Tag Archives: Justin Trudeau

How do the Canadian Liberals win a majority next time?

It’s a case of ‘as you were’ in Canada as electors stick with the Liberals – as a minority government.

Having called a snap election in August, Justin Trudeau will be relieved to still be Prime Minister having seen his Liberal Party slump in the opinion polls earlier in the campaign.

When the election was called on 15th August, the Liberals had a strong 6-point lead over the Conservatives. However, by 5th September, the Tories had overtaken the Liberals for a 3-point lead. At this point, it looked as though Trudeau’s gamble was going to backfire. After some strong performances at the televised election debates and high-energy electioneering, the Liberals retook the lead over the final few days of the campaign. It’s also clear that the first-past-the-post electoral system has helped them win as the Tories won more votes but fewer seats than the ‘Grits’.

Opposition leader, Erin O’Toole, failed to make the most of voters’ disgruntlement over having to return to the polling booths during the pandemic. Having taken a more centrist position on areas such as covid-recovery, LGBTQ+ issues, abortion, and the environment, O’Toole had tried to make himself out as a credible, reliable alternative to Trudeau. However, the Conservatives ended losing two seats from the previous election. The Tories may feel that had they taken a more populist tone, they might have done better. This is because the right-wing People’s Party won more than 5% of the vote – enough to dent Tory hopes and to swing some seats to the Liberals.

It was also a disappointing night for Jagmeet Singh and the NDP. This should have been a breakthrough election for the left-leaning party, but they failed to attract more progressive voters who are tired of Trudeau’s Liberals after 6 years in power. However, they made only one gain this election.

Liberals need to focus on Atlantic Canada to win a majority again

In the 2015 Federal Election, where the Liberals soared from third party to majority government, they swept ‘Atlantic Canada’ completely. In the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, the Liberals won all the ridings.

However, by 2021, the Liberals had lost ground in places like New Brunswick, where liberal Fredericton is now surrounded with a blue Tory doughnut. In some ridings in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals are now as much as 10,000 votes off winning the seat.

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Justin Trudeau gets away with his gamble

After a $600 million election that Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t need to call, voters have delivered virtually the same result as in 2019. Trudeau failed to re-gain the majority he won in 2015. In fact, his Liberal Party is likely to lose a seat and the Conservatives will gain a seat.

I had been hoping that the New Democrats would have won more seats to anchor the Liberals to a more progressive path, but they are projected to only gain 3 seats.

The Greens will stay on two but not the same two as last time as their vote share fell. They held their former leader’s seat in Vancouver and gained one in Ontario where the Liberal candidate was not supported by the party after a scandal but there was no time to replace him on the ballot. Internal divisions led to them losing their original two and having a pretty miserable election. Their leader will not be in Parliament as she went from 2nd (in a by-election) to 4th in her seat.  Thanks to Em Dean for providing me with more detailed information.

The odious UKIP style People’s Party have more than doubled their vote.

From CBC in Canada:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has won enough seats in this 44th general election to form another minority government — with voters signalling Monday they trust the incumbent to lead Canada through the next phase of the pandemic fight by handing him a third mandate with a strong plurality.

After a 36-day campaign and a $600-million election, the final seat tally doesn’t look very different from the composition of the House of Commons when it was dissolved in early August — prompting even more questions about why a vote was called during a fourth wave of the pandemic in the first place.

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World Review: 9/11, Trudeau, Putin and Patel

It is the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Two decades since 2,996 lives were lost in suicide attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In New York the occasion will be marked by families of the dead reading statements about their loved ones. The event will be closed to the public. Elsewhere in the world, the anniversary will be marked with foreboding. The attack was carried out by Al Qaeeda and was planned and coordinated from its base in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Within weeks a US-led NATO force toppled the Taliban government. There has not been a Jihadist attack on US soil since. President Biden has now withdrawn US forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban is back in power.

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Has Justin Trudeau blown it?

Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might have done well to remember the experience of Theresa May before he called a snap election two years before he needed to.

