A Swing & A Miss: Justin Trudeau is Back Where He Started

This article is an opinion piece that looks at Justin Trudeau and his September 2021 win in Canada’s federal election – with a minority government.

Justin Trudeau was Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister of Canada, leading the country with his minority Liberal government. Now, after the September 20th election, he is technically Canada’s 24th Prime Minister, once again being voted in as a minority government. Trudeau has held this position since November 2015 and has been the leader of the Liberal Party since 2013. In an attempt to gain more seats in Parliament, and achieve a Liberal majority, Trudeau called for an early federal election – 2 years ahead of schedule. He stated the election was about determining a Liberal mandate to rebuild the nation post-pandemic.

This was a point really driven home by the other Party leaders, particularly Conservative leader Erin O’Toole. “Every Canadian has met a Justin Trudeau in their lives – privileged, entitled and always looking out for number one. He was looking out for number one when he called this expensive and unnecessary election in the middle of a pandemic,” O’Toole said. “That’s not leadership, that’s self-interest. And it’s Justin Trudeau through and through.”

Unfortunately for Trudeau, even after spending billions of dollars, and thousands of hours campaigning (along with some heckling), he is right back where he started. Trudeau managed to fall short of his goal of acquiring the 170 seats required to form a majority government, instead winning only 157. This was in comparison to the 122 seats won by the Conservatives. The remaining seats in the next Parliament will be held by the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois.

Last night after the polls closed, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole stated, “Five weeks ago Mr. Trudeau asked for a majority, he said the minority parliament was ‘unworkable.’ But tonight, Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority he wanted. In fact, Canadians sent him back with another minority at the cost of $600M Canadian and deeper divisions in our great country.”

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days, weeks and months, with Trudeau getting not a second, but a third chance at being Canada’s Prime Minister. Will he begin taking action on the promises he made in the past? Or will this Liberal government be the same as the one before? Only time will tell.

Interested in reading more political pieces from The Switch? See here.

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