Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trudeau Honeymoon 'is certainly over': political scientist

Trudeau Honeymoon 'is certainly over': political scientist

(Via Justin Trudeau's Twitter)
Trudeau's difficulties just a natural progression for PM: political scientist
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – He started the week getting booed at the Grey Cup and is ending it with protesters promising to block construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion — it seems Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s star-status is losing its lustre.
“It looks like the honeymoon is certainly over in British Columbia,” says Hamish Telford, an associate professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley.
“[The pipeline expansion] is the first really major decision Trudeau has had to make and people were wondering if he could make a decision that would upset people, particularly people who voted for him. But he showed this week that he was prepared to do that.”
From pipelines and fighter jets to the Chinese cash-for-access controversy and the Fidel Castro tribute, the public’s love-affair with the Trudeau does appear to be fading, as evidenced by what’s now being called the “Grey Cup salute” last Sunday.
“You start to really notice it when regular Canadians — the Tim Horton’s voter, if you will — starts to get frustrated,” says NEWS 1130 Parliament Hill reporter Cormac MacSweeney.
“We saw that at the Grey Cup when the video message went on the big screen at BMO Field in Toronto and people started booing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”
MacSweeney says it’s another sign the relationship between the voter and the Trudeau government that’s been “so good for so long” is starting to strain.
However, Telford says it is a natural political progression.
“A politician is never more popular than the day they are elected. They take office with a certain among of political capital and then it starts to diminish after that,” he tells NEWS 1130.
“One hopes that it diminishes for solid reasons like making important national decisions on pipelines rather than for frivolous things such as the tribute to Mr. Castro. You don’t want to waste political capital on something that is relatively unimportant.”
Both Telford and MacSweeney point out there are another three years before Canadians go to the polls again, so perhaps the federal Liberals have time to “mend the wounds.”
“Any government that comes into power with a majority mandate, we always see them try to get rid of the bad stuff at the start. If they have policy files that they know are going to create controversy or leave a bad taste in peoples’ mouths, they get rid of that first. Then you can at least have a couple of years to repair that relationship,” explains MacSweeney.
“You can dangle some goodies in the faces of the voters and we are really seeing that with what the Trudeau government has coming up. There’s a lot of infrastructure spending that’s going to ramp up just before the 2019 vote and then there’s even more that’s going to ramp up after the vote that the government hopes will boost the economy and create jobs across the country,” he adds.
Telford believes that Trudeau also needs to make the time to come to BC.
“People here are upset and he needs to come talk to people, to explain and persuade them that [the pipeline expansion] is a safe decision that is good for the Canadian and BC economies.”

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