Just not taking approval ratings seriously
You don’t get a second shot at a first impression. This is a lesson that the Trudeau cabinet is learning after an extremely underwhelming thirteen months in office.
After almost ten years of a Harper government, Canadians were looking for a head of state they could finally relate to: someone who would champion the cause of the people. Instead, the man elected has left much to be desired.
Starting off strong, the prime minister withdrew Canadian fighter jets from Syria and Iraq. But it’s been a long time since February 2016.
Since then, it seems as if the lofty ideals of the prime minister have failed to reach Canadians who are more concerned with more pressing matters, such as job security and putting food on their table.
Failing to reduce the small business tax, the revenue neutrality of the tax break for middle-income earners is also in question, as it will be coming from the federal treasury and will cost more than a billion dollars a year.
Preaching about the merits of the carbon tax to people who can already barely pay for gas and heat is redundant. Accepting luxurious vacations and private aircraft rides from the Aga Khan, a lobbyist, has only exacerbated his poor reputation in the public eye.
Though all of this may have been excused, the largest problem faced by the cabinet is a breach of ethics concerning fundraising.
According to Canadian federal law, an individual is allowed to contribute a sum of $1,550 annually to the political party or candidate of their choosing. This rather obvious piece of legislation was brushed aside, however, when cash for access events were reported late last year.
Individuals paid sums leading up to $5,000 to attend an event with the prime minister.
Individuals are not allowed to lobby members of parliament at these events and Liberal Party spokespersons insisted that no such lobbying takes place.
However, Trudeau admitted that he had, indeed, been lobbied at events such as these, contradicting members of his own party.
From 51 to 42 per cent, the approval ratings are steadily falling as Canadians grow disillusioned with a party unable to maintain the standards that it set for itself.
The frightening part of all of this is that the party goes on acting as if nothing has happened, ignoring the rate at which their approval is plummeting.
Many argue that the reason the Liberals are losing support is because of the disconnect between their apparent ideals and their actual actions.
Justin Trudeau and the liberals still have almost three years in office and if they hope to be reelected, they must make some drastic changes, such as empathizing with everyday Canadians, rather than talking about “phasing out” the oil sands, the workplace of thousands of Alberta Canadians.
Less talk and more action must be delivered and progress must be achieved. That’s the only way we’ll get the “Real Change” we were promised in 2015.