He failed to secure a majority of seats – forcing him once again to cross the aisle to opposition parties in order to pass key legislation, and the costly exercise is expected to raise questions about the Trudeau’s credibility, especially when the Covid-19 crisis remains far from over.
The leader of the Liberal Party never said he was aiming for the majority, but his opponents – including his main opponent, the Conservatives’ Erin O’Toole – insisted that an unnecessary takeover was the goal. .
As the mail-in ballots were still counted on Wednesday, Trudeau’s Liberal Party remained 12 seats away from the goal of forming a majority government – bringing back a Parliament surprisingly similar to the previous one.
As he did in his first election victory in 2015, Trudeau invoked the phrase of the better days ahead: “You send us back to work with a clear mandate to help Canada through this pandemic and into better days.” future. My friends, that’s exactly it. what we’re prepared to do, ”Trudeau told supporters Tuesday morning.
Around the world, the Covid-19 virus appears to have developed a knack for outwitting elected leaders at almost every turn – including in Canada, which is in the midst of a fourth wave – and throughout the campaign of 36 days on thorny issues such as vaccines, passports and money orders featured prominently. And in what looked like scenes south of the border, anti-vaccine activists and rowdy protesters caused significant disruption, especially during the events of the Trudeau campaign.
“I can say without a doubt that this election had a lot more vitriol than others. People are suffering. Businesses have not recovered from the losses they have suffered as a result of the pandemic,” he told me. Krystina Waler of the Conservatives.
Trudeau called the election on August 15 with the reasoning that the existing arrangement in Parliament was unworkable and that his party needed a new Imprimatur to fight the pandemic and revive a struggling Canadian economy. It has not been said that calling an election two years before the end of his term was an attempt to regain a majority and free the government from having to rely on the left-wing New Democratic Party for support. of the House of Commons.
In the last election, long before Covid-19 became a major concern of voters, the Liberals appeared to have been punished over a series of scandals that had made their campaign promises of a clean and ethical government almost laughable.
With those gaps now in the rearview mirror, Trudeau’s best hope was for voters to opt for a familiar face rather than hand the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic to an untested newcomer like O’Toole – or one of the other four federal governments. party leaders elsewhere.
Luckily for Trudeau, his ministers have managed to catch up after a failed initial vaccine rollout, and the government can now report that nearly 70% of Canadians have been fully immunized.
While it’s hard to say for sure, millions of voters, especially the younger ones, likely went to the polls with a positive outlook from the Trudeau Liberals for the billions of dollars handed out in waves of punitive lockdowns. . Spending madness, which provided high school graduates up to C $ 1,750 per month, for the first time helped push the federal deficit to nearly C $ 1 trillion.
This priority will need to be addressed immediately as the spread of the highly infectious delta variant continues to wreak havoc in the western provinces. Just days before Canadians went to the polls, a public health emergency was declared in Alberta – the province that lifted restrictions more than any other – as the public health system reached a breaking point. The deteriorating situation there may have indirectly helped Trudeau win votes after O’Toole praised Prime Minister Jason Kenney for his handling of the pandemic.
An uncertain “new normal”
When Canadians woke up on Tuesday, they may have wondered about the future direction of a country that faces not only the uncertainty of the pandemic and a diminished presence on the international stage, but also divisions. policies that made this election one of the most toxic in recent memory. In addition to the pandemic-related expenses, the other main issues of the election campaign were the climate, housing affordability and gun control.
Foreign affairs matters rarely interfere with a Canadian election campaign, but the early days of the election campaign were dominated by biting questions about Canada’s response to the brutal United States withdrawal from Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans Trudeau promised to accept as refugees have left behind, in part because of a bureaucratic mess. This deflected the Liberals’ message in the crucial early days of the campaign with lingering questions about why Canada, which has paid a disproportionate price in Afghanistan, was not better prepared.
And pursuing Trudeau throughout the campaign, there were questions about why he decided to send millions to polling stations as Canada is in the midst of a fourth wave of the Covid pandemic. -19 – especially for a government that claimed to prioritize science over politics.
With the Delta variant circulating in many parts of the country, Trudeau, projecting a “rules for you but not for me” attitude, has come under fire for staging large election rallies and an indoor media event during the pandemic.
Prime Minister Teflon
After subjecting Canadians to a power-grabbing exercise that netted taxpayers a $ 470 million (US) note, Trudeau’s political future could be anything but bright. Could this election even mark the beginning of the end of the once powerful Trudeau brand and open the door to a leadership challenge down the road?
At 49, Trudeau is now the eldest of the three main party leaders. While his youthful vigor was evident throughout the campaign, particularly in a punitive schedule in recent days designed to close tight races across the country, Trudeau appears to have succumbed to a delivery style that seems haughty. and mingled with stump speech chips.
With his previous ethics violations providing ample ammunition for opponents, Trudeau may have to make room for a new face to lead his party in uncertain times. (While a third ethics inquiry was launched last year into the WE Charity scandal, Trudeau admitted he made a mistake).
As in the last campaign, Trudeau, who is the son of a former prime minister, took advantage of the absence of a formidable challenger. Despite a last-minute attempt to rebrand O’Toole as an equally charismatic leader, the leader of the Conservatives clearly failed to ignite the hearts and minds of enough Canadians to take power.
Even O’Toole’s late left turn and hardened pro-vaccine stance failed to make a dent in the behemoth of the liberal campaign. O’Toole’s poor performance during the election campaign could send him into political purgatory.
As the House of Commons meets again this fall, Trudeau’s caucus might be tempted to ask why an election was called, given that they have hardly changed the political landscape in Ottawa. It’s a good question to ask.