TORONTO – Jagmeet Singh and the New Democrats could maintain the balance of power in the next Liberal minority government by playing a key role in helping matters of faith and passing important legislation.
Singh, who won in his B.C. ride of Burnaby South, was determined throughout the campaign that he was running to form the government, but the party was running for third in a row ahead of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives.
The party was expected to win more seats than in 2019, when it suffered a major setback, having earlier lost 20 of the 44 seats. It was the party’s worst performance in over a decade.
Projections suggest that the party may win more seats this time, but not enough to give the NDP special influence to negotiate with the liberals.
“I want to say that Canadians know that you can count on the New Democrats to continue fighting for you. As we fought for you in the pandemic when times were tough, when people were struggling, when people Worried about our future. We were there for you,” Singh said in his concession speech late Monday.
“Friends, I want you to know that our fight will continue. We are never going to stop fighting for you and your families, as we have done in the pandemic. As we have shown you in this campaign, we will make sure Will continue to do that you’re first, that your families are taken care of, that your needs are met. That’s what the New Democrats are about.”
The New Democrat ran with arguably one of the most diverse candidate rosters, including 177 women, 29 who were Indigenous, 104 who identified as a person of color, 45 under 26, 39 disabled, and 69 who were LGBTQ2S+. Identified as.
“After all, the numbers are pretty much the same. It didn’t go from where … to where they are the only option for keeping the government afloat. Because the numbers are so much closer than they were before, we shouldn’t expect too many dynamics,” says the University of British Columbia. said Gerald Baer, associate professor of political science with.
In Atlantic Canada, the party lost the only seat in the region, with NDP candidate Mary Shortall losing to Liberal candidate Joan Thompson.
In Alberta, the incumbent Heather McPherson of the NDP won the Edmonton Strathcona seat, Granthshala News announced.
The bloc Québécois, estimated to have only a few seats more than the NDP, could also play a role in maintaining the balance of power.
Baier expects some combination of the NDP and the Bloc to play a role in supporting the government.
Despite heavy losses in 2019, the NDP was able to play an important role in the House of Commons, often supporting the Liberals, but using its influence to suppress the Liberals on a range of issues, especially during the pandemic.
With the pandemic casting a long shadow over this election, Singh’s campaign message highlighted his role in prompting Trudeau to provide more financial aid to Canadians than the Liberals had initially promised.
For example, the NDP Canada takes credit for pressuring liberals to double the Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to $2,000 and increase the wage subsidy to 75 percent. On several other occasions, the NDP also rested its support for the Liberals on major votes by negotiating deals such as paid sick leave. It was a message Singh reiterated during his speech on Monday. Whether the New Democrats claim all credit may be questionable, but the party was consistent in vocalizing its demands during the pandemic.
Grace Skogstad, a professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science, told Granthshala.ca earlier this summer that Singh has been effective in a liberal minority government by keeping his feet on fire.
A key issue that the NDP will likely try to negotiate with the liberals is their campaign’s pledge to tax the super-rich. He told reporters over the weekend that his “number one priority” was to make sure billionaires contribute their fair share through increased taxes.
Singh will likely continue to pressure Trudeau and the Liberal government on affordable housing, climate change and the environment, indigenous issues and clean drinking water in indigenous communities.
While Singh tried to distance himself from Trudeau throughout the campaign, there are some issues in which the two leaders have made similar promises, including launching a $10-a-daycare and advocating for a national pharmacare program, though The Liberals have been criticized for not following through on its previous PharmaCare promises.
Baier says this may be something on which the NDP and Liberals can find a common ground, while other NDP proposals such as universal basic income are unlikely to gain much traction.
“Nobody on the governing side likes minority government, but boy, do kingmakers love the feeling of being able to do something.”