It used to be that, when the economy was doing well, the politician at the head of the parade did well, too. But Allen Freeman writes that, even with a vibrant economy, Justin Trudeau's numbers are sinking:
There were always exceptions to the rule that linked the economy and politics — but now the rule itself has to be tossed aside. Voting intentions now seem to be completely divorced from the state of the economy.
How else can we explain the results of a recent Nanos Research poll that seems to show many Canadians giving the Trudeau Liberals virtually no credit for the current buoyant state of the Canadian economy? According to the poll, only 25 per cent rated Trudeau’s performance as an economic manager as good or better, while 36 per cent saw that performance as poor or very poor.
Denis Cordere, the now former Mayor of Montreal has experienced the same phenomenon:
In Montreal, Denis Coderre just got voted out of the mayor’s office after a single term during which the city experienced the kind of boom times that have escaped it since the 1970s. Property values are up. Unemployment is at record low levels. Tourism is soaring. The city increasingly is seen as a global centre for gaming technology and artificial intelligence research.
Yet Coderre, who obviously underestimated his opponent, got no credit for the good times.
And then, of course, there is the circus to the south of us. How to account for what's going on? Freeman says the public is just plain mad:
I think this stems from the cultural moment we’re in now in western democracies — the widespread urge to give the middle finger to the ‘elites’ no matter what they do, or don’t do. Voters are quick to blame politicians the moment things go wrong but are much less likely to give them any credit for anything positive. It’s as if voters are looking for an excuse — any excuse — to throw the jerks out of office at the earliest opportunity.
All of this doesn’t bode well for the good conduct of public policy. There used to be an assumption that if politicians did the right things economically (especially early in a term) and could show tangible benefits to the public, they had a good chance of being rewarded for it. In this new world of constantly irritable voters, ready to turn their moods and their votes on a dime, forget good policy.
We are living in Howard Beales's world. The voters are made as hell and they won't take it anymore.