The Electoral Slap

Trudeau wins a second mandate with a minority government

By: Laura Steiner

The election results are the voting equivalent to a slap in the face.  The Liberals ended up with the most seats, but the Conservatives ended up with the most votes.  The Bloc finds itself back from the political wilderness mostly at the NDP’s expense.  The short lived (?) populist experiment the People’s Party of Canada finds itself thoroughly defeated without a seat even for its leader.  That’s a win for rational thinking Canadians everywhere.

Trudeau’s slap meant he was placed on notice; grow up, and stop being a fool or else.  The Conservative slap came from Ontario on social conservatism.  They won the popular vote (34.4%- 33.1%), and cemented their status in the west as a potential voice for some kind of western alienation movement.   It’s no surprise the NDP lost so much in Quebec, but they have a single MP from Alberta.  The Greens took a small win out of the fact one of their 3 MP’s is from New Brunswick.  They can take a lot of credit for increasing awareness on climate change among voters.

What makes it a stable minority is the potential problems in the Conservative Party.  There were concerns from grassroots members over Scheer’s agenda (should’ve been stronger on climate change), and his leadership style before the election started.  A perception of weakness has been following him around for a while.  He didn’t speak loudly enough against the far right that tried attaching themselves to the party. He didn’t do enough to assure people that he would uphold the law of the land on abortion, and LGBTQ rights.  He might have bought himself a little time with the popular vote victory, as well as the fact that he picked up more seats for his party.  The fact remains this was an election he should have won, but didn’t. It means at the least a leadership review.

The minority isn’t without its risk factors.   There is discontent in the results.  Alberta is on a crash course with Ottawa over the TransMountain pipeline. How does Trudeau to balance the environmental/ climate change agenda with a country where the economy still heavily relies on its resource sector?  The Bloc Quebecios makes separation an issue in Quebec.  SNC Lavalin still could end his term as Prime Minister.  Before the campaign, the RCMP began looking into the possibility of obstruction, and any charges resulting from that could be a legitimate threat to his term.

The angry red marks left by the slaps may fade, but their lessons should stick.