Justin Trudeau – Rupa Subramanya: Trudeau is a left-wing populist who may have bought himself the next election
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On Aug. 6, 2019, 55 per cent of those polled by Morning Consult disapproved of Trudeau and only 39 per cent approved. The gap began to close after the Liberals’ narrow re-election victory in October 2019, but Trudeau’s net approval still remained in negative territory.
The pattern shifted dramatically in March 2020, as the first wave of COVID-19 hit. On March 23, the two lines finally crossed and Trudeau has had positive net approval ratings ever since. Among other Western leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel saw a similar jump in her approval ratings around the same time as Trudeau’s.
While COVID-19 has been, and continues to be, a curse for humanity, the truth is that it has salvaged the careers of numerous politicians who appeared to be in deep trouble less than a year ago. Merkel was seen as a lame duck and Trudeau was reeling from scandals that came to light during his first term, to say nothing of the Blackface controversy that tarnished his woke image.
Fast forward to today, and Merkel is being described as one of Germany’s greatest post-war leaders, while the Liberals, according to the latest CBC poll tracker, have a 49 per cent chance of winning a majority if the election were held today.
Despite its various missteps — including its failure to put meaningful restrictions on international travel, the time it’s taking to roll-out rapid testing and its cock-up of the vaccine roll-out — the Trudeau government has managed to buy a lot of voters with its massive public spending.