Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won his third straight election this week but failed to secure a majority in parliament that he hoped for, making a new election unlikely.
The election was called two years early and became a referendum on the government of Trudeau, whose Liberal Party has advocated mandatory vaccinations and strict coronavirus rules.
The Liberals led in 158 seats, 12 short of the 170 needed for a majority. Their main Conservative rivals won 119 seats, two less than in the 2019 election, after the new right-wing People’s Party of former Conservative Maxime Bernier won over Conservative voters unhappy with pandemic curbs.
Erika Simpson, an associate professor of international politics at Western University in London, Ontario, told Sputnik that Trudeau had a clear mandate to govern and would not risk a fourth election. His father, too, won three consecutive terms as prime minister but failed to secure a fourth one in 1979.
“Trudeau will fulfill the government’s promises now that he has a clear mandate to govern with support from smaller parties. Nobody will want another election so the parliamentary support will be strong,” she said.
Simpson credited Maxime Bernier with the unexpected rise of his People’s Party, who bled support from the Conservatives and cemented their losses. She predicted that opposition parties would probably see post-vote changes in leadership. The Conservatives’ top job may be at stake.
“The next Canadian election probably won’t happen for four years so leadership changes will happen, slowly, but the re-elected Trudeau government will be able to lead in a Liberal Internationalist spirit again,” she suggested.
Allan Tupper, from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Political Science, told Sputnik that Trudeau will approach the governing with a clear agenda that works with opposition parties, but the Conservatives will not be part of that.
“I think he is close to majority he is 13 or 14 seats away… So, he is not that far away, the Conservatives are much further away. I think we will not see another snap election,” he said.
Trudeau is now safe to implement his $10-a-day daycare plan, accept tens of thousands of Afghan refugees and move ahead with the reforms that opposition parties did not cooperate on after he won his first minority in parliament in 2019.
“This time around he is going to have to go forward with substantial legislative agenda that requires cooperation, and I think he will modify legislation and deal with those opposition parties accordingly. I think he learned that lesson from this experience,” he said.
Tupper predicted that Trudeau’s government would be ready for more openness on economic issues and act more assertively on Canada’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. He said the green agenda contributed to the Liberals’ success and they will be heavily committed to it.