EDITORIAL: Kokanee Grope gives poll numbers a nudge

EDITORIAL: Kokanee Grope gives poll numbers a nudge

The worst part of the Kokanee Grope is the gall of it all. We’re not just talking about Justin Trudeau’s audacity to grope a female reporter at an event in the year 2000. Although of course that was wrong and deserves condemnation.

What makes it all worse though is Trudeau’s troubling non-apology and his whole double standard around sexual assault and harassment allegations.

The PM had previously said he had a “zero tolerance” policy towards such allegations. This saw him effectively ruin the careers of two Liberal MPs several years ago because he did not take an “innocent until proven guilty” approach to accusations leveled against them.

Then he went on to say earlier this year that he was fairly certain that he would not be faced with any #MeToo accusations from any time in his past.

When news of the Kokanee Grope first broke online and in the Sun papers, the PMO downplayed it in vague terms. Then, when the PM himself was confronted with direct questions, he dodged the issue and spoke about how men and women remember things differently and how the accusations against him were an opportunity for us all to reflect on our conduct.

It was hypocritical and dismissive of his accuser. It’s also apparently hurting him politically.

A new poll from Angus Reid Institute now shows that 21% of past Liberal voters view him less positively because of his handling of the issue.

This is at first glance a rather low figure. But not when you break it down electorally. This means 1-in-5 people who voted Liberal in 2015 may not vote for Trudeau next time around for this reason alone.

There are many, many seats where the Liberals can’t afford to lose 20% of the vote. Liberal MPs had much smaller margins of victory in other ridings – with half a dozen as low as 1.5% – particularly swing ridings in areas like the Greater Toronto Area.

The Kokanee Grope may have only given polls a nudge, but in many cases, that’s all it takes to send the Liberals packing.

Trudeau should learn from this experience that honesty and humility are often the best paths forward when dealing with something as serious as this.

Source URL
https://torontosun.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-kokanee-grope-gives-poll-numbers-a-nudge
Author Name
Los Lobo

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