Experts say the federal election results showed a deep divide between Canadians living in urban areas, who chose mostly Liberal candidates, and those living in rural areas who voted for the Conservative Party.
Alan Thompson, head of Carleton University’s journalism program, said Monday’s election results showed a growing polarization between rural and urban Canadians.
The divide was very clear in Ontario, where the Liberals held almost all seats in the urban riding and the Conservatives flipped some rural riding and extended their lead in the earlier riding.
“What worries me is just polarization, it starts to divide more and more, a division where it’s almost automatic what the outcome is going to be,” Thompson said.
“I think parties start making that part of their strategy. I’m concerned that they’re not even really making a serious effort to appeal to voters that they’ve decided are invincible, and that’s just is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Before returning to his nonpartisan position as a university professor, Thompson led a task force to propose ways for liberals to better engage with rural voters. He also ran twice as a Liberal candidate in the Huron-Bruce riding in rural Ontario, losing by nearly 3,000 votes to Conservative MP Ben Lobb in 2015 and by nearly 9,000 votes in 2019.
On Monday, Loeb was reelected over the Liberal candidate by a margin of more than 15,000 votes.
Conservative Michelle Ferreri defeated incumbent Liberal gender equality minister Mary Monsef in the largely rural riding of Peterborough-Kawartha, and Conservative Anna Roberts also defeated Liberal senior minister Deb Schulte in King_von on the outskirts of Toronto.
The Conservatives also flipped the Bay of Quinte ride in Ontario, Miramichi_Grand Lake, Cumberland_Colchester and South Shore_St in New Brunswick. Margaret’s in Nova Scotia and Bays-Central-Notre Dame coast in Newfoundland and Labrador, while much of Canada maintains or extends its lead in rural riding.
Meanwhile, the Liberals held their strongholds in Canada’s largest cities, winning 22 of the 24 ridings in the Montreal area and Toronto’s 25 ridings, including Spadina_Fort York, where Kevin Vuong was rejected by the Liberal Party. also won.
The party removed Wuong as a candidate two days before election day, over the revelation that he had been accused of sexual harassment in 2019, a charge that was later withdrawn. However, his name remained on the ballot, and the party now says he will have to sit as an independent.
The Liberals won nine of 10 seats in the Ottawa-Gatineau area and flipped three ridings in the Vancouver area. He also won all riding in the Halifax area and picked up one riding each in Calgary and Edmonton.
Thompson said that liberals and conservatives have become so deeply ingrained in their respective strongholds that “you begin to wonder whether they are satisfied with dedicating their resources and campaign strategy to communities where they feel they have a chance to win.” Best chance?”
Carleton University political science professor Jonathan Malloy said the pattern of liberals winning in urban areas and conservative winning in rural areas is not new. It emerged nearly three decades ago when the Conservative Party split with the creation of the Reform Party, which later transformed into the Canadian Coalition before reunification under the Conservative banner.
Malloy said this attracted conservatives more to rural areas, while liberals became more established in cities.
“Toronto used to be a Tory center of voting, it’s like 50, 60 years ago,” he said.
“The trends that we have today are increasing, accelerating, especially in Ontario, I would say, for the last 20 or 30 years.”
Malloy said it’s hard to determine when exactly this trend began, partly because few communities have developed so much over the past few decades.
“Brampton, (Ont.) used to be quite a small town, maybe 50 years ago you would probably call it predominantly rural and a small town. Now of course Brampton is a city of about 600,000 people,” he said.
Malloy said each of the two parties played a role in dividing the policies proposed during their campaigns.
For example, the Liberal’s promise of $10 a day childcare was more attractive to people living in cities where the cost of child care is more of a concern than service availability.
“It really plays out differently in different areas and in a lot of rural and suburban areas, … and remote areas, it’s just about the ability to supply government services, not the cost, Malloy said.
There was a very clear distinction between liberals and conservatives on the issue of guns, which played out differently between urban and rural populations, he said.
“Nobody needs a gun in a Canadian city. And so, liberals tend to be quite restrictive on firearms, because most urbanites don’t own firearms, have no need for firearms and therefore use strong restrictions on them.” are happy to support.
“In rural areas, firearms are more practical, whether for hunting or protecting your farm animals. There are practical reasons to have guns in rural areas.”
Malloy said both Liberals and Conservatives are aware of these differences and formulate their own policies to appeal to their bases.
They believe that voters view the party leader as a city or a rural person also plays a role in their choice.
“Urban voters view Mr. (Andrew) Scheer and Mr. (Erin) O’Toole as relatively rural, regardless of whether they are precisely urban or suburban,” he said. “Mr. (Justin) Trudeau, fair to say, identified with Urban. I don’t think anyone would disagree…