In 2017, with soaring poll ratings, May decided to go the polls to get a bigger majority to neutralise the more excitable Brexiteer wing of her party. Pride came before a fall as she ended the night on June 8th with no majority at all. The campaign was hers to lose and she did that in style. Her claim to bring strong and stable government was in tatters after a u-turn on social care early in the campaign and things just went from bad to worse after that. The Tories thought they could easily trounce a far left Labour leader. Jeremy Corbyn, however, found himself unexpectedly popular with young people.

In Canada, Trudeau seems to be having a similar experience. He started the election 5 points ahead and is now round about 3 points behind. CBC’s poll tracker sets out the grim reality.

This is the second time Trudeau has had a poor campaign, so you think he might have learned from 2019 when he lost his majority and the popular vote after sliding through the campaign, losing 20 seats in the process.

And to make matters worse, one of his MPs has had to stand down after nominations close in Kitchener, Ontario in the face of sexual harassment allegations which he denies. Trudeau stood by him just a few days ago. This was quite clearly going to be an issue during the campaign and has cost the Liberals a seat. It’s at best careless.

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Liberals look for third successive election victory – and a majority

Embed from Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has fired the starting gun on a snap federal election set for 20th September.

The election is the third time in six years that Canadians have gone to the polls to elect the government in Ottawa. Trudeau’s goal is obvious – to win a majority.

The timing is right for the Liberal government, as their response to the Covid pandemic has seen them surge ahead in the polls. At the 2019 federal election, Trudeau’s Liberals lost their majority, and governed from a position 13 seats short of the 170 needed for overall power. Over the summer, polls have consistently given the Liberals between a 50-70 seat advantage over the Conservatives – bordering on a majority.

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Is Canada heading for a coalition?

‘Lawn signs’ are being banged into front gardens across Canada with the 2019 Federal Election taking place on Monday (21st). With the polls close between the incumbent Liberals and the opposition Conservatives, and with neither looking likely to pull away, ‘The Hill’ could be a hung parliament. This would be truly historic as Canada has never previously had a formal coalition in Ottawa.

In recent weeks, the Liberals have pulled themselves level with the Conservatives after falling far behind the Tories in February. The polls suggest that the Liberals could win more seats than the Conservatives, but not enough to win an outright majority.

The role of the smaller parties will come to light here. The left-leaning New Democrats (NDP) are very much the third party but are closely followed by the regionalists in Quebec – the Bloc Quebecois. The Greens, who look set to pick up seats in the Liberal heartlands of the East, could also keep Trudeau in power. All of these parties have more in common with the Liberals than the Conservatives. If there is a hung parliament in Canada, it is more likely that Trudeau will remain at Sussex Drive, than Andrew Scheer.

Under Jagmeet Singh, the NDP have struggled to hit the heights of 2011, where under charismatic former leader Jack Layton, they pushed the Liberals into 3rd place. Singh won the Burnaby South by-election in February this year with an increased majority and will look to win similar ridings across British Columbia to advance from their 44 seats at the 2015 Federal Election. There is a lot of common ground between the NDP and the Liberals, and by winning in a similar number of seats (which is possible), they could help the Liberals over the line in October. With the election looking more and more like a two-horse race, it is entirely possible that the NDP will be squeezed even harder than in 2015. The election campaign hasn’t been easy for Singh, as several of his candidates have defected to the Green Party, believing they have a stronger chance of winning under the Green banner. Singh has said publicly that he could work with the Liberals in a coalition post-election.

The Green Party, under highly credible Elizabeth May, look set to gain seats in ‘Atlantic Canada’. They currently only hold 2 seats (out of 338), but in an election that is neck-and-neck, they could be kingmakers in Canada post-October 21st. Since 2015, the Greens have been on the march in regional elections, including in the April 2019 election in the province of Prince Edward Island, where the Greens beat the Liberals into third place. Like the NDP, there is common ground between the Liberals and Greens, and could work together in a coalition. One area of real opposition though, is the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, which the Liberals have ‘green lit’ for a new phase of construction. If scrapped, there are no hard barriers to a Liberal-Green deal.

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An Autumn election the Liberals should win

This autumn, there will be general election. It will pit liberalism against conservatism. It will dictate who will be in power for the next few years. No, I’m not talking about the UK (although it is highly likely too), I’m talking about Canada. 

