For Justin Trudeau, this unnecessary victory is a defeat. Despite appearances, he does not return to the starting point of these elections. He was not punished, as one might have thought; but he emerges weakened.
He will have to explain himself for a long time to justify this costly operation which will have served no purpose, not even to settle a clear issue.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are arguably not the first to try to take advantage of a lead in the polls to gain more power. But in the context of a new tradition of fixed election dates, every four years, in the context of a pandemic that stretches out, it should not be acceptable for a government to dissolve Parliament for purely ends. partisan.
Justin Trudeau did not have the excuse of the pandemic: all the measures he proposed were accepted by Parliament. Nothing prevents him from passing the rules on vaccination on planes, trains, federal jobs, etc.
He wanted the majority; he also wanted an attempt at re-election before the more difficult months of governance that lay ahead for the next two years: budget crisis, general weariness, etc.
The Liberal Party did not even come close to defeat in the House. And all its justifications convinced no one.
If the Liberals were re-elected, it was out of spite, a lack of credible options… and because less than two years later, people have not changed their minds so much.
If the Trudeau government had failed in its pandemic management, it would have been kicked out; in this sense, this plurality of seats is an approval. But it stops there. We are no longer in the phase of the pandemic where oppositions were silent and where support was massive. Criticism has regained its rights, and as the Liberals learned in August in Nova Scotia, election victory is no longer automatic into a pandemic.
Which leads us to the Conservatives.
Obviously, for Erin O’Toole, it is an even more serious defeat, perhaps more stinging than that of her predecessor, Andrew Scheer. Despite the advantage of a campaign triggered by opportunism, despite Erin O’Toole’s efforts to refocus his party, despite the clear improvement in his French, despite his reinvention of his image … the Conservative Party remains at the same point. Confined to the Prairies, rural Ontario and the Quebec region, plus some gains in the Atlantic.
Can the Conservative Party still win the center? It seems that on a whole series of issues, it is incapable of aligning itself with the concerns of contemporary Canada, or at least of urban Canada. On climate change, the CCP still has difficulty recognizing the scientific evidence. On guns, again, his policies do not pass in the big cities. The leader may be “pro-choice”, but he owes political debts to the religious right which helped him get elected.
Looks like this “new” Conservative Party is still carrying the weight of its Alberta origins. Once again, the Quebec deputation, nostalgic for the Mulroney years, finds itself at odds.
However, without a minimum of success in the major centers, the party is doomed to the opposition.
This result in fact raises the question of the political alternative.
Perhaps people simply have not had time to change their political allegiance in 23 months … But the only other party capable of taking power in place of the liberals is once again showing its incompetence to generate a credible alternative .