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Election 2019

What happened to the Liberal brand?

By Lori Turnbull      

There is at least one factor that the SNC-Lavalin affair and the blackface photos have in common: these are about Justin Trudeau, not the Liberals.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured July 31, 2019, in Ottawa. Depending on the results of the October election and whether Mr. Trudeau’s personal brand can recover, the Liberals might end up having conversations about the future—an outcome that was virtually unthinkable only four years ago. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

HALIFAX—When Justin Trudeau became the leader of the Liberal Party back in 2013, it was nothing short of a coronation. He won handily on the first ballot and proceeded to bring the party back to life at perhaps the most vulnerable time in its history. Often referred to as the country’s “natural governing party,” the Liberal machine lost its momentum when the sponsorship scandal of the early 2000s combined with the success of the unite-the-right movement to remove the Liberals from power for nearly a decade. Then-prime minister Stephen Harper governed for three successive terms, as Liberal leaders Stéphane Dion and then Michael Ignatieff let Conservative attack ads define them. Jack Layton and the NDP were making historic gains at the Liberals’ expense and the Greens were emerging as potential player. At that time, it was not inconceivable that the natural governing party would fade into non-existence.

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For whom will the bell toll in Peterborough-Kawartha?

In a riding where voters are deeply engaged in the political process, candidates avoid the low-hanging fruit and stay out of the mud as they grapple with who to send to the House of Commons.

Singh’s strong campaign an internal win, whatever the outcome, New Democrats say

Jagmeet Singh’s impressive campaign has ‘rescued’ and ‘refocused’ the NDP after the failed 2015 effort, Ed Broadbent says.

The astrophysicist whose polling aggregator is projecting the election

News|By Neil Moss
The mastermind behind 338Canada, poll aggregator Philippe Fournier, is aiming to correctly call 90 per cent of the seats in the Oct. 21 race.

Transition teams must be prepared for ‘unpredictable outcomes’ in minority situation, say former senior bureaucrats

News|By Mike Lapointe
The 'essence of clerkness' is continuity of government, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe, who says he's 'strongly advised' current PCO clerk Ian Shugart to reach out to Andrew Scheer's team.

What’s your issue? Taxes, climate change, health care top leaders’ campaign pitches this election

The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens collectively spotlighted tax offers on 17 of 31 days of the campaign, climate change on 15 days, and health care on 11.

Preliminary data shows nearly 3 million tuned in to French debate, more than double 2015’s ratings

The viewership for the Leaders' Debates Commission's French debate was more than double the viewership for the TVA debate, preliminary data shows, and higher than the 2015 French consortium event.

‘It’s definitely in the top quadrant’: election campaign one of dirtiest in recent history, say political insiders

News|By Abbas Rana
This campaign is not defined by any overarching issue, and has become ‘personal’ and ‘ugly’ between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, says pollster and Ipsos president Darrell Bricker.

‘They’re really riled up here’: Conservatives circling Goodale’s lone Liberal seat in Saskatchewan

‘The numbers are holding very closely to what they were last time. It all depends on turnout,’ says the 31-year MP Ralph Goodale. 

Candidates scramble to outperform their competitors in the critical ground game ahead of next week’s election

News|By Abbas Rana
Liberal MP Ken Hardie says his team has set up get-out-the-vote ground operations in the riding to get all his supporters to the polling booths on election day.
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