Opposition narrows Canada’s ruling celebration, say two pollsters | World information
As the troop withdrawal fiasco in Afghanistan continues to dominate the news in Canada, it could affect Justin Trudeau’s attempt to win a parliamentary majority in the September 20 elections.
For the first time in months, Trudeau’s ruling Liberal Party is in statistical contact with the main opposition Conservative Party nationwide.
Trudeau had to deal with the crisis in Afghanistan at every election freeze, and that was also the case on Tuesday. After a virtual G7 summit, he told reporters Canada was “ready to stay beyond August 31 if it can because we want to save as many people as possible.”
However, that will depend on the United States staying in Kabul beyond that date, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office told CBC News that such a call is “contingent on the expansion of the US military presence.”
While Trudeau said nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul by Canadian forces to date, his government has been criticized for its lack of planning and delayed action in this regard. Among the critics are those affiliated with the World Sikh Organization who have expressed “disappointment” with Canada’s inability to rescue minorities from Afghanistan.
All of this affects Trudeau’s electoral ambitions, as Outlet Global News pointed out that “the first week of the campaign was dominated by criticism of the slow evacuation of the Trudeau government.”
That comment came with an Ipsos agency survey for the outlet that showed the Liberals lost 3 points in a week and now have almost as much support at 33% as the Conservatives, who are at 32%.
Another national survey by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute underscored this development, as it also found a statistical tie with the Liberals at 33%, just 2 points ahead of the Conservatives.
The good news for Trudeau, however, may be that foreign policy is seldom a crucial element of the election outcome in Canada. Political scientist Professor Nelson Wiseman said in an interview last week that “in the end, it doesn’t matter to voters’ decisions.”
Later in the campaign, he said, “It’s not something people will look for unless something really dramatic happens.”
In weeks, he said, heads of state or government would stop talking about such issues because their pollsters would tell them what is most important to voters and “foreign policy is not”.
For now, however, it can be good and Trudeau has to deal with it every day.