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If you asked Justin Trudeau who worries him more — Erin O’Toole or Jagmeet Singh — the odds are high he would say the NDP leader, rather than the Conservative. With the march to a fall election apparently inexorable, O’Toole has focused on the prime minister’s competence, or lack of, to no great effect. Meanwhile, Singh has spent his time portraying the Liberals as heartless and himself as the only leader who really cares about injustice and people who need help. The Trudeau Liberals see the next election as an historic opportunity to drive a nail into the coffin of federal conservatism but it requires them to monopolize the progressive vote. The Green Party is obliging by forming a circular firing squad but the New Democrats remain stubbornly effervescent. Singh is no philosopher king but he does empathy very well. He was at it again on Wednesday, claiming the Liberals are “heartless” for reducing the Canada Recovery Benefit to $300 a week, from $500, for eight weeks before it runs out. (The federal government has sent $100 billion to workers who lost their jobs to COVID since the pandemic hit but elections are bidding wars for voters with short memories.)

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