A bittersweet victory for the Liberals
After a grueling election season in Canada, the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau has once again won the most seats in the House of Commons, securing Trudeau’s position as Prime Minister for another four-year term. Unfortunately for them, the Liberals lost their majority in the House, winning only 157 of the 170 seats needed to hold a majority.
This victory was not easily earned. Trudeau’s campaign was marred by scandal before it even started. Highlights include Trudeau’s “diplomatic disaster” of an India trip , an ethics scandal where he tried to influence a corruption inquiry and the surfacing of a photo with a ”brownface” young Trudeau. While the Liberals still managed to clinch a plurality, Trudeau’s approval rating has noticeably suffered.
What comes next?
Governing will only get harder from here. Trudeau has decided not to form a coalition with another minority party, meaning that the Liberals will have to compromise to get their policies through. A likely ally is the New Democratic Party (NDP) led by Jagmeet Singh which holds 32 seats. However, the NDP will likely use their support as leverage to achieve their various priorities including issues of a national pharmacare plan, housing, student debt and raising taxes on the wealthy.
Among these concerns is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX), a project that many say contradicts the Liberals’ pro-climate stance, but the Liberals claim will bring in more funding for clean energy projects. However, the Liberals have made clear that TMX is not open for negotiation and the NDP have been reluctant to take a hardline stance against them. Aside from TMX, the Liberals should have no trouble passing their climate policies with support from the pro-climate NDP, the Bloc Quebecois and Canada’s Greens.