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Trudeau has six months to avoid Notley’s fate

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18.04.2019

A researcher looking back on Canada from some future perch could be forgiven for suspecting there must have been some sort of Liberal-eating disease at loose in the land between the years 2015 and 2019.

It’s been an ugly period, no question, for a party that sees itself as an inclusive, big-tent unifying force yet seems fated to rule in periods of restiveness and discontent.

In his early days as prime minister, Justin Trudeau — when he wasn’t posing for magazine covers or inspiring admiring headlines in foreign publications — could gaze across Canada and view a sea of progress for self-declared “progressives.”

Alberta Premier-Designate Jason Kenney and outgoing premier Rachel Notley meet in Edmonton on April 18, 2019.

There were Liberal governments in Quebec, Ontario and across the Atlantic provinces. Albertans had chucked out the Tories for the first time in forever. New Democrats had been running Manitoba for 15 years, and Liberals had been in power in British Columbia almost as long — though B.C. Liberals aren’t quite like the ones you’d find elsewhere.

A little over three years later and it’s all gone. Ousted in Quebec, decimated in Ontario. Of 708 seats in 10 provincial legislatures, Liberals hold just 173, less than one-quarter. The three remaining premiers are huddled together on the eastern coast, where their number could soon be reduced to one after upcoming elections in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Of 37 million Canadians, just 1.6 million are in provinces governed by the Liberals.

Is it just a coincidence that the party that professes great faith in unity and co-operative federalism can’t seem to find a country it can get along with? The last great wave of........

© National Post