In Canada’s election, Trudeau’s Liberals are expected to win a minority government.
Canadians have come home. According to broadcast network forecasts, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a close election against a rookie conservative leader on Monday, but he did not win an outright majority.
Last month, Trudeau announced a snap election, aiming to use a seamless Covid-19 vaccine rollout — one of the best in the world – to get a new mandate to shepherd the country out of the pandemic and pass his program without opposition support.
However, his voice was hoarse after a tumultuous five weeks of campaigning, and he appeared to be on track for a rerun of the tense 2019 general election, which saw the one-time golden boy of Canadian politics cling to power despite losing his majority in parliament.
Trudeau has survived more difficult political battles at the age of 49.
His administration, though, is exhibiting symptoms of exhaustion after six years in power, and 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.
Long lines outside polling places were witnessed by AFP journalists throughout the day in numerous major cities.
Douglas O’Hara, 73, who voted in Trudeau’s Papineau electoral district in Montreal, said he was “extremely unhappy” with the prime minister earlier.
Although he believes Trudeau performed a “half-decent job” controlling the epidemic, he recalls Trudeau promising not to vote until the outbreak had passed.
“Then he calls an election as soon as he gets a chance (when) he thinks he’ll gain a majority,” O’Hara said. “I’m convinced he lied to us.”
Kai Anderson, 25, said Canada’s pandemic response was her “number one” concern in Ottawa. She remarked, “I think the prime minister did a wonderful job managing the pandemic.”
Liz Maier, 72, of Vancouver, agreed that Trudeau should win because of his “consistency in leadership” during the public health crises.
Liberals and Conservatives — the two main political parties that have dominated Canada since its 1867 confederation – were almost equal in public opinion polls, with around 31 percent support apiece, and four minor factions biting at their heels.
Tim Powers, a pollster, anticipated a Liberal minority victory.
“But is that a victory for him?” he asked, pointing out that Trudeau had hoped for more than a majority of seats.
“In the end, this election was for naught,” says Felix, a politics professor at the University of Winnipeg. Brief News from Washington Newsday.