I wonder if Singh reads the news from Burnaby? It's brutal, but true.
Burnaby South's Jagmeet Singh is pushing the NDP into irrelevance
Jagmeet Singh (now the MP for Burnaby South) ... has proven an utter gaffe.
In the last election, Trudeau was portrayed as just not ready, the least qualified to offer for the office of prime minister, but Singh eclipses that concern. On issue after issue he has been unconvincing and unconvinced in his position. He appears to not have an aide who stays abreast of the news to tell him about it. He has revived in unflattering ways the term “waffle” to the NDP. He and his party have not produced a single big idea to think about at the ballot box.
Moreover, while as leader he awaited a riding vacancy for nearly two years in which to seek a Commons seat, he didn’t borrow from Trudeau’s playbook and build relationships in touring the country.
Polls before elections carry question marks and asterisks, but the current batch suggest an NDP substantially reduced from its 44 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons, itself a sharp drop from that of 2011.
In British Columbia, where the NDP won 14 seats last time, about half of them are now unlikely. That would be its worst showing since 2004 – despite the presence of a provincial NDP government.
The real drama is in Quebec, where in 2015 Mulcair salvaged 15 of 59 seats secured under Layton in 2011, but where the party has since dropped roughly 15 points.
There might be but one, two or three seats to stay with the party there. Singh has not connected with the province, and his strategists now talk of Quebec as a lost cause.
We are all attracted to winning, so it should not surprise that the party’s MPs do not see the same opportunity in 2019 perceived last election. At last count, 11 of the 44 sitting NDP MPs will not contest office this fall. Coupled with three who resigned and one who was expelled, that totals more than one-third of the 2015 alumni – the highest attrition rate of any party with official status in the last six elections.
Many columnists have written the party off before, only to watch it rebound. Now, though, the left-of-centre has a more exuberant option in the Greens. Provincially its Albertan time came and went, its Ontario promise never materialized, and the Horgan government is its last stand.
The party has never before been so eroded from both sides with so little prospect of an uptick. You have to wonder if this is its last hurrah.