Friday, May 22, 2020

Andrew Scheer's Most Miserable Birthday Ever

It was Andrew Scheer's birthday the other day, but as you can imagine the celebrations were somewhat muted.

None of his Cons felt much like celebrating, not when so many of his Cons are afraid that thanks to Scheer they are going to lose their seats in the next election. 

And of course, this was a lousy birthday present. 

Yet another poll showing how far him and his Cons have fallen. 

While Justin Trudeau is recalibrating his government’s agenda, Canadians are showing a positive reaction to his leadership. However the reset has not been successfully managed by Andrew Scheer – perhaps the only expectations of him were to set aside partisanship but he seems to have left many in his own party, and in the CPC stronghold of Alberta feeling uncomfortable with his posturing.

But then who can be surprised? When as Tom Walkom points out, the Ugly American is still fighting the war he lost.

Pity Andrew Scheer. First, the Conservative leader lost the last federal election. Then his own party told him it was time to go. Now, as the Conservatives engage in a contest to pick a new leader to replace him, Scheer is left temporarily holding the fort.  

You’d think he would just keep his mouth shut until the new leader, whoever that might be, takes over in August. But that, it seems, is not Scheer’s style. He continues to demonize Justin Trudeau, even though polls suggest that most Canadians think the Liberal prime minister is doing a reasonable job.

And looking more out of it with every passing day...

He is still fighting the last war. He has never accepted the fact that Trudeau won the last election. As a result, he can never treat the Liberal government as legitimate. He focuses on issues, such as keeping the Commons physically open, that most people don’t care about. He treats programs that people do care about, like CERB, as hotbeds of fraud. He remains fixated on debt and deficit. 

At one level, most of this doesn’t matter. Scheer is on his way out. But until August he is the voice of his party, a voice that is increasingly strident and out of date.

Which explains why so many young Canadians support Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

And why the future belongs to us.

Poor loser Scheer, if he thought his last birthday was a downer.

I think it's safe, to say the worst is still to come...


Anonymous said...

In the last bar graph, the Libs fare WORST among young voters! This should be very concerning to the Liberal party, since people tend to establish their future voting patterns in their youth.

The old saw about people becoming more conservative as they age is not backed by social science research. The oldest cohort is pretty evenly split between Libs and Cons, with few NDP voters. This reflects the voting patterns of their youth, when the Tories stood for more than bigotry and cutting taxes on the rich. Con support drops off significantly among those who began voting after the PC collapse under Mulroney and the takeover of the party by Reform.

The NDP is eating significantly into Liberal support among younger voters. The Libs should be asking themselves whether it's worth continuing to support fossil fuels and increasing social inequality. The current health and economic crises provide an ideal opportunity to change direction.

Brian Dundas said...

Anon's comment gets to the crux, the dilemma that has had me pulling my hair out for at least a decade. A neo-Liberal, global status quo party, clinging to discredited and proven failed economic policies is, eventually, for the young, not going to cut it. That said, the Libs do yeoman's work on important social issues, with some notable exceptions (First Canadians file, etc) and are infinitely preferable to the criminally hateful and undemocratic Cons. I get, very much, Simon's and many other's need to protect themselves against the Cons. And, I vote Liberal strategically for that very reason. But, eventually, we r going to need a real left that has a vision to transform this country to a low-carbon, non-neoliberal economy The frustration is, the Libs are not doing that. And many smart young people see this truth plain as day.

Jackie Blue said...

1) Young people rarely vote. See for instance the "enthusiasm gap" between social media engagement and actually showing up to the ballot box in the US primaries where Bernie failed to meme his way into the nomination. The internet is not real life.

2) The NDP is beyond broke and even had to apply for the wage subsidy because donations are in the toilet. Their organization is shit and they'll probably fold over the next two election cycles or have to merge with the Liberals just to survive, which they should have done a long time ago anyway. Even online campaigning won't cut enough overhead to breathe life into this "zombie party just wandering down the halls."

3) Polls are not predictions. NDP support always goes up between elections then falls on e-day as people move to strategically vote to stop the Cons. The Liberal war machine is and will be far better at reminding people of all the stupid shit that came from the Cons' leadership race and their no-longer-hidden agenda of catering to the so-con lunatics. The NDP will just flail at the wrong enemy and sound like mirror-image Cons fixated on Trudeau.

