Will there be more Liberal floor crossers. Justine has not just alienated blue Liberals, he has given them the finger. This aint the party of Paul Martin and John Manley anymore. I expect some Liberals will not seek reelection.https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnis ... r-could-be
A visit to the Liberal caucus website is an interesting experience. The main page is headshots of all the Liberal MPs in Canada. All 182 of them.
You scroll down the page and occasionally see a familiar face. “Hey, it’s Trudeau!” “Oh look, that’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan!” Or: “Oh, that’s what’s-her-face who had that mini-scandal.”
But for the most part you’re seeing their pictures for the first time and reading names you’ve never read before unless you live in their riding.
The most interesting part comes though when you click on their names and read through their bios and learn about their accomplishments.
Take Nick Whalen, who represents St. John’s East. He’s both a lawyer and an engineer and also found time to be director of the Parkinson Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, support wildlife programs in Kenya and coach minor soccer.
Or Montreal-area accountant and MP Emmanuel Dubourg has completed what’s called the “triple play”, earning a CGA, CMA and CA in addition to an MBA. While working as a public service accountant for 20 years he also taught post-secondary school.
Before Karen McCrimmon served as an Ottawa-area MP she served her country as the first woman to command a Canadian Forces flying squadron. The list goes on.
To his credit, Trudeau managed to recruit some impressive talent to run under the Liberal banner in 2015. And many of them have far more robust resumes than the PM’s.
Yet these accomplished people haven’t been appointed to cabinet. Few are lucky to be Parliamentary Secretaries. Instead, they just sit there and take orders from Trudeau and Gerald Butts.
Part of this is just politics. Trudeau’s inner circle didn’t expect to win such a commanding majority and there are only so many posts you can give people to keep them happy.
Then again it’s also just politics for people to feel underappreciated, to grow unhappy with their leader, to feel like they don’t fit in anymore.
Leona Alleslev was one of those largely unknown names in the tally of Liberal MPs up until Monday when she announced she was crossing the floor to sit with the Conservatives.
The big question everyone in political circles is now asking is if she’s a one-off or if someone comes next. Alleslev, a former captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, felt that Trudeau’s views were no longer her own. One Conservative insider told me there was talk about recruiting her for the Tories before she even ran for the Liberals, so let’s assume Alleslev’s motives were largely sincere.
How many others are now out of step with Trudeau? And to the degree that they’d be willing to jump ship? The challenge with the current PM is that he doesn’t do a good job of managing the big tent that is the Liberal brand.
“It’s not just people in tight ridings but any Liberal from the Paul Martin wing of the party,” one Conservative strategist explained to me. They’re going after not just current Liberal MPs but hoping to recruit former Liberal MPs and candidates to the Conservative fold.
While successful leaders like Jean Chretien, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton stood politically in the middle of their respective party philosophies, Trudeau is an outlier. He’s personally on the left side of the Liberal Party of Canada, which alienates fiscally conservative blue Liberals.
The other big motivating factor for Alleslev was that she surely knows her riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill has a good chance of swinging back to the Conservatives. She only won by 1,000 points in 2015 and she’s watched as the Ontario PC Party dominated GTA ridings in the provincial election.
There are 35 seats across the country where the Liberals won by 5% or less. Many of them are suburban ridings such as Alleslev’s. Lose those, the Liberals lose their majority. Lose more, they lose power.
Few strategists – Liberal or Conservative – think Alleslev is the first to come in a mass exodus. But it does show the tone has now changed.
A larger issue might be people who just don’t run at the end of the day,” one Liberal strategist told me. “There are a number who are fully pensionable going nowhere. I suspect a number of them will bail closer to the election, which could be problematic.”
The main thing that was confirmed Monday was that disaffection with Trudeau comes from within the Liberal ranks as well, not just outside of it.