If Andrew Scheer becomes prime minister, Justin Trudeau has to go as Liberal leader

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      We've learned from many elections around the world that polling numbers can't be trusted.

      That's because the most important question isn't who you're going to vote for.

      It's whether you're going to vote.

      That's because turnout dictates the results. The party with the most motivated voters and the best ground game can win an election even if it's behind in a pre-election poll.

      As for the who you're going to vote for question, the CBC poll tracker has the Conservatives at 34.8 percent. The Liberals are at 33.8 percent, with the NDP in third at 13.5 percent followed by the Greens at 9.6 percent.

      It's generally conceded that the Greens have the worst ground game and their votes are widely dispersed. The CBC poll tracker projects them to win between one and eight seats.

      The NDP is forecast to win between one and 42 seats.

      The Liberals could win between 98 and 212 seats, according to the polls, whereas the Conservatives might take anywhere from 108 to 190.

      A party needs 170 seats to form a majority government.

      Here's where Justin Trudeau becomes a problem for the Liberals.

      He's alienated many progressive voters by buying a pipeline and completing an expansion project, costing in the neighbourhood of $14 billion.

      The pipeline purchase and expansion project don't look like they will help the Liberals increase their seat count in Alberta, judging from the website 338canada.com.

      It's been a brutal political miscalculation if Trudeau thought that this move would improve his fortunes there.

      Trudeau has also done a fairly dismal job in responding to  the climate crisis.

      And his office tried to interfere in the prosecution of a Quebec company on corruption charges, creating a rupture with two senior female cabinet ministers.

      The recent blackface and brownface scandal was a byproduct of Trudeau's seemingly lifelong desire to be the centre of attention.

      He always has to be noticed—and in these instances, just as during his India trip, it's blown up in his face.

      Trudeau is no Mark Carney, the respected former governor of the Bank of Canada who's now overseeing the Bank of England.

      Trudeau is also the antithesis of Bob Rae, the articulate and witty former interim Liberal leader who brought the party back from near-extinction.

      Carney or Rae would never find themselves in the midst of a blackface or brownface scandal.

      They wouldn't photobomb weddings and do handstands on their desk.

      Carney or Rae wouldn't try to bathe themselves in U.S. media attention by showing up in Vogue, Rolling Stone, and a disastrous program hosted by comedian Hasan Minhaj. By doing all of this, Trudeau has left an impression with a fair number of older voters that he's a political lightweight.

      Video: Watch Hasan Minhaj with Justin Trudeau.

      Carney or Rae certainly wouldn't impulsively shout across the floor of Parliament that a member on the opposite side was a piece of shit.

      And they wouldn't march aggressively across the floor and (even by accident) elbow a female member of another party in the chest.

      The danger for Trudeau is that his antics have the potential to turn off natural supporters. He needs them to vote for his party to keep the Conservatives out of power.

      Keep in mind that this is the most socially conservative group that has run against the Liberals in more than a decade. The Scheer-led Conservatives are a throwback to the Reform Party of Canada, at least in British Columbia.

      In many ridings of the Lower Mainland, candidates with records of opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, or Pride parades can be found.

      And an Ottawa-area Conservative candidate has been a close friend of Faith Goldy, for God's sakes.

      The campaign chair, Hamish Marshall, is a former director of Rebel Media, which has stoked the fires of white nationalism by giving Goldy a platform.

      Marshall's company, Torch, provided information-technology services to Rebel Media.

      Andrew Scheer is trying to be as inoffensive as possible on the campaign trail—yet he has many socially conservative candidates and his campaign manager is a former director of Rebel Media.
      Andrew Scheer

      Did Trudeau's campaign team not do a SWOT analysis, evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

      Did they not candidly discuss the possibility that pictures of Trudeau in blackface or brownface might surface during the campaign?

      If Trudeau kept this secret from his own campaign team, that amounts to fairly extreme political negligence.

      It's not good enough to simply say he was too embarrassed to mention this. It's not about him—it's about 337 other candidates across the country.

      Anyone who knew about these images would recognize that they offered an ideal opportunity for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to vacuum up some of the Liberal base.

      There's still a month to go before Election Day.

      A lot can happen between now and then.

      But if the wheels fall off the Liberal campaign and it ends up in the ditch, the first task for the party will be to get rid of Trudeau after the election. He's not likely to go on his own, given his love of the spotlight.

      In this regard, he's a bit like former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm, who had to be pushed to resign.

      Trudeau should have told his campaign team about the existence of the blackface and brownface photos. They were in a school yearbook.

      Not to have done this is unforgiveable, should his party lose the election.