4a) The Liberals don't "support inequality"; they're just not cosplay revolutionaries like the NDP and convertible-seat Greens, whose answer seems to just be shoving billionaires into wood chippers and nebulously whining that all rich people are evil. The Liberals actually have a plan, and it's one that doesn't break the bank or set unrealistic expectations up for failure. Plus, a lot of problems are provincial issues. Singh shamelessly blames Trudeau for whatever ball is in Ford or Legault's court. Want pharmacare? Take it up with Doug and tell Singh to study Canadian civics, which I'm sure he missed at his private school in Detroit.

4b) As for fossil fuels, the global markets are taking care of that, otherwise Kenney wouldn't be having his usual conniptions about Biden and the Normegians. Canada is not a basic dictatorship that can just turn their economy around on a dime. Transition doesn't happen overnight. The corporate loans, for instance, require climate plan disclosure as criteria for eligibility. That's not good enough for the kids, who want all corporations abolished and all industries nationalized. Well, no one but the "eco-socialist" guy running for the Greens is going to put out a "back to nature" hippie platform that abolishes industry and economic growth. The young people want rapid-fire pivot, which is not going to happen. You can't just "click OK to delete capitalism." I really don't see how much further or faster the Greta generation expects Western world governments and their major representative parties to go. Even the vaunted Nordic countries still have plastics and oil.

5) About the only reason I would say the Liberals have to worry about young-voter enthusiasm in the future is if daddy Trudeau puts in for retirement sooner rather than later. (Then again if he wins another majority, that's 10-12 years he'll have in office and I doubt he wants to stick around as long as his old man.) I can't really see the kids getting excited about Freeland and less so Mark Carney (???). But that brings us back to point 1) being, political stanning is what the Tik Tok generation does and it rarely translates to votes. By 2027 nobody is going to be writing Liberal or Democrat fanfic besides the dirty old men at the Buffalo Chronicle.

Nothing is set in stone and it's important not to get too cocky (after all nobody forecasted JWR's temper tantrum last January), but demographics-wise I really don't think the Liberals have much to worry about right now. In 150 years of Confederation the NDP have never formed government at the federal level, and I expect that to continue for the next 150 years. Vote Coke, the Pepsi is poison and the Orange Crush is flat.

Jackie Blue said...

Poor sad Andy, it's (not) his party but he'll cry if he wants to. I hope he had plenty of sour chocolate milk to drown his sorrows, as his polls are deflating like a punctured birthday balloon. Perhaps as an undeserved gesture of good will, some charitable person could send him one of those sheet cakes with the Trudeau beefcake artwork to cheer him up and nurse his obsession with his hate-crush? Or will that have to wait for his retirement party that's sure to function as an airing of grievances from his clown car caucus. Maybe he'll crash at Rempel's tumbleweed farm or shuffle off to Buffalo and have a Friar's Club Roast. Blow out the candles and enjoy your summer Andy, you've been the best early Christmas birthday gift that Justin Trudeau ever had.

Jackie Blue said...

But "neo-liberal" is just a fancy buzzword for capitalist isn't it? Even Norway and New Zealand are capitalist countries, just with some tweaks and strong regulations. If the younger vote determines that support for capitalism is a dealbreaker, then the younger vote has become irreconcilable because I don't even really think they know what they're calling for. I like Jacinda. Her four day work week is a nice idea in theory, but it won't pan out anyplace else. Socialism in its purest form doesn't mesh with human nature. Humans, deep down, are still territorial monkeys. They squabble, they form tribes and hierarchies, and they don't like to share. But I digress.

Trudeau the younger is probably the furthest-left Liberal PM since his father and Pearson, maybe slightly more to the center due to present realities but can comparisons really be made to the conditions of 40-50 years ago? Plus, short of completely revamping the constitution and running roughshod over the provinces, I don't think there's much further that he could realistically go. Not without alienating the median voter, pushing Quebec and/or Alberta to a national divorce, or radical impossibilities like expropriating bank accounts and pissing the wrong people off such that he doesn't see his own fiftieth birthday. And I would venture a guess that he wants to live long enough to walk Ella-Grace down the aisle and "just watch her" win a majority government... 👍

He means well and has been doing a very good job. I think in fact he wants to go slightly further, but is held back somewhat by the insular silo at Finance and some blue Grits who he still has to keep onside. He is not a radical, but strikes a good balance and we'd be more than happy to duplicate him down here. The dilemma is he can't go all-in on the gen-Z vote that wants the moon but doesn't bother to turn out on election day, not without all those other groups who do show up bailing for the Cons. Capitalism, however, isn't going anywhere regardless of who's in office. That's either good or bad or meh depending on your point of view, but regardless of opinion, it simply is.

