Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has won the 2019 Canadian federal election, as per a projection from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). While the Liberals lost seats in parliament, controlling just a majority of seats instead of an outright majority, regardless they have enough to keep control of the government.
This was a particularly severe campaign in Canada. Justin Trudeau’s administration had been shaken by two genuine embarrassments, one including photographs of the prime minister in blackface and brownface, the other including political interference with a government prosecution. His campaign went negative — attacking Andrew Scheer, the leader of the opposition Conservative party, as inadmissibly moderate on social and economic issues — to scare the generally dynamic Canadian electorate into staying with them.
Obviously, it worked. While Liberal power in Parliament is reduced, it’s as yet a success for the embattled PM. Furthermore, on account of the manner in which Canada’s system works, Canadian policy really could end up being pushed to one side.
Canada’s election results show Justin Trudeau discolored, yet not vanquished
Canadian elections, similar to American elections, are a first-past-the-post system — which means the nation is isolated into various legislative districts, called ridings, and whichever candidate gets the most vote in a riding wins. Nonetheless, Canada is a parliamentary system, which means Canadians don’t directly choose their prime minister — control of the official is dictated by which party can win the most help in parliament.
The key battles in the ridings are commonly between the two leading center-left and center-right parties, the Liberal Party and the Conservatives. In any case, there are a few smaller parties that likewise contend on the national level — the left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP), the Quebec-specific Bloc Québécois (BQ), the environment-focused Greens, and the extreme right populist People’s Party of Canada (PPC).
In this sort of system, the division of votes between the various parties truly matters. Riding with a dynamic majority of voters could end up electing a Conservative for parliament if dynamic voters split their votes. This is the means by which the Conservatives have had a better than average took shots at winning power, despite the fact that a majority of Canadians have bolstered one of the different dynamic parties in every election in recent memory.
The huge dread among Liberal Party in this election was that this vote parting would cost them seats. In the last election, in 2015, Justin Trudeau won as a morally perfect, socially dynamic uniter. While Justin Trudeau achieved a good amount, including cannabis authorization and a government carbon tax, numerous Canadians felt baffled by Justin Trudeau (indicating inaction on indigenous issues and his help for oil pipelines).
His picture endured an especially huge shot from the two scandals: the blackface and brownface pictures of Justin Trudeau that surfaced during the campaign, and Trudeau’s seemingly illicit interference with a government investigation concerning an enormous organization situated in politically significant Quebec.
The result is that Canada’s Golden Boy was not all that golden when the campaign came around. The possibility of defections to the NDP specifically, whose leader Jagmeet Singh surged in popularity after a solid exhibition in the discussions, posed a potential threat in Liberal strategists’ minds.
So they ran a campaign planned for scaring Canadian progressives, attempting to persuade them that a vote in favor of the NDP or the Greens would viably be a decision in favor of the Conservatives.
Liberal messaging emphasized Conservative leader Scheer’s past opposition to same-gender marriage as well as his personal opposition to abortion (however Scheer said he would not like to prohibit it). Liberal messaging likewise raised the phantom of government spending cuts, indicating the Conservative provincial government in Ontario — Canada’s biggest and most politically significant province — which is right now forcing severe cuts on local services.
It appears as though the attacks worked. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party, who had been behind in the national poll averages as recently as five days prior, held on to enough votes to keep up control of the government. The Conservatives won more seats, yet insufficient; the NDP failed to meet expectations, while the BQ did incredibly well in its home base of Quebec.
It wasn’t an unalloyed triumph, notwithstanding. Liberal Party lost various seats in parliament; what number was not clear as of Monday night, yet enough to never again control an outright majority of seats. Rather, they’ll need to depend on votes from different parties to pass legislation.
This implies the Liberal Party won’t have the option to just force their will through the legislature, as they’ve accomplished for as far back as four years. Rather, on issues ranging from environmental change to the economy, they’ll have to win purchase in from a portion of the littler parties — with their most natural partners being the NDP. That ought to in principle drive enactment to one side, as the Liberal Party should make strategy concessions to the NDP in return for votes.
In Canada, at that point, parliamentary misfortunes for the Liberal government may end up being a success for progressives.