Leaders of four of Canada’s major political parties—the Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties— will square off in
Leaders of four of Canada’s major political parties—the Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties— will square off in a French-language debate in Montreal today, ahead of elections slated for October 21.
The elections are effectively a referendum on PM Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party’s governance. In 2015, Trudeau ran on bold promises of liberal reform, like implementing a carbon tax, bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees within weeks of taking office and overhauling Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system.
However, the son of ex-PM Pierre Trudeau has faced considerable opposition and criticism since his premiership began. The SNC-Lavalin affair, criticisms from fellow liberals on failed environmental and electoral policy reforms and the recent brownface image controversy have all eaten away at Trudeau’s popularity. A recent poll shows the incumbent’s approval rating at just 33%.
Canada is at a crossroads. Trudeau came to power after nearly a decade of governance by Conservative Stephen Harper. If Canadian voters express their dissatisfaction with the Liberals at the ballot box, a return to Conservative governance—under the similarly youthful and charismatic leadership of Andrew Scheer—or the formation of a new coalition between the Liberals and the more leftist New Democrats could quickly put an end to the Trudeau era.
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