Four years on from Trudeau’s barn-storming election result, Canadians will return to the polls to elect their new government. The polls see the Liberals neck-and-neck with the Conservatives, so the election in October should be an interesting one. 

The poster boy of progressive politics has had a difficult 2019, after enjoying a three-year honeymoon period. His Carbon Tax has fallen flat across many of the ‘Prairie’ provinces, and his plans for a Trans Mountain Pipeline have seen many critics question his promise to Indigenous people and the environment. He also appeared to throw two of his ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, under the bus for the SNC-Lavalin affair. 

In spite of this, Canadians should focus on his enormous successes. One million new jobs since 2015, roll out of the Canadian Child Benefit, record investment in transit, banning single-use plastics, tax cuts for the middle class (paid for by the top 1%), legalising marijuana, a strengthened Canada Pension Plan, as well as trade agreements with trans-Pacific partners, Europe, and the US and Mexico (USMCA). Imagine we had had similar policies in the UK over the last 4 years!

While he’s still seen across the globe as a highly popular statesman, he has a struggle on his hands to get re-elected. Regional elections since then in Liberal strongholds, such as the Atlantic provinces, have seen the Liberals lose ground. However, when Canadians enter the poll stations for the Federal Election, they have the real question over who they think best represents them, Trudeau or Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer. 

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What the Liberal Democrats could learn from Obama, Sanders and Trudeau

Justin Trudeau by Canadian Pacific CCL FlickrAs a young American woman who has interned in the Canadian Parliament, volunteered for American campaigns and is now working in the British Parliament, it has been interesting following the 2015 British Parliamentary elections through a variety of lenses. The recent change of government in Canada and the ongoing presidential election in the United States seem worth unpacking, in order to delve into possible lessons which could be learned by Liberal Democrats from these other spaces.

I propose that there are lessons worth learning from two American Democrats, President Obama and Bernie Sanders, as well as Canada’s new Prime Minister Trudeau. For the former, the reasons may be self-evident. President Obama rose from a relatively unknown position into an incredibly influential presidency. For Bernie Sanders, it is worth understanding how another political outsider has once again come to challenge Hillary Clinton in her bid for the presidency. Though he will likely lose the primary, Mr. Sanders has been a formidable opponent from a stance that rarely would be noticed in the United States. With regards to the Canadian elections, I would like to explore the ways in which a party can move from a third-party position into a powerful government in the way the Liberals have done under Trudeau.

There are three characteristics which President Obama and Bernie Sanders have shared in their campaigns: they excel in grassroots organising, they offer clear messages of hope, and their platforms are cohesive. The first point, grassroots organising, is something which Liberal Democrats would benefit from greatly. Bringing staunch supporters out to volunteer in elections is a powerful force to reckon with, especially in university areas. In my home state, Ohio, both Obama and Sanders effectively coordinated university students to participate in the electoral process as vocal volunteers. From what I have seen, it seems that the Liberal Democrats could recruit a significant amount of volunteers from universities for the 2020 elections. This is a lesson sorely learned by the Liberal Democrats in the aftermath of the 2010 elections.  Understanding the implications of reversing stances on university tuition prices is a hard lesson, but it does offer a high incentive for maintaining consistency in the future.

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A morning at the White House

A frisson of expectation sweeps the crowd as the tannoy crackles to life and the announcer declares “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.” The honour guard comes to attention, the band strikes up Hail to the Chief and the most powerful leader in the world emerges. And when moments later, a black SUV sweeps round the drive and stops in front of the White House to deposit Justin Trudeau, the new Canadian Prime Minister… well, perhaps only a visit from the Queen herself would top Washington DC’s current level of excitement.

This was the scene on the South Lawn of the White House as President Barack Obama welcomed his Canadian counterpart to the capital of the United States yesterday. Clutching my ticket, I had joined the great and good of Washington in a line that stretched halfway round the block, excited to be part of the occasion. Three ID and security checks later and I was in.

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Embrace feminism, says Justin Trudeau. Lib Dems could learn from that.

