Get ready for a full-on Liberal assault on Jagmeet Singh

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Justin Trudeau has a problem that he never anticipated four years ago when he became prime minister of Canada.

      It's a man who wears different coloured turbans to work every day.

      A man who speaks like a normal person rather than a politician mouthing platitudes.

      A man who waves his arms when he talks, smiles easily, and looks you in the eye without seeming like he's trying to stare you down.

      I'm talking about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, of course.

      Check out this segment of CTV's afternoon chat show called The Social, in which Singh talks about his wife's love of Rihanna.

      Singh's debate performances have already generated a great deal of buzz in this election campaign.

      Now, he's going right after the Liberal base: female voters.

      The polls, of course, still have the Liberals and Conservatives way ahead of the NDP and Greens.

      But polls are not always reliable. That was demonstrated in the last U.S. presidential election when everyone thought Hillary Clinton was going to win easily.

      Liberal voters may not be that motivated this time around, which could present problems for Trudeau on election night.

      An even bigger risk for Trudeau is if lots of so-called low-information voters—who make their decisions late in a campaign—decide to cast a ballot for the charming Singh's New Democrats.

      But the biggest risk of all to the Liberals and Conservatives is if lots and lots of citizens give the finger to both parties and decide to vote NDP or Green to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

      It looks like a long shot now with the economy humming along and a low unemployment rate.

      But the same circumstances existed in B.C. in 2017. And plenty of voters decided that these were the right conditions for bringing the NDP back to power.

      Nobody is expecting that Jagmeet Singh will be prime minister after the October 21 election.

      But if he captures far more seats than the CBC poll tracker is projecting, it will be because of his genial nature and his ability to speak like a human being.

      Surely, the Liberals realize that. The class differences between Trudeau and Singh are profound—and there are far fewer voters in Trudeau's realm than Singh's.

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau both come from wealthy backgrounds.
      Matt Barnes

      Trudeau is likely thinking that he must drive down the NDP vote if he's going to have a shot at a second majority government.

       So that's why we can expect a fair amount of mud-slinging between now and Election Day.

      The Liberals are good at this—just witness what they did to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in the early part of the campaign.

      Jagmeet Singh had better prepare for a brutal ride precisely because he's outperformed expectations this far.

      The next two weeks will enable Canadians to learn if he's tough enough to survive as a party leader over the longer term.

      These next two weeks could also determine Trudeau's political future.