It's too early to be dismissing either Andrew Scheer or Jagmeet Singh

Six months ago, Doug Ford was still debating whether to run for mayor of Toronto this year. In a month he could be premier of Ontario. Which proves the point that a week is a lifetime in politics.

So why is everyone in such a rush to predict the outcome of a federal election that’s still 17 months away? Many political pundits are becoming dismissive of either one of the main opposition leaders or both. In some recent opinion columns, writers seem convinced that Andrew Scheer can’t win and that Jagmeet Singh will turn out to be a big dud. Neither, the experts have already concluded, will make a breakthrough in Quebec.

Look, it’s not unreasonable to cast Justin Trudeau as the favourite to win next year. Unless something unusual happens, governments tend to get a second term in Canada. But let’s not forget that in August 2015, just two months before the last federal election, Tom Mulcair was in first place and Justin Trudeau in third. A lot changed in one long election campaign. Just imagine what can happen in almost a year and a half.

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