By Haris Hussnain | Contributor
On August 15, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap federal election, with the idea that it might help strengthen his Liberal Party’s hold on power.
When first elected in 2015, Trudeau successfully formed a majority government, gaining 148 seats for the Liberal Party in Parliament. In 2019 though, his party lost 20 seats, and has been operating as a minority government since.
Trudeau’s calling of a snap election two years earlier than the fixed election date of October 2023 has been a cause for confusion amongst many Canadians, despite the motivation of forming a majority government.
Earlier in August, Trudeau’s plans to solve Canada’s COVID-19 related issues were being fulfilled. His government has overseen one of the highest rates of a vaccine rollout, with around 72% of Canadians fully-vaccinated.
Recently though, the Prime Minister’s support has started to dwindle, even among certain groups of people who the Liberal Party have had successes with in the past, such as women voters.
This has put the Liberals up against the right-leaning Conservative Party, led by the Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole, a former Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force and lawyer.
The Conservative Party successes comeare partly due to the cConservatives deconstructing stereotypes associated with their party by openly supporting LGBT rights and adopting a pro-choice stance on abortion.
O’Toole has also expressed support for unionized workers and a genuine concern for Canada’s financial state.
This is a sucbject on which Trudeau has been criticised, as Canada’s finance and monetary policies are in his words “not a top priority”. This has caused anxiety among Canadians as the economy is in slow recovery at an uncertain state.
Trudeau’s presence online has not helped, with Twitter deleting tweets aimed at the conservative party, reflecting poorly on Trudeau.
Despite the Conservatives’ new appeal, issues such as institutional racism within the conservative party, climate change and childcare policies have been called out by Trudeau.
With support dwindling it is unclear what position the Liberals will have in government, if indeed any. Following the October 21 election day, it will become more clear whether this is the last straw for Trudeau and the Liberal Party’s tenure in government.
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