Quite a few political pundits seem to think that Kathleen Wynne’s declining fortunes in Ontario represent a cautionary tale or a cause for anxiety for Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals.
The logic is that Wynne has damaged the Liberal brand in ways that will affect Trudeau and that the results in Ontario are an indication of how the votes will fall in the next federal election. In fact, in Ontario, the opposite is usually true. Since Confederation, there has almost always been a different government at Queen’s Park than the one on Parliament Hill. So just because a party brand might be damaged at one level doesn’t necessarily harm it at the other. There’s no question that a new government might be trickier for Trudeau to work with. But particularly if Doug Ford is the new premier, that could be to Trudeau’s political advantage.
Even with Andrew Scheer rising in the polls, Trudeau still has a much better chance of being re-elected than Wynne. And if that doesn’t happen, it will have a lot more to do with his own performance than with hers.