Over a week into the campaign, Trudeau has yet to make a case for himself


In an election dominated by questions about the future, the Liberal leader seems focused on the past. Until last week, Justin Trudeau had never gone into an election with the Liberal Party leading in opinion polls. In 2015, the Liberals were running third. In 2019, the Liberals were in second, a few points behind the Conservatives. It’s possible that Trudeau is more comfortable playing without a lead. If that’s true, Liberals might regard the last nine days of their campaign — with polls showing the party slipping back into a near-tie with the Conservatives — as a smashing success. It was probably inevitable that Trudeau would, at some point, have to make the case directly that he should be prime minister for another two to four years. Perhaps that’s what has been missing from the Liberal campaign so far. Every campaign is a little bit different from the one before. Erin O’Toole doesn’t have quite the same vulnerabilities as Scheer and the Conservative leader has tried to narrow the gap between what his party is proposing to do and what the Liberals are doing already. The Liberals also have the extra wear and tear that comes with another two years in office.

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