Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won parliamentary elections but failed to win a majority, centered on the coronavirus pandemic, but many Canadians saw as unnecessary.
Trudeau led a stable minority government in Monday’s election that was not in danger of being toppled – but he was hoping Canadians would reward him with a majority for navigating the pandemic better than many other leaders . Still, Trudeau struggled to justify why he called the election early given the virus, and the opposition accused him of holding the vote two years before the deadline for his personal ambition.
In the end, the gambling didn’t pay off, and the results were almost the same as two years ago. The Liberal Party was leading or elected on 156 seats – one less than the 2019 victory, and 14 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.
The Conservatives were leading or elected in 121 seats, the same number they won in 2019. Left-wing New Democrats were leading or elected on 27 seats, while Bloc Québécois remained unchanged with 32 seats and the Greens were down. two.
“You’re sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic,” Trudeau said. “I hear you when you say you just want to go back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or the election.”
But experts said it was not the victory Trudeau had hoped for.
“Trudeau has lost his gamble on getting the majority, so I would say it’s a resounding victory for him,” said Daniel Beland, a professor of political science at McGill University in Montreal.
“Basically we are back at square one, because the new minority parliament will look a lot like the previous one. Trudeau and the liberals saved their skin and will remain in power, but many Canadians who did not want this late summer, the pandemic The polls are probably not happy about the whole situation,” he said.
Trudeau bet Canadians didn’t want a Conservative government during a pandemic, playing down the successes of his own party. Canada has the highest vaccination rate in the world, and Trudeau’s government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the economy running amid the lockdown. Trudeau argued that the approach of the Conservatives, which has been skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous.
Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, which conservatives oppose.
And he has pointed out that Alberta, run by a conservative provincial government, is in trouble. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province could run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenny apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantly offering a vaccine passport and implementing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after nearly all restrictions were lifted.
Meanwhile, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said her party’s candidates were not required to be vaccinated and did not say how many were not. O’Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision, but a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are upset by those who refuse to get the shot.
“The vaccination debate and Trudeau’s anti-vaccination crowd helped the Liberals to salvage a campaign that was not off to a good start for the party,” Beland said.
Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said conservatives were hurt by the situation in Alberta.
“The explosion of the pandemic in Alberta over the past 10 days undermined O’Toole’s praise of the Alberta Conservatives for how they handled the pandemic and strengthened Trudeau’s argument for compulsory vaccination,” he said.
Trudeau, 49, channeled the star power of his father, Liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won the election in 2015 and has led his party to the top spot in two elections since then.
A Conservative victory represented a rebuke of Trudeau by a politician, with a smidge of his name recognition. O’Toole, 47, is a military veteran, former lawyer and Member of Parliament for nine years.
“The Canadian people did not give Mr Trudeau the majority he wanted,” O’Toole said. Conservative campaign co-chair Walid Soliman had previously said that keeping Trudeau in a minority government would be a victory.
O’Toole said he was more determined than ever to continue, but his party could dump him as did the previous leader who failed to defeat Trudeau in 2019.
O’Toole advertised himself as a “true-blue Conservative” a year earlier. He became leader of the Conservative Party with a pledge to “take back Canada”, but immediately began working to push the party towards the political centre.
O’Toole’s strategy, which involved rejecting positions beloved by his party’s base on issues such as climate change, guns and balanced budgets, was designed to appeal to a wider cross section of voters in a country where was designed for, which is much more generous than that. southern neighbour.
Whether liberal Canadians believed O’Toole was the progressive conservative he claimed to be and whether he alienated the traditionalists became central questions of the campaign.
Vancouver software developer Regina Edshade, 28, said she was upset that the election was called early during a pandemic and with wildfires burning in British Columbia. But that didn’t stop him from casting the Liberal vote as the party represents his values.
“I don’t love there was a …
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Justin Trudeau