Home Feature Trudeau sinks in polls as scandal takes toll

Trudeau sinks in polls as scandal takes toll

by Yucatan Times
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OTTAWA (Reuters) – When Justin Trudeau took office in late 2015, he was considered a “political golden boy” who give the impression he was going to build on the legend of his father, who govern Canada for more than 15 years.

So far, six months ahead the election, polls suggest the 47-year-old politician could become the first prime minister to lose power after a single majority mandate since the 1930s. Trudeau is stuck in a scandal over alleged interference in a corporate corruption case that has led to the resignations of two Cabinet members, his top advisor and the head of the federal civil service.

The Liberals have lost 6 percentage points since the start of the year, ceding the lead to the rival Conservatives, according to a Nanos Research poll published. If an election were held now, the Conservatives would win 34.9 percent of the vote, the Liberals 32.8 percent and the left-leaning New Democratic Party 16.6 percent. The poll suggests the result would be deadlock or a fragile minority government. An Ipsos poll from last month put the Conservatives at 40 percent, 10 points ahead of the Liberals.

Trudeau, has pushed a progressive agenda in support of gender equality, the environment and aboriginal rights, all issues that appeal to his core voters, however, he is tangled in a scandal involving SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a prominent Montreal-based engineering and construction firm accused of bribing Libyan officials to get contracts between 2001 and 2011.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, the first indigenous justice minister in Canadian history, resigned over the scandal. Former Treasury Board chief Jane Philpott also quit in protest. Both amongst the highest-profile women in Trudeau’s Cabinet.

Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker said even before the crisis erupted in early February, Trudeau’s support had been softening amid complaints he had broken major commitments such as reforming the voting system and balancing the budget by 2019.

In a bid to finally put the scandal behind him, Trudeau expelled Wilson-Raybould and Philpott from the Liberal caucus last week. Neither minister has gone quietly, and on Tuesday Philpott disputed the legitimacy of the expulsions. On Sunday, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer revealed that Trudeau had threatened to sue him for libel over a Facebook post about the scandal.


The Yucatan Times

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