Snap Canadian general elections to begin

Canadians head to the polls today to vote in a snap general election called for by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Canadians head to the polls today to vote in a snap general election called for by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in mid-August.

Trudeau hopes his minority Liberal Party will secure a majority of seats in the House of Commons in order to more effectively address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and issues such as the high cost of living in Canada. However, he has faced criticism over his decision to hold the snap elections. Conservative Party opponent Erin O’Toole stated that politicians should prioritize addressing the 4th wave of the pandemic, a statement that helped propel him in the polls from near anonymity to a tie with Trudeau.

O’Toole offers a new centrist vision for his party, having embraced the LGBTQ+ community and declaring himself a pro-choice leader. While many conservative political parties are trending right, Canada provides a unique example of moderate-thought that could serve as a model for other states struggling with sharply divided political systems.

Despite O’Toole’s gains, his popularity in rural areas may not be sufficient to unseat Trudeau’s primacy in heavily populated urban areas. Some financial investors worry the country will instead enter a deadlock, making effective pandemic response difficult in the coming months.

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