trudeau's trust-fund politics, the Bloc's vulnerability in non-urban areas, or Elizabeth May's irrelevancy that have team blue way ahead. A lot has to do with strategic decisions by the Conservatives that are paying off.

Expand full comment

I sincerely hope you sent a copy of this to our LIberal colleagues. All is not lost, but much work is required.

Expand full comment