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FIRST READING: Youth are fleeing the Liberals (but they still detest the Tories)


Green leader casually accuses Canada of “ongoing genocide”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hemorrhaging youth support as young people increasingly lose faith in the Liberals’ ability to tackle skyrocketing rises in living costs. But even as the Tories aggressively position themselves as the party of affordability, they’re still not moving the needle for many voters under the age of 40.

New polls this week by Nanos Research show the Liberals enjoying just 22 per cent support among 18- to 29-year-old voters. It’s a massive dip from their usual 34 per cent share in the demographic, and it means the Liberals are in the rare position of being behind even the Conservatives in terms of voter intentions among the under-30 set.

While Nanos numbers have shown a bit of an uptick for the Conservatives among young people, most of those “dislocated” voters — the ones who are abandoning the Liberals — seem to be throwing in their lot with the NDP. And that’s if they plan to vote at all.

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This is most apparent regarding housing affordability, one of the most weighty issues for millennials and Gen Z.

In a separate Nanos poll conducted recently, a clear plurality of under-35 voters (32.6 per cent) trusted the NDP most to deal with the housing affordability crisis. Only 20.4 per cent thought the Tories were most likely to help them afford a home — although it was still far ahead of the 11.8 per cent scored by the Liberals.

The responses to a poll question about which federal parties were best suited to address housing affordability.
The responses to a poll question about which federal parties were best suited to address housing affordability. Photo by Nanos Research

As a rule, conservative parties — even really popular ones — consistently score dismal results among Canadian under-35 voters.

Right now, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is cakewalking to re-election and even receiving unprecedented endorsements from provincial labour unions. But young people are the worst single demographic for Ford’s Progressive Conservatives.

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According to the most recent Leger poll on Ontario voter intentions, just 22 per cent of 18- to 34-year-old voters intend to cast a vote for Ford — compared to 32 per cent the Liberals and 30 per cent for the Ontario NDP.

Ontario voting intentions as of May 18.
Ontario voting intentions as of May 18. Photo by Leger

Even in Alberta — one of Canada’s most consistent bastions of federal Conservative support — provincial elections would be utterly swept by Rachel Notley’s NDP if they were decided by Albertans under 30.

Just days before Jason Kenney won an easy majority for his United Conservative Party in 2019, polls were still showing that the province’s under-35s wanted a second NDP majority.

As the Conservative leadership race continues on towards a final voting date in September, the campaign of frontrunner Pierre Poilievre has been defined by an unusually youth-centric agenda.

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Poilievre, who at 42 is the youngest contender in the race, has outlined a detailed strategy to bring down housing prices via increased construction and deregulation. In campaign speeches, Poilievre often says he is fighting for the “32-year-old in their parents’ basement who can’t afford housing.”

Back in April, the polling firm Abacus showed Poilievre’s introductory campaign video to a cross-section of Canadian voters. The three-minute video included Poilievre’s contention that an entrenched elite was forcing young Canadians into insecure housing and employment.

What most surprised pollsters was how much the video resonated among older millennials. Six of 10 in the 30 to 44 age group agreed with Poilievre, and a majority of those polled said they would be inclined to vote for a Poilievre-led Conservative party.

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Poilievre’s rise in the race hasn’t appeared to drive any noticeable youth support to the Tories. In the most recent Leger poll of voter intentions, under-35 voters still had the Conservatives in a distant third place (23 per cent against 33 for the NDP and 30 for the Liberals).

But a clear plurality of that same cohort said that if they had to pick a favourite Tory leader, it would be Poilievre.

In an Ontario election defined by terrible campaign slogans, the Ontario Moderate Party deserves special consideration. Also, the party may not be all that moderate after all: Their platform includes price controls on fuel and has a miniature rant against “failed vaccines.”
In an Ontario election defined by terrible campaign slogans, the Ontario Moderate Party deserves special consideration. Also, the party may not be all that moderate after all: Their platform includes price controls on fuel and has a miniature rant against “failed vaccines.” Photo by Twitter/Jonathan Kay

IN OTHER NEWS

It emerged this week that no actual police called on the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act to crush Freedom Convoy blockades, despite Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s repeated contention that the unprecedented measure was law enforcement’s idea. In recent testimony, both the RCMP and the Ottawa Police – the two primary agencies tasked with clearing Freedom Convoy blockades – have confirmed they didn’t request the act. When Mendicino was pressed Tuesday on why he kept saying the exact opposite, the minister replied that the invocation still had a “very strong consensus among law enforcement”.

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Inflation just keeps going up, particularly at the grocery store. Food is now 9.7 per cent more expensive as compared to this time last year, according to Statistics Canada. ​It’s also the first time in recent months that Canadian grocery inflation has outstripped what Americans ​are experiencing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pictured as he’s just about to flatten a small boy while playing soccer. This exact scenario also happened to now U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he played a 2015 game of touch rugby with 10-year-olds. Anyway, if you’re curious why Canadian political handlers never allow our party leaders to play sports with children, this is why.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pictured as he’s just about to flatten a small boy while playing soccer. This exact scenario also happened to now U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he played a 2015 game of touch rugby with 10-year-olds. Anyway, if you’re curious why Canadian political handlers never allow our party leaders to play sports with children, this is why. Photo by Twitter/Eliza Edwards

CBC is getting its Moscow bureau closed down by the Russian Federation as direct retaliation for Canada banning the Russian propaganda outlet RT from its cable channels. Meanwhile, Ottawa is looking to finalize legislation that would formally ban Russian President Vladimir Putin from entering Canadian territory. It hasn’t happened for a while, but Putin did used to come here on occasion for G20 summits.

And if you’re wondering what the Green Party is up to lately, at a recent press conference​, Leader Amita Kuttner bookended the standard land acknowledgement with the contention that Canada is committing “ongoing genocide” ​against Indigenous people. Kuttner, who is transgender, also celebrated one year since beginning hormone replacement therapy.

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