John Ivison: As the NDP, the Conservatives accuse Trudeau of dishonesty, a question looms: Who can you trust?


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History reminds us that despite opinion polls and seat projections suggesting the Liberals have this election up for grabs, the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

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SHERBROOKE, QUE. – For an election that relies heavily on genuine leadership and trust, the news that a Liberal candidate has been asked to “put his campaign on hold”, as the party examines a story from the Toronto Star that he was charged with sexual assault, is potentially a serious setback for Justin Trudeau.

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Kevin Vuong, the candidate for the Toronto constituency of Spadina-Fort York, denies any wrongdoing and The Star said the charges were subsequently dropped.

But it was not long before the Conservatives and the NDP jumped at history as proof of a “role model” within the Liberal Party.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Canadians have seen similar behavior in the party’s response to sexual misconduct in the military, where a report revealing a culture of violence against women has been largely ignored by the Trudeau government. “A question Canadians want to know – either this candidate in Toronto lied to the Liberal Party and the party agrees with that, or the Liberal Party knew it from the start and Mr. Trudeau agrees with that. Either way, it’s horrible, ”he said.

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History reminds us that despite opinion polls and seat projections suggesting the Liberals have this election up for grabs, the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

I absolutely believe you don’t reward someone who calls a selfish election with a majority

Senior Tory officials suggest it’s white-handed time with 30 ridings won or lost by very slim margins – double the number in 2019.

The Conservatives and the NDP are hammering out the same message – confidence and Justin Trudeau’s “unnecessary election call” – collusion that could increase the power of the warning.

Neither part is subtle or cute. Singh’s call is direct – “you can trust us”.

I asked him if he would urge Canadians to think twice about giving Trudeau the majority he dreams of.

“I absolutely believe that you are not rewarding someone who calls for a selfish election with a majority,” he said. It was the height of cynicism to vote 22 times against paid sick leave in parliament and then propose it in this election, he said.

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Singh has his own flaws. I also asked what he would say to people who find his take on economic growth, capital flows and job creation unrealistic. Nothing he said would reassure these people. “I would say that Canadians pay their fair share, go to work, earn a salary and pay their taxes. They find it absurd and scandalous that we allow Canadian companies to make profits on their backs and then hide those profits abroad, ”he said.

  1. Jagmeet Singh speaks during an election campaign visit to Toronto, September 16, REUTERS / Nick Lachance

    John Ivison: Jagmeet Singh’s play on “selfish” Trudeau could serve the NDP well in the election

  2. Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop on September 13, 2021 in Vancouver.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick / Getty Images

    John Ivison: These are fighting words. We have reached the trash discussion phase of the campaign

The NDP is making much of a Democratic proposal in the United States to raise $ 3.6 trillion by raising the top tax rate, raising corporate tax rates, introducing a corporate tax. wealth and increasing capital gains inclusion rates. “I’m not going to say they copied us, but I’m saying it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

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However, while President Biden has made it clear that there will be no tax increase for anyone earning less than US $ 400,000, the NDP plan increases the top tax rate to 35%, against 33% for anyone earning more than $ 216,000. Barely the super-rich.

Still, if progressive voters reward authenticity and trust, Singh will do well on Monday. He made politics fun again, attracting young people to his party in droves. The campaign stops culminate with a mass rebound on his well-being hymn: “Ready Fi Di Road”.

He was asked if being a nice guy is enough in the bloody sport of politics. “Well, they know I’m someone they can trust and also that I’m a fighter. I have fought all my life just to be heard, ”he said.

He may be less cynical than his opponents, but he remains a politician.

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How can they do that?

A larger NDP caucus could find itself holding the balance of power in a minority parliament and Singh was asked about coalitions and working with other parties. “Regarding our position on each party, I think that’s an important question…” One he didn’t answer, despite the movement of his lips.

Singh’s appeal is undeniable – my 19 year old son voted NDP and was delighted to meet him in Montreal. I warned the boy that party programs are not written under oath and should be treated with extreme caution. “How can they do that?” wondered the ingenuous.

Welcome to the real world, son.

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