The controversy over the federal government’s decision to award a $ 912 million contract to a charity with ties to the Prime Minister’s family opens Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the conclusion that he violated federal ethics standards a third time.
What impact could it have on public opinion?
Twice already, Mario Dion, Canada’s Commissioner of Ethics and Conflict of Interest, discovered that the Prime Minister violated ethical rules. The first time was in 2017, when Trudeau and his family accepted a vacation on the private island of Aga Khan. in the bahamas
The second time was last year, when Dion discovered that Trudeau had tried to influence then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould overturn a decision not to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC-Lavalin.
Dion had already announced that he would review the decision to award the WE charity an exclusive source contract to administer the Canada Student Service Grant when the charity revealed it, and its affiliates had paid the prime minister’s mother and brother nearly $ 300,000 to participate in speeches. in the last four years
It takes the commissioner time to complete an investigation. His office tweeted on Friday that it usually takes about seven months. But if this scandal causes any political damage to the prime minister and his party, it is likely to inflict it now, and not when the commissioner finally publishes a report.
That’s what happened the last two times, at least.
The holidays on the island of Aga Khan in 2017 effectively ended with Trudeau’s post-election honeymoon. His party had racked up big leads in the polls after its 2015 victory, with support between 45 and 50 percent. According to the CBC Survey TrackerLiberals had approximately 43.2 percent support before the vacation story was first reported.
There was an immediate impact on liberal support, with the party falling to 37.3 percent in the following six weeks. Those 5.9 percentage points never fully recovered; Liberals have never reached 43.2 percent on the Poll Tracker to date.
But with a solid majority government, the liberals had time on their side. In early February 2019, the party was still voting with 37.5 percent support and in a decent position before an election year.
The SNC-Lavalin affair was a bomb. Support for liberals plummeted, hitting a low of 29.6 percent in early May. That loss of 7.9 points was not recovered in time for the October elections, in which the Liberals obtained 33.1 percent of the vote.
Bounces can take months, if they occur
Both breaches of ethics contributed to a segment of the Liberal Party support base taking off, some temporarily, others forever.
It was easier for liberals to recover from the impact of public opinion caused by the trip to the Bahamas. After just over four months, the Liberals gained 42.3 percent support in the Poll Tracker, a recovery of all but 0.9 percentage points from the initial loss of 5.9 points. The Liberals were able to maintain their leadership over the Conservatives for another year: until the Prime Minister’s trip to India.
Inventing the loss of SNC-Lavalin from the party was more difficult. After the story was initially released, the Liberals’ peak of election came just eight months later, when the party reached 34.3 percent support with just two weeks to go until polling day in October. By then, the Liberals had recovered just 3.2 points from their 7.9 point loss.
It took a global pandemic to push liberals above their pre-SNC-Lavalin level of support.
What kind of controversy will this be?
It wasn’t until early April 2020, more than a year after the Globe and Mail revealed the SNC-Lavalin story, that the Liberals surpassed the 37.5 percent support they had in early 2019.
the Latest poll estimate gives liberals 40.4 percent support and a 12.5 point lead over the Conservatives. With those kinds of numbers (drawn from polls conducted before the latest ethics controversy), liberals would be almost certain to win the majority government they failed to secure last year.
The question is what kind of impact will this week’s news have on liberal support, a particularly sensitive question in a minority Parliament.
If the Liberals experience the same six- to eight-point slip, by the end of the summer or fall, the party will more or less find itself back where it was on Election Night. Everything the political capital that the liberals have gained from managing the COVID-19 outbreak It would be gone. The chances of the liberals calling elections on their own would be slim, and it would be up to the opposition parties to decide whether to take advantage of them by forcing another election themselves.
However, not all disputes have the same impacts.
When photos were released in the midst of the latest campaign showing that Trudeau had worn the black face multiple times before entering politicsThere was enormous potential for a coup that would end the Prime Minister’s career.
Instead, the Liberals saw their support remain stable. The party was reaching 34.2 percent when the story broke. It was only down by less than a percentage point a week later, a loss that the party resolved two weeks after that.
The dynamics of the electoral campaign played an important role in the resistance of the support of the Liberal Party, but Polls and the party’s own investigation suggested that Canadians did not believe that Trudeau was racist and he felt that he had sincerely apologized.
It is too early to trace the political ramifications of Trudeau’s WE controversy. Canadians may not be paying attention to the same degree that they would if it wasn’t summer, or if there wasn’t a global pandemic to worry about. However, the Québécois Bloc is calling for the Prime Minister to step aside and conservatives want the police to investigate.
But in the court of public opinion, the deciding factor could be whether, after the black face and two previous ethical violations, Canadians are still willing to give Trudeau the benefit of the doubt.
Source From ”cbc.ca”