Canadians gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party a victory in Monday’s legislative elections, but his gamble to win a majority of seats failed, and the outcome was roughly the same as two years ago.
The Liberal Party won the highest number of votes of any political party. The 49-year-old Trudeau absorbed the star power of his father, the late Liberal icon and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won a victory in 2015, and has since led his party to victory in two elections.
According to the Associated Press, Trudeau’s Liberals were leading or elected in 156 seats, one fewer than in 2019 and 14 fewer than the required 170 for a House of Commons majority.
The Conservatives were leading or elected in 121 seats, the same number as in 2019. In Canada election 2021, the socialist New Democrats were leading or elected in 27 seats, up three from the previous election, while the Quebec-based Bloc Québécois controlled 32 seats and the Greens lost two.
“You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to bring Canada through this pandemic,” Trudeau added.
“I understand when you say you simply want to get back to doing what you love and not worry about the pandemic or the election.”
Trudeau entered the election as the leader of a stable minority government that was unlikely to be deposed.
The opposition to the 2021 Canadian election was adamant that Trudeau called an unnecessary early election – two years ahead of planned – for personal gain.
“I would say this is a bittersweet triumph for Trudeau because he lost his gamble to get a majority,” said Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal.
“We are essentially back to square one, as the next minority parliament will resemble the previous one. Trudeau and the Liberals have saved their skin and will remain in power, but many Canadians who did not want this late summer, epidemic election are likely not amused by the situation,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
In the event of a pandemic, Trudeau bet that Canadians would reject a Conservative government. Trudeau’s administration spent hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the economy afloat during the lockdown, making Canada one of the world’s most immunized countries. Trudeau stated that the Conservatives’ approach, which has been critical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, is dangerous, and that Canadians demand a science-based government.
The Conservative Party’s leader, Erin O’Toole, did not require his candidates to be vaccinated and would not say how many were not. Vaccination is a personal health decision, according to O’Toole, but an increasing number of vaccinated Canadians are becoming frustrated by others who refuse to get vaccinated.
Trudeau favors compulsory vaccination for Canadians flying or traveling by train, which the Conservatives oppose. Alberta, which is run by a Conservative provincial government, is in a state of emergency, according to Trudeau.
Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta, a strong ally of O’Toole, warned that the province’s acute care units will run out of beds and staff in days. Kenney has apologized for the situation, and two months after nearly all restrictions were relaxed, he is reluctantly proposing a vaccine passport and implementing a mandatory work-from-home order.
A Conservative victory would have been a slap in the face to Trudeau, who would have lost to a politician with a quarter of his name recognition. O’Toole, 47, is a former lawyer, a combat veteran, and a nine-year member of Parliament.
At a time when the United States and other countries were closing their borders, Trudeau’s legacy included embracing immigrants. He also made marijuana legal throughout the United States and established a carbon tax to tackle climate change. He also defended a free trade pact between the US and Mexico, despite threats from former US President Donald Trump to cancel it.
On Twitter, former US President Barack Obama and Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton showed their support for Trudeau. O’Toole received no Trump support. O’Toole and Trumpism, according to Walied Soliman, a co-chair of the Conservative campaign, have nothing in common. Holding Trudeau to a minority government would be a victory for O’Toole, according to Soliman earlier in the day.
The Liberals ruled Canada for 69 years during the twentieth century. Pierre Trudeau championed a “fair society” and led Canada with a swagger never seen before by a Canadian leader. He is recognized for establishing Canada’s version of the Bill of Rights and facilitating immigration.
Trudeau’s Liberals dominated in Toronto, Canada’s largest city and one of the world’s most multicultural capitals.