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Poll: Most don't expect Trudeau to leave office any time soon

Some think Justin Trudeau is preparing to leave office, but by about a 2:1 margin, you disagreed
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pictured in Guelph in this file photo.

The federal Liberals would really like to talk about affordability - food prices, bank fees, and housing, housing, housing

But it's only on a lucky day in politics that a government gets to set the agenda, and it was awkward, to say the least, when it emerged that Justin Trudeau had accepted a Jamaican beach vacation worth something in the range of $84,000 after Christmas, a sum of money that well exceeds the Canadian after-tax median family income.

The PMO explained that Trudeau had been "staying with family friends at no cost," which sounded modest on the face of it — it sort of suggests a cozy arrangement involving a sofa bed — except that it was lost on nobody that Trudeau's family friends could lend him a six-bedroom villa, described as "perhaps the most desirable north coast villa in Jamaica," on a property that could reasonably be called an estate

"These moments tend to come off like you asked someone how they got to work that day and they casually say they rode in on a brontosaurus named Steve, and he’s parked right out front," columnist Shannon Proudfoot wrote last May. "And then when you stare at them with your mouth open, they wrinkle their nose and say, “What?” because they’re confused about where your brontosaurus is."

On the whole, hard to spin, and noticeably, in a moment featured in Conservative social media, Trudeau didn't really try

In the Globe, Konrad Yakabuski stepped back and asked the unavoidable question: given Trudeau's catastrophic approval numbers, is this the behaviour of a politician whose attitude comes from the fact that he plans to leave office soon?

"If you didn’t know better, you might conclude that Mr. Trudeau’s seeming indifference to public perceptions of him is a sign that he has already, mentally at least, checked out of Rideau Cottage," he wrote.

"If he was really intent on seeking a fourth term, he would be extra careful to avoid giving Canadians any more reasons to want to see him go."

In an online poll this week, about two-thirds of readers disagreed:

Men expected Trudeau's departure more than women:

As we break the details down, it becomes obvious that readers who dislike or oppose Trudeau expect him to resign soon, and vice versa. I read this as both sides expecting an outcome that, given their prior assumptions, would seem to make sense.

Two questions related to housing affordability also correlate with expecting Trudeau's departure:

And when we link the Trudeau question to views on gun control, a classic left-right wedge issue, the results aren't surprising:

Results have an almost lockstep relationship with age:

What's likely to happen?

There has been a suggestion, for what it's worth, that February 29 is the 40th anniversary of Pierre Trudeau's second and final resignation — older readers will catch the reference to a 'walk in the snow' — and that perhaps this is a date to keep an eye on. (2024 and 1984 are both leap years.) 

Could be something, could be nothing. 

Patrick Cain

About the Author: Patrick Cain

Patrick is an online writer and editor in Toronto, focused mostly on data, FOI, maps and visualizations. He has won some awards, been a beat reporter covering digital privacy and cannabis, and started an FOI case that ended in the Supreme Court
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