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Liberal stronghold loss prompts calls for Trudeau to step down

In a significant political development, former Liberal cabinet ministers Wayne Easter and John Manley have called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step down following a surprising Conservative victory in the Toronto-St. Paul’s by-election. This loss in a traditionally Liberal stronghold has sparked a broader conversation about the need for new leadership within the party. Easter, who served from 2000 to 2021, emphasized the urgency of the situation, suggesting that Trudeau and his senior advisors in the Prime Minister’s Office face some difficult decisions about their future.

Liberal stronghold loss prompts calls for Trudeau to step down

Easter’s remarks reflect a growing sentiment among some party veterans that it may be time for Trudeau to “fold ’em,” citing Kenny Rogers‘ famous lyric as a metaphor for knowing when to step aside. Meanwhile, Manley, also a prominent figure from the Chrétien era, expressed concerns about Trudeau’s ability to lead the party to victory in the next general election. He advised that for the benefit of both Trudeau and the Liberal Party, a leadership transition should happen sooner rather than later to avoid potential electoral fallout.

Despite these calls for resignation, several of Trudeau’s ministers have rallied around their leader, affirming their support for his continued leadership. Notably, Immigration Minister Marc Miller, speaking from Montreal, emphasized the need for a period of introspection rather than a change at the top. He firmly stated his belief that Trudeau is well-positioned to challenge Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre in the upcoming elections.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault also echoed this support during a news conference in Ottawa. He mentioned having conversations with colleagues who remain confident in Trudeau’s leadership, suggesting a solid base of support within the party despite the by-election results. Political analysts have weighed in on the situation, highlighting the complex dynamics at play. Nik Nanos, a chief data scientist, pointed out that while Trudeau’s personal brand is deeply intertwined with the Liberal Party, the electoral setback in Toronto-St. Paul’s reflects a national desire for change. This sentiment is supported by polling data indicating a shift in voter preferences and concerns.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, offered a different perspective, noting that while the by-election loss is a significant setback for Trudeau, changing leaders in the middle of the electoral cycle might not necessarily yield better results. She described Trudeau’s current situation as sporting a “stunning shiner” but cautioned against hastily altering the party’s leadership strategy. This mix of support and criticism within the Liberal Party underscores the challenges Trudeau faces as he navigates through a critical period in Canadian politics.

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