It seems that every day there’s a new reason to admire Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Guardian has a report of a panel session in Davos where he said that everyone should embrace feminism. He said that a more diverse team makes better decisions in both politics and business.

I particularly liked the clip in the video in which he said that his wife had reminded him that he not only had to encourage his daughter into taking leadership roles, but also to talk to his sons about treating women properly.

He also said that he thinks there will be as big changes in attitudes to equality in the next 20 years as there has been in the last 40.

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LDVideo: The first day in office of a Liberal Prime Minister

This is not the stuff of far flung fantasy. This actually happened, this week, in Canada, to a Liberal Party that’s fought its way back from devastating election defeats.

Here are two things that you should watch and take heart from.

First of all, a 24 minute behind the scenes video filmed by CBC of Justin Trudeau’s first day in office. In parts it has the feel of an episode of The West Wing, but our absolute favourite moment is when he puts down the reporter for being disparaging about the Cabinet travelling on a bus, reminding him that this is how many Canadians get to work. Enjoy.

Secondly, his great response when asked why he’d produced a gender balanced Cabinet. “Because it’s 2015.” By half way through the second decade of the 21st century, you would expect equality and it’s great that he (and Nicola Sturgeon) have set such good examples while remembering that Nick Clegg couldn’t even put one woman in the UK Cabinet when he had the chance.

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A lesson for Tim Farron from Justin Trudeau?

Liberals around the world are cheered by the Canadian Liberals’ emphatic victory this week. There are many serious lessons we can learn from Justin Trudeau’s party, both in terms of grassroots organisation and messaging. Not for the Liberals any talk of “we’re not them and we’re not them so vote for us”. For months there was a clear message of #realchange. The Canadian Liberals are a bit like Liberal royalty. They can be pretty establishment, but they managed to show that they wanted to reform politics and Canadian society in a way that resonated with people.

This video from May this year shows how Trudeau was happy to step out of the normal space allotted to politicians. He took his kids to Comic Con in Ottawa, wearing a Superman t-shirt and talking about his lifelong enjoyment of the Superman series. It was fun, authentic and natural.




I guess it kind of helped that he didn’t look terribly unlike the movie version.

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+++Liberals sweep to power

The Liberal Party has swept to power, winning 184 seats out of 338, an overall majority of 30. The election platform included such policies as

  • Cutting income taxes for the middle-classes while increasing them for the wealthy
  • Running deficits for three years to pay for infrastructure spending
  • Doing more to address environmental concerns over the controversial Keystone oil pipeline
  • Taking more Syrian refugees; pulling out of bombing raids against Islamic State while bolstering training for Iraqi forces
  • Legalising marijuana
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A powerful message from Canada’s Liberal leader in response to Wednesday’s shootings

Canada flag License Some rights reserved by archer10 (Dennis)What would you want a liberal to say in the wake of shocking and violent events in your country? It must be something pretty close to Justin Trudeau’s words, full of dignity, wisdom and empathy.

Watch the video and see the excerpt below:

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The Independent View: Pierre Trudeau and the Just Society – lessons for Canadian liberals today

Canada flag License Some rights reserved by archer10 (Dennis)The general election expected to be held in Canada next year will be a decisive one for the Lib Dem’s Canadian counterpart, the Liberal Party of Canada, as it faces the prospect of returning to office after more than eight years in the political wilderness.

With a recent poll showing the governing Conservatives trailing behind the Liberals, the party’s leader Justin Trudeau stands a good chance of becoming the first Canadian Liberal prime minister since 2006.

However, if Justin Trudeau …

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Liberal Party of Canada elects Justin Trudeau as leader

Canada’s Liberal Party has had its troubles in recent years. Two years ago they suffered the worst election result in their history, returning only 34 MPs and falling to an unprecedented third place behind the Conservative and New Democratic parties.

The Guardian reports that Justin Trudeau was elected the party’s leader with a massive majority. He attained 80% of the vote, a good start for somebody who needs to unify the party after years of infighting. His acceptance speech attempted to put those divisions behind the party:

I don’t care if you thought my father was great or arrogant,” Trudeau said.

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