- The elections were hotly contested with Trudeau's Liberals facing stiff competition from the opposition Conservatives.
- The separatist Bloc Quebecois of Yves-François Blanchet jumped from 10 to 32 seats in the country's second-largest province.
- Trudeau will have to count on support from other parties, like the NDP, in Parliament.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won Canada’s parliamentary elections Monday night. The party has, however, lost its absolute majority. “Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity. They elected a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” said an evidently relieved Trudeau in his victory speech in Montreal.
Prime Minister Trudeau waved to the cheering crowd in Montreal and promised them he would continue with his progressive policies. The elections were hotly contested with Trudeau’s Liberals facing stiff competition from the opposition Conservatives. Even before the voting booths opened, it was clear that it would be a neck-and-neck race between the Liberals and the Conservatives. In the end, Trudeau made it.
By early Tuesday, with results still trickling in, the Liberals had secured 157 seats— 13 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons. At the time, the Conservatives were on track to secure 121 seats. The Conservatives attracted more votes (34.4%) than the Liberals (33.1%), but through the nation’s electoral system, the seats determine the winner.
The separatist Bloc Quebecois of Yves-François Blanchet jumped from 10 to 32 seats in the country’s second-largest province. No Liberals were elected in the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Instead, the Conservatives carried the day in the prairies.
Support Needed from Smaller Parties
Justin Trudeau is 13 seats short of an absolute majority. Coalition governments are not a tradition in Canada, so Trudeau will now form a minority government. Trudeau will probably have to count on support from other parties when voting in parliament. For Trudeau, the most logical partner is the New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Jagmeet Singh, or the Green Party. The NDP has already announced it is interested in joining hands with the Liberals, and will be of assistance where necessary.
Progressive Policies Continue
During his election speech, Trudeau said he would continue his progressive policies. Trudeau wants a strict gun control policy, and he promises to assist the indigenous peoples more.
In 2015, then touted as the nation’s golden boy, Trudeau won the elections with a landslide. In recent months, Trudeau has increasingly come under fire, with many scandals haunting him, including his move to nationalize a controversial oil pipeline project as well as the emergence of old photos of the prime minister wearing blackface and brownface. He nonetheless was able to convince voters, and he managed to win the elections, albeit very narrowly. Trudeau is a son of the Liberal icon and late former Prime Minister of the nation, Pierre Trudeau. He is seen as one of the last remaining progressive leaders in the world’s major democracies.
His main rival, the Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, had promised during the campaign to roll back several environmental protections, among them Trudeau’s carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use. He had also assured Canadians that he would bring the budget back in to balance after deficit spending by the Liberals.