Trudeau wins second term
Canada’s Liberals won a second term in power with Justin Trudeau as PM but they will need to form a coalition for lack of a majority in parliament.
Rob Gillies reported the news for the AP:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a second term in Canada’s national elections Monday, losing the majority but delivering unexpectedly strong results despite having been weakened by a series of scandals that tarnished his image as a liberal icon.
Trudeau’s Liberal party took the most seats in Parliament, giving it the best chance to form a government. However, falling short of a majority meant the Liberals would have to rely on an opposition party to pass legislation.
“It’s not quite the same as 2015. It’s not all owing to the leader,” said Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto. “Trudeau is prime minister because the rest of the party was able to pull itself together and prevail. While Trudeau certainly deserves credit for what has happened he’s really going to have to demonstrate qualities that he hasn’t yet shown.”
Still, the results were a victory for Trudeau, whose clean-cut image took a hit after old photos of him in blackface and brownface surfaced last month.
“I’m surprised at how well Trudeau has done,” said Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto. “I don’t think anybody expected Trudeau to get a majority but they are not that far off.”
With results still trickling in early Tuesday, the Liberals had 156 seats — 14 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons.
CNN’s Darran Simon noted:
Trudeau, the Liberal leader, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer were the two top contenders in Monday’s competitive general election. More than 300 parliamentary seats were up for grabs. Health care, the climate crisis and the cost of living reportedly are voters’ top issues.
Trudeau, 47, picked up a key endorsement last week from former President Barack Obama but the Prime Minister has faced a difficult campaign after revelations that he wore blackface in the past. He said he didn’t know how many times he put the racist makeup on.
Last month, Time magazine posted a photo of Trudeau wearing brownface when he was a school teacher in 2001. Trudeau said he had attended an end-of-the-year gala with an “Arabian Nights” theme when the photo was taken.
He said it was a racist photo, but he didn’t consider it racist then.
Scheer has tried and failed to capitalize on the scandal and criticism of Trudeau. But neither his negative emphasis nor his polices have engaged voters. Scheer is fiscally and socially conservative, offering the promise of a stable government with tax cuts and balanced budgets.
During the campaign, Scheer disclosed that he is an American citizen, with dual nationality in Canada and the United States. He said he is in the process of renouncing his American citizenship. Dual nationality does not legally disqualify someone from running for Prime Minister.
Reuters’ David Ljunggren reported:
A Quebec separatist party that softened its demands for independence reaped the reward on Monday, mounting a remarkable comeback in Canada’s election that helped deprive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of a majority.
The Bloc Quebecois, revitalized under new leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, jumped to 32 seats from 10 seats in the predominantly French-speaking province, according to provisional results. Quebec accounts for 78 seats in the House of Commons, second only to Ontario.
“We have come far but we will go further,” Blanchet told jubilant supporters in the early hours of Tuesday.
The ruling Liberals went into the election seeking to add 10 seats to the 40 they held in Quebec. But the Bloc’s resurgence meant they lost seven, helping Trudeau fall 14 seats short of a national majority.
Blanchet’s party will not be a kingmaker in the new Parliament, however, since the Liberals look set to govern with the left-leaning New Democrats.
Surveys show support for Quebec independence is far below the levels it hit in 1995, when a referendum on breaking away from Canada only just failed.