Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has won the elections in Canada for the third time in a row. News networks predict that the Liberals will create another minority government after a 36-day campaign.
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Liberal Party Wins Close Elections against Conservative Party
According to news networks, Liberal Party’s Justin Trudeau won a close election against Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party on Monday. However, Trudeau did not win an outright majority. Last month, he announced a quick election, aiming to use a seamless Covid-19 vaccine launch — one of the best in the world — to get a new mandate to shepherd the country out of the pandemic and pass his agenda without support from the opposition.
Before the declaration of results, Trudeau appeared to be on track for a rerun of the tense 2019 general election. 2019 had seen the one-time golden boy of Canadian politics cling to power despite losing his majority in parliament. (Reported by NDTV)
After his party won, the new Prime Minister addressed the masses. His voice was hoarse during his victory speech, after a tumultuous five weeks of campaigning.
“You (Canadians) are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get through this pandemic and into brighter days ahead,” Trudeau said on stage at a victory gala. He was present there alongside his wife Sophie Gregoire and their children.
However, Trudeau’s administration has been exhibiting symptoms of exhaustion after six years in power. This year, it was an uphill struggle for him to persuade Canadians to continue with his Liberals after falling short of the lofty expectations set in his 2015 landslide victory.
How many political parties ran in the election?
The election was contested by six parties – Liberal Party of Justin Trudeau, Conservative Party of Erin O’Toole, New Democratic Party of Jagmeet Singh, People’s Party of Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebecois of Yves-Francois Blanchet, and Green Party of Annamie Paul. The House of Commons, the lower house of the Canadian Parliament, has 338 seats (one for each district). A party must capture 170 seats to gain a majority.
Canadians show a Mixed Response
Although some Canadians believe Trudeau “did a half-decent job” controlling the pandemic, they recall that the prime minister promised to not hold elections until the outbreak was over. Kai Anderson, 25, said Canada’s pandemic response was her “number one” concern in Ottawa. “I believe the prime minister handled the pandemic well,” she remarked.
Vancouver’s Liz Maier, 72, agreed that Trudeau should win because of his “consistency in leadership” during the public health crises.
Liberals and Conservatives — the two main political parties dominating Canada since its 1867 confederation — were almost equal in public opinion polls, with around 31 per cent support for each, and four minor factions biting at their heels.
China’s ‘counterstrikes,’ Anti-vaxxer Mob
The candidates sparred on climate action, indigenous reconciliation, affordable housing, mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, and vaccine passports during the campaign. Trudeau faced “anti-vaxxer mobs” during rallies, including one who flung stones at him.
Meanwhile, O’Toole was chastised for supporting Alberta’s and two other Tory-led provinces’ premature relaxing of public health rules, which resulted in COVID-19 outbreaks in these areas. These outbreaks required the local overburdened hospitals to fly patients across Canada for treatment.
Gun regulation was also a sore spot for O’Toole’s campaign. He was further cautioned by Beijing, according to Chinese state media, that taking a strong line against China, Canada’s second-largest trading partner, would “welcome counterstrikes.”
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