Jagmeet Singh’s priorities now are wealth tax and adding nurses – .

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Jagmeet Singh’s priorities now are wealth tax and adding nurses – .


“Confident” that the NDP will be able to pressure the most dependent Liberals to keep their promises

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party would have the power to pressure the minority Liberal government on priorities such as a wealth tax and support for health workers, despite a disappointing election result on Monday that saw the number of party seats stall.

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“I am ready to go back to work. We had the same position in the last Parliament and we were able to achieve a lot of really important victories, “like forcing the Liberals to increase wage supports in the event of a pandemic, Singh said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We will continue to do this work. And we are confident that we will be able to do it.

But it’s unclear how the leverage will work when Parliament takes over, according to poll analyst Eric Grenier of The Writ website. The Liberals do not want to call another election anytime soon, and that could mean they are “more willing to put the ball in the opposition’s court to support them or be the ones who caused the election.”

Alternatively, the Liberals could be “humiliated” if there are questions about the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Peter Graefe, associate professor of political science at McMaster University, said Singh may have more bargaining power this time around. After the election, it may be more difficult for the Liberals to find common ground with the Bloc, making the Trudeau government “a little more necessarily dependent on the NDP this time”.

“As well as the fact that the NDP appears to be more organizationally sound than it was in the 2019 campaign and financially capable… these are all characteristics that would lead you to believe Mr. Singh might have a bit. more influence, and the negotiations will probably be a little more tense, ”Graefe predicted.

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Throughout the election, the NDP hovered around 20 percent support, and before election day Monday, projections showed it could win a dozen seats. Instead, the party received just under 18 percent of the vote. Late Tuesday, the NDP had been elected in 24 ridings – the same number as in 2019 – and led in one more, once again placing it in fourth place behind the Bloc Québécois.

Singh told reporters that he felt secure in his party leadership, despite the poor results, and that he didn’t feel like he had reached his cap as a leader.

Grenier said Singh’s leadership did not seem “really in danger,” adding that former NDP leader Jack Layton also made only gradual gains in his first two elections.

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Graefe noted that the NDP “generally seems to be a party that is happy to keep its leadership for a while,” and said Singh actually appears to be in a better position now than he was in 2019, when ‘he’ felt like he ran a campaign where he sort of saved his bacon.

The NDP “seems generally to be a happy party to keep its leadership for a while”

poll analyst Eric Grenier

At the time, some factions of the party were complaining about “a lot of growling,” but there seems to be “a lot less” this time around, Graefe said. “So that way, I think, they probably have a more united party behind them, and one that’s able to read the polls, which show it’s in many ways more popular than the party. “

Singh said on Tuesday that an immediate priority back in parliament will be supporting overworked and exhausted healthcare workers such as nurses. Nurses across the country held a ‘day of action’ on the Friday before the election to draw attention to what they say is a chronic nursing shortage that has now reached a tipping point, a year and a half ago. half after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Nurses have been screaming for a long time that the situation is really bad; it is at the point of disaster. And so that will be something that we will be working on right away, ”he said.

When asked if he was disappointed with the NDP’s performance in the election, Singh said the party was “in a great position to continue fighting for the people.” But he acknowledged that he was appalled by some of the losses, including the leading candidate, MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, who narrowly lost her candidacy in Berthier-Maskinongé.

“Of course, I am disappointed that some amazing candidates that we have are not coming back as MPs, or coming to Ottawa as MPs. I think it’s a loss for our team, but it’s also a loss for Quebec and for Canada and for Parliament, ”said Singh.

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Grenier said the reason for the NDP’s poor performance could be strategic voting, in which progressive voters have gone for the Liberals over the NDP, lower turnout among younger voters, who are “more likely to vote for the NDP but less likely to vote, ”or a combination of the two. The NDP was targeting youth voting in this election and invested a lot of resources in social media, including TikTok.

Singh was asked if this was a strategy error, given that it didn’t translate into votes. “I think it’s important to be able to reach people and use the tools we have to connect with people where they are,” he replied.

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