Steve said...

as I understand it and it may be post natal portrum spin. Is that Dear Leader personally leaked the documents that made the base half crazy. Not crazy enough to appoint a interim leader, after all his children needed to finish school in their subsidized home. But crazy enough to kill his political child.

Steve said...

you are correct sir. revolution is hard, change is incremental. Legal Pot, paradigm shift, star trek economy, not so much.

jrkrideau said...

@ Jackie Blue6:18 PM

1) Young people rarely vote.

Voter turnout by age group, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections
2019 2015 2011
18 to 24 years 68 67 55
25 to 34 years 71 70 59
35 to 44 years 75 75 65
45 to 54 years 78 79 73
55 to 64 years 81 83 80
65 to 74 years 85 86 84
75 years and + 79 80 79

There is not tha big a difference in Canada and by the next election a lot of those 15=24 year olds will be in the 25-34 group thugh who knows if that will affect voting rates.

I think @Anonymous4:19 PM has a point though this is not a time for the Liberals to panic.

An amalgamation of the Libs and NDP would be nice but the Liberals Party is more or less centre-right so it might be painful.

jrkrideau said...

@ Jackie Blue6:18 PM

The NDP is beyond broke and even had to apply for the wage subsidy because donations are in the toilet.

True but Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties apply for federal wage subsidy as donations dry up

The NDP made its application for government money public today, while the Liberal and Conservative parties acknowledged to CBC they were receiving the subsidy when asked to comment on the NDP's request for support payments.

The Liberal and Conservative parties said they're receiving the subsidy already, while the NDP submitted its paperwork today.

I'd say this reflects better on the NDP than the Cons & Libs though the NDP cash situation must be worse.

Just to be snarky, Scheer probably was hoping for cash in small bills in a Pampers bag

Simon said...

Hi anon@4:19....No they don't. In the 18-29 category the Liberals lead all other parties, and do even better in the 30-44 demographic. It's true that the NDP has eaten into the Liberal youth support,mouth with the Liberals more than twice as popular as the NDP, I don't think that's keeping Justin Trudeau awake at night. I do agree however that the Liberals need to do better on the fossil fuel front, but with Kenney and the Alberta separatists in power that's not as easy as some might imagine....

Simon said...

Hi Brian....I don't disagree with what you say, which is why in the four of the elections I have voted in, I chose to support the NDP, only to defect to the Liberals when I realized that only they could defeat the Cons. Having said that I have been enormously impressed by Justin Trudeau. In an increasingly fascist world he has stood up for women's rights and gay rights better that any prime minister I have ever seen. My ultimate dream is to see the Liberals and the NDP unite and take this country further to the left. But I have had that dream all my adult life so I'm not holding my breath...

Simon said...

HI Jackie....While it's true that young Vanadians don't have a stifling voting record, in the 2015 el cation they turned out in large numbers, and helped Justin Trudeau win his majority. They are now the largest voting bloc, and if Trudeau does more to fight climate change they can help him win another majority. Climate change and the pandemic are going to change the political landscape and it's up to progressives to take full advantage of it....

Simon said...

Hi Jrkrideau...lThanks for providing she numbers to prove my case. Without the support of younger voters Trudeau would never have won his majority. And it's not as if young Canadians are too lazy to vote, the real problem is that the parties don't do enough to address their concerns so why bother?

Simon said...

Hi Steve....I'm all for a revolution, but you're right it will be hard. This is still a very small-c conservative country, and the biggest problem for me is how are we going to stop the fascists who are a growing threat to the values I believe in...

lagatta à montréal said...

The only way to move a country (whether Canada or Québec) to the left is a) take part in social movements; not just mass demonstrations such as the climate strikes and the student movement here in 2012, but also day-to-day grassroots work in popular associations, trade unions etc and support parties that are actually on the left (despite my strong criticisms of the NDP, I do include them), and here, Québec solidaire and Projet Montréal.

Good of Jackie to approve of a solid social-democrat who also takes a strong stance on Indigenous, women's and immigration/anti-racist issues ... too bad she happens to be PM in a country about as far as it is possible to get from here.

Really, the behaviourist twaddle on "human nature"; which actually changes a great deal in different cultures and historical periods... Suppose I'm fortunate to be a little less exposed to that right-wing cant, and in my riding, to have actually seen all the left candidates I supported and worked for actually get elected.

Steve said...

one last comment. in the old days when you went to university every floor had a weak andy, they were shunned. Today its a career path?

lagatta à montréal said...

Not a very successful one...