Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won another minority government in Canada’s federal elections held amidst the pandemic.
The Epoch Times' Isaac Teo reports that while not all ballots are counted yet and mail-in ballots are to be counted in coming days, Liberals secured enough seats to be able to form a minority government, but will remain short of the 170 seats required to form a majority government.
The Liberal Party, promising to continue its progressive path on climate action and finishing “the fight against COVID-19,” won or was leading in 156 ridings in the early hours of Tuesday, close to its 155 seats at dissolution.
The opposition Conservatives, touting the party’s platform for “Canada’s recovery,” won or were leading in 121 ridings, close to their 119 seats at dissolution.
Bloc Québécois, which continued its Quebec-first message throughout the campaign, won or was leading in 27 ridings, close to its 32 seats the party held at dissolution.
The NDP, which was competing for the progressive votes with the Liberals and counting on the popularity of leader Jagmeet Singh, won or was leading in 21 ridings, also close to its 24 seats at dissolution.
The Greens held on to the two seats they had at dissolution, while leader Annamie Paul failed to win in her riding of Toronto Centre. Long-time Green MP Elizabeth May won in her BC riding while fellow BC Green incumbent Paul Manly lost in his riding, but the loss was offset with Green candidate Mike Morrice winning in the Kitchener Centre riding.
Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party didn’t win any seats, including in Bernier’s riding of Beauce in Quebec, which was won by the incumbent Conservative candidate. The party, which had campaigned on upholding personal liberties and fighting for COVID-19 vaccine choice, increased its share of national vote to over 5 percent as of the early hours of Tuesday, up from less than 2 percent in 2019.
Throughout the campaign, the Trudeau Liberals had defended their decision to call an election only two years after the last one, when they lost their majority in the 2019 election, saying Canadians needed to decide who will lead the country toward ending the pandemic.
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Both leaders of the leading parties remained defiant in their post-election speeches, although Trudeau was expecting to win a majority, and Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole to form government.
“You are sending us back to work, with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to brighter days ahead,” Trudeau said in his victory speech in Montreal.
“I see Canadians standing together; together in your determination to end this pandemic, together for real climate action, for $10 a day child care, for homes that are in reach for middle class families, for our shared journey on the path of reconciliation.”
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and his family watch early election results in Oshawa, Ont., on Sept. 20, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
In his concession speech in Oshawa, O’Toole said “Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted.”
“In fact, Canadians sent him back with another minority at the cost of $600 million and deeper divisions in our great country,” he said.
“I challenged the prime minister to put the unity of this country and the well being of its people first and I told him, if he thinks he can threaten Canadians with another election in 18 months, the Conservative Party will be ready.”
The final vote count of the election will be announced once the approximately 800,000 mail-in ballots are counted. Counting on those ballots will begin on Tuesday.
However, as Cory Morgan writes at The Epoch Times, the biggest losers in the 2021 federal election are Canadians. At a cost of over $600 million dollars and the disruption of our lives for over a month, we find ourselves nearly exactly where we began.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was accused of holding an election about nothing and the results are reflecting that.
We are tired, divided, and dejected, and it all appears to have served no purpose. It is astounding how similar the 2021 election results are to the 2019 outcome.
While he remains holding a minority government, Trudeau will not need to fear losing a confidence vote any time soon. Even though wasn’t given a clear mandate to govern, Canadians will not put up with being sent to the polls again soon.
Trudeau is going to have to consolidate his leadership, though, and quickly. While the Liberal Party remains in power, insiders can’t be happy with the failure to grab a majority government in this election. The blame will fall upon Trudeau and many party members will not want to give him another kick at the electoral cat. While another election may not be immediately imminent, it likely will come within two years. Those within the Liberal Party who want a new leader are going to act to unseat him sooner rather than later. Trudeau will have his hands full keeping his party loyal at bay.
Regionally, the nation is as divided as ever. While this election campaign didn’t have as much inter-regional vitriol than past ones have had, the outcome shows a clear regional split within Canada. The prairies went almost entirely Conservative, while the rest of the nation went predominantly Liberal. The Bloc Quebecois remains strong within Quebec, and interior BC has shunned the Liberals.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole held his ground but alienated much of his base as he took on a campaign of compromise in hopes of making a breakthrough in central Canada that never materialized.
Small-c conservatives are going to want to move the party back to traditional conservative values while O’Toole’s supporters will want the party to hold the line. Many will be asking what the point of pragmatism was if it didn’t move the dial.
As with every other party, the seat count for Jagmeet Singh’s NDP didn’t change much. NDP supporters hoping for a return to the heyday of Jack Layton’s days are surely disappointed but the party held its own. The federal NDP isn’t as inclined to tearing out its own leaders as conservative parties tend to be. Singh may choose to move on or may keep leading. Unlike other leaders, the choice will likely be his.
The PPC failed to win a seat and this will make their survival difficult in years to come. They impacted the results but didn’t garner enough votes to be fully blamed for the Liberal victory. They established a solid base of support and surprised the country with their momentum. That said, it is tough to stay in the spotlight without a seat in parliament. Their support is based predominantly on the movement to resist COVID-19 restrictions, and they will need to broaden their appeal beyond that or that support level will become a hard ceiling for them. They made inroads, yet still may not endure as a lasting party. Time will tell.
Annamie Paul of the Green Party failed to win her own seat. I suspect that she will step down as leader soon. She was treated terribly by her own party and won’t have the anchor of a seat to secure her position. With a couple of seats in the parliament and an established brand, the Green Party will endure with a new leader and maintain its niche in politics. Elizabeth May won her seat and she has been less than supportive of Paul.
Nobody can look at the 2021 election and say that it was a good thing for Canada. There truly was no winner. Every leader is now in a tenuous position within his or her party. No new visions were put forth in the campaign to be embraced or rejected by Canadians. We don’t feel a sense of renewal or new direction, we only feel exhaustion and frustration and it all appears to have been for nothing.
The 2021 election will go down as the $600 million dollar stalemate.
What a colossal waste of resources, both fiscal and emotional.