IT COULD have been worse for Justin Trudeau – instead, the Liberal leader cost his nation over $600 million to reinforce the status quo.
Having called an election to try and force a majority, Trudeau survived several polling scares to eventually emerge with three more seats.
So while it won’t quite be the end of Trudeau – for now – the result barely inspires confidence.
Redaction Report had spoken to several political experts in the weeks leading up to the election, many of whom cited the Prime Minister’s “cynicism” and miscalculation of his own popularity.
He will now continue to rule as a minority government, leading to the same issues he faced before.
The move hasn’t ended up being Theresa May levels of embarassment – she lost a majority in the 2017 UK election – but it appears to have been the nation’s – perhaps the world’s – most expensive Cabinet reshuffle of all time.
Professor Maxwell Cameron of UBC told Redaction Report: “Democracy remains strong in Canada, but is showing signs of stress.
“Voters are satisfied with the status quo but feel no inclination to give the government a carte blanche.
“This was an election called in the hope that the Liberal government could win a majority.
“The result has to be a disappointment for the Prime Minister who was dogged throughout the campaign by complaints that the election was an unnecessary distraction, especially in the midst of a pandemic.”
Flip it the other way – Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) – may have missed his one golden opportunity to take the hot seat.
He ran on a more free-spending platform than previous Conservatives. He was seen as more likeable and attractive to the hallowed centre ground.
The CPC beat the Liberals in terms of vote share – and held their rural seats – but failed to make enough ground in the Toronto suburbs.
“O’Toole’s pivot to the centre was consequential and lays a foundation for a return to a more progressive brand of conservatism,” Professor Cameron noted.
But there’s also analysis which suggests the performance of the People’s Party of Canada may have a right-wing populist effect on the CPC.
Though they failed to gain a seat, their vote share rocketed to over five percent. These will have likely been former CPC voters – and it’s up to the Conservatives whether to stay their more moderate course or pivot back to hoover up the defectors.
On the other side, the Green Party failed to take advantage of weaknesses in the Liberals and NDP, especially with climate change on the agenda.
“While the status quo largely prevailed, the tone and tenor of the campaign was remarkably negative,” Professor Cameron theorised.
Their performance was made even more embarassing by the performance of party leader Annamie Paul, who came fourth in her Riding.
Still, with the standings much the same, it looks like business as usual for the Canadians – after a rather expensive few weeks.
“You have given this government and this parliament clear direction,” Trudeau said on Tuesday morning.
The brutal reality is that he already knew that precise direction before calling the expensive poll.
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