Justin Trudeau wins second term in Canada polls; loses majority
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a second term in the national elections on Monday. However, Trudeau's Liberal Party lost the Parliament majority as the opposition Conservatives closed in. Since taking office as the PM in 2015 after a sweeping victory, Trudeau's popularity has dipped, especially with controversies surrounding his old photos where he was seen donning blackface and brownface. Here are more details.
According to BBC, Trudeau's Liberals are projected to win 157 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons, falling 13 short of a majority. On the other hand, the Conservative Party is projected to win 121 seats, an improvement from the 95 it won in 2015. The Conservatives are also expected to win 34.4% of the popular vote against the Liberals' 33%.
The Liberals' minority can be attributed to rising support for the Jagmeet Singh-led left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) and Quebec's separatist party, Bloc Québécois. The NDP is expected to win 24 seats while Bloc Québécois, competing only in Quebec, is expected to take 32 seats.
Addressing the supporters in Montreal, Trudeau reportedly said that voters had "rejected division and negativity... and they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favor of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change." The PM later thanked Canada in a tweet, adding, "Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians."
Thank you, Canada, for putting your trust in our team and for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction. Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 22, 2019
Further, United States President Donald Trump congratulated Trudeau on a "wonderful and hard-fought victory." He wrote, "Canada is well-served." United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated his Canadian counterpart, adding that he looks forward to working on girls' education and climate change with him.
Meanwhile, speaking on the loss of majority, Andrew MacDougall, spokesperson for former PM Stephen Harper, told Reuters, "It was inevitable that some of that shine was going to come off, and I think we've seen that." MacDougall added, "But he's not that far away from where he was when he was elected." In 2015, Trudeau had defeated MacDougall in the race to become PM.
Trudeau, one of the world's most prominent progressive political leaders, growingly lost his shine during his tenure. He abandoned promises of electoral reform and despite his environmental advocacy, he invited the ire of environmentalists for his support of the controversial Trans Mountain oil pipeline. Further, his old photographs donning blackface at parties re-emerged delivering a severe blow to his public image. Trudeau later apologized.
However, according to an independent assessment of Trudeau's tenure, the PM has kept 67.1% of his promises- 92.9% if including "promises kept in part or in the works", which is more than any Canadian government in the last 35 years, BBC reported.