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Opinion Aug 16, 2019 11:12 AM EST

Will the NDP be able to capitalize on #LavScam?

Trudeau could become the next Ignatieff in October and, with that, the Left must look to the NDP as the Conservatives attempt to re-establish a lead in the polls.

Will the NDP be able to capitalize on #LavScam?
Siddak Ahuja Montreal, QC

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

In an absolute shock to nobody, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was found guilty of violating Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act with his shoddy SNC-Lavalin affair.

This is a vindication for ex-attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould, but a potential nightmare for the Liberal party.

For any party to govern Canada, truth must form the cornerstone its beliefs. The Prime Minister lied and betrayed the entire nation.

This is not the first time for Trudeau, and based on his behaviour perhaps not his last, that he chose to sideline the interests of Canadians over his own.

The NDP led solid attacks against the Prime Minister, often in unison with Conservatives

But as the NDP has already cornered the far-left voter market, with the Liberals’ brand tarnished New Democrats should be looking to court those centre-left voters who supported Trudeau in 2015.

SNC-Lavalin affair’s polling fallout

Before the affair became public on February 7th, the Liberals were comfortably hovering around a popular vote range of 36% to 38%. This could translate to anywhere between 160 to 200 seats; enough to help secure another majority come October.

However, the SNC-Lavalin affair and its soap opera fallout saw support for the Liberals lose some steam.

Their worst polling performance came on May 5th, as they tumbled to just 29.9% support from decided voters, translating to just 110 seats in parliament.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s report, released Wednesday, suggests that Trudeau doesn’t value Canadian democracy and its institutions while his corporate welfare policies, in particular to Bombardier, have translated to job losses rather than gains or retention.

Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin malpractice only further tarnishes the Liberal brand and all the ground they recovered since May could evaporate.

The NDP has already released a progressive manifesto

The NDP surprised many political pundits by releasing a comprehensive manifesto earlier than any other federal political party.

Their set of commitments currently tower at 109 pages, addressing climate change, economic growth, health care, affordable cell-phone plans, labour rights, agricultural policies, veterans, and indigenous reconciliation.

For Liberal supporters who veer towards the left, the NDP offers them the last chance to avoid a Conservative government while backing policies they deem progressive.

The NDP has strong record supporting human rights

In 2015, the NDP was the first party to openly criticize the Saudi Arabia arms deal signed under the Harper government and honoured by Trudeau. And New Democrats did this with the help of the Bloc Quebecois.

It even prompted Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to suggest slapping sanctions on the hardline Islamist kingdom following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi — a former Muslim Brotherhood traveller-cum-Washington Post columnist — at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Turkey.

The NDP also pointed out the Trudeau government’s cognitive dissonance women’s and LGBTQ+ rights at home, while simultaneously cozying up with a dictatorship that oppresses and criminalizes the same people.

Concerns with the NDP

The NDP is in deep support deficit and has yet to fill a majority of their federal candidate-slots for the election, so their next moves could define the party’s success as it’s currently polling between 13-16%.

As Trudeau scrambles to recover from the SNC debacle, the NDP and Conservatives will accelerate their attacks on him. Going into the debates, it Trudeau will have a tough time defending himself from two ideological fronts hammering him on the same issue.

Adding to the politics on the SNC-Lavalin front are the Greens, currently under fire by environmentalists. The reason: for suggesting that an appropriate sentence for the Québec construction firm, if convicted of bribery charges, would be to rectify unsafe drinking water problems plaguing dozens of First Nation communities.

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