Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party’s shining star, has been tarnished by the election campaign.
Justin Trudeau hoped that his quick response to the pandemic would help him easily win re-election as prime minister, which he did on Monday, but his gamble to win an absolute majority failed.
With a mop of dark curly hair and a confident swagger, the first-born son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau surged to power in a landslide in 2015, dashing into crowds to take pictures with adoring youthful followers.
He faced a flood of criticism and even threats on the campaign trail six years later, at the age of 49.
Trudeau called a sudden election after handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in Covid help to workers and businesses, hoping to reclaim the majority in parliament he had lost in 2019.
According to pollster Tim Powers, he went from Canada’s “golden boy” to a “experienced pugilist throwing whatever punches required to stay in the ring” on the hustings with rookie Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.
Trudeau squeaked by with a victory by persuading voters to keep the course in the pandemic, which has seen new outbreaks driven by the Delta variety.
Trudeau, according to University of Winnipeg politics professor Felix Mathieu, may now face a challenge for his party’s leadership “because he lost his bet” on a majority government.
“It remains to be seen how long his minority government will last,” he told AFP. Since 2004, Canada has had five minority governments, each of which has lasted no more than two years.
As Trudeau declared in 2015, after nearly a decade of Tory control, “Canada is back!” the world watched with attention, if not admiration.
“Why can’t he be our president?” screamed a Rolling Stone magazine cover depicting Trudeau from the United States.
Now, there is a distinct sense of dissatisfaction with his administration.
Past controversies resurfaced, including Trudeau’s sacking of Canada’s first indigenous attorney general, who accused Trudeau of interfering in SNC-bribery Lavalin’s investigation.
When these factors were combined with the Liberal leader’s failure to meet high expectations, his popularity plummeted.
Protesters he characterized as “anti-vaxxer hordes” followed him around rallies, throwing stones at the prime minister.
There was also criticism of Trudeau’s decision to schedule an election barely two years after the last one, and just as the country was emerging from pandemic lockdowns.
In response to the criticism, Trudeau stated that this election was the most crucial since WWII.
On mandatory, he underlined “stark” policy contrasts between his party and its opponents. Brief News from Washington Newsday.