The Liberal wave keeps rolling across Central and Eastern Canada.

Brian Gallant led the provincial Liberal party in New Brunswick to victory in last week’s election, in the process becoming, at 32, the country’s youngest premier.

The Liberal victory in New Brunswick followed Liberal triumphs this year in elections in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

While there may not be an official alliance between provincial and federal Liberal parties, the electorate does not necessarily know or care for details of any relationships. To the average voter, a provincial Liberal is a federal Liberal and vice-versa — and that is usually true in terms of policy and politician, with the glaring exception of the British Columbia Liberal Party, which would be more at home federally standing alongside the Conservatives.

In fact, during the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Liberal candidate forum a few weeks ago, all three candidates stressed the need to make it clear to voters their Liberal party is not in any way connected to the provincial Liberals.

There is little doubt the emergence of Justin Trudeau as federal Liberal leader has influenced voters provincially in those provinces that have recently elected Grit governments.

Despite his off-the-cuff gaffes (on China’s dictatorship and the Ukraine-Russia conflict) and controversial, seemingly sudden, policy decisions (pro-marijuana legalization, pro-choice candidates and removing the Liberal tag from all erstwhile Grit senators), Trudeau resonates with enough voters to have become a serious threat to the status quo in Ottawa.

Since the 2011 federal election, in which the Conservatives won a majority, there have been 13 by-elections. Of those, only two seats changed hands — and the Liberals stole both, from the Conservatives and New Democrats.

It would seem Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing a serious threat.

And, if trends are any indication, consider the red wave soaking most of Atlantic Canada.

The last time the Liberals held power in Canada, there were Grit governments in New Brunswick (1987 to 1999), Newfoundland and Labrador (1989 to 2003), Prince Edward Island (1993 to 1996) and Nova Scotia from 1993 to 1999.

The Election Act of Canada dictates that the next federal election be held on Oct. 19, 2015. However, the governor general can still call an election at any time on the advice of the prime minister.

Harper, it would seem, has a hard decision to make — wait to see if Trudeau’s popularity wanes or risk it getting more pervasive.

— Kamloops This Week