Canadians’ love affair with Justin Trudeau is over, by Alan Freeman.
“All of a sudden, we saw this drop,” said David Coletto, chief executive of Abacus Data, an Ottawa polling firm, referring to his company’s latest poll, completed in early March. “It’s the first time since Trudeau became prime minister that we have results showing the Conservatives slightly ahead.”
Despite all his wacky ideas and progressive policies, this seems to be the event that did it:
Some observers say it’s just a question of midterm blues, with a Canadian election not scheduled until the fall of 2019. But the real culprit seems to have been Trudeau’s visit to India in February. During the week-long trip, Trudeau was widely mocked for wearing traditional Indian garb as he crossed India with his wife and three children.
For voters who had welcomed Trudeau’s global status as a progressive political leader and proud international standard-bearer for Canada, the images of Trudeau in brash Bollywood outfits at well-known sightseeing spots were a serious comedown.
“When you have foreign media like CNN and BBC making fun of our prime minister, that was jarring for some people and made people question whether he was the best person for the job,” Coletto said.
Mockery and derision is the most effective antidote to PC pretensions.
Women have always been partial to Trudeau, not just for his movie-star looks but also his progressive social policies and his self-description as a feminist. Nanos said this divide grew more sharply as he continued to push a pro-feminist agenda, with Trudeau having lost about one-third of his male support since 2015.
“He’s been very gender-focused,” Nanos said. “When you focus so much on gender, it means that other voters, i.e. men, aren’t as important.”