Conservative Tide: Could Canada Be Next?

New polling suggests the possibility of a historic landslide for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives.

Via Wikimedia Commons
Canada's Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, left, with President Biden at Ottawa, March 24, 2023. Via Wikimedia Commons

With center-right leaders like Giorgia Meloni and Javier Milei ascendant in Italy and Argentina, could Canada be next? That’s the prospect after new polling shows the Conservative party, led by Pierre Poilievre, trouncing incumbent Justin Trudeau’s Liberals if an election were held today. The polling emerges as Mr. Poilievre faces a reprimand for using salty language in Parliament, but such brashness could appeal to voters eager for political change.

The polling, the National Post reports, suggests the possibility of a historic landslide for Mr. Poilievre’s Conservatives, with the party “on track to capture one of the largest majorities in Canadian history.” Some 43 percent of voters would back the Conservatives, the poll from Abacus Data found, compared to just 24 percent for the Liberals. Canada’s New Democratic Party is backed by 18 percent, with the Greens at 4 percent. Elections are slated for 2025. 

One of the most striking elements in the new survey is what the National Post calls “a vast migration of Canadian women into the arms of the Tories.” That marks a dramatic shift for Canada, where female voters as recently as a year ago had backed Mr. Trudeau by a wide margin. The turnabout, in the Post’s telling, reflects the fact that “so much of Canada is going wrong right now,” it is causing “whole demographics to consider voting Tory for the first time.”

That’s certainly the view of our Conrad Black, who has excoriated Mr. Trudeau’s government for its part in holding back Canada from reaching its potential on the world stage. Lord Black laments “the decline of Canada’s competitive status as an economic and geopolitical power,” and points especially to the country’s “descent down the ladder of the world’s nations in per capita income.” He pins the problem on Mr. Trudeau’s “debacle of misgovernment.”

Under Mr. Trudeau, Lord Black reports, America’s economy “grew four times as quickly” as Canada’s, on a per capita basis, between 2016 and 2022. “Effectively stagnant” is how he sums up per capita income in the Dominion, “with no early relief in sight.” Public sector employment is growing at four times the pace of the private sector, Lord Black laments, as “federal government spending,” a hallmark of liberal governance, “has increased 75 percent.”

It’s gotten to the point, Lord Black writes, that taxes are “now a greater burden to the average Canadian family than the combination of housing, food and clothing.” He contends that Mr. Trudeau and his Liberals’ highly vaunted “green paroxysm has been a fiasco from every angle,” with “the green economy” generating but “3 percent of GDP and 1.6 percent of jobs.” No wonder polls show voters looking to Mr. Poilievre’s party for a course correction.

Politico, too, has noticed the emerging Poilievre boom, marveling how his party “has vaulted ahead in the polls by harnessing” what it calls “post-pandemic anxiety.” That’s how Politico sums up the concatenation of issues plaguing our neighbor to the north, including “high inflation, rising interest rates, and the runaway cost of home ownership.” The conservative leader, Politico notes, is filling “hotel ballrooms and banquet halls with rowdy crowds.”

Which brings us back to Mr. Poilievre’s Parliamentary reprimand. The Conservative leader’s offense, depicted in a CBC video, was uttering “W.T.F.” in remarks about corruption allegations. This was “commonly understood not to be parliamentary,” the Speaker scolded. If Mr. Poilievre’s breach of decorum reflects the frustration of Canadians with the current government, though, the next election could have the Liberals muttering even darker oaths.

The New York Sun

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