A Few Remarks About Canada Election 2019

Monday, October 21st, Canadians cast their ballots to chose their representatives in the Parliament, and decided the fate of Canada’s next government.

These are a few random thoughts about this election.

One out of three Canadian didn’t vote

According to CBC reporting from Election Canada, 65.95 percent of eligible voters’ turnouts to vote. Which means that from 27.1 million Canadian who registered to vote, 17.9 cast ballots. This number considers as a good turnout in general but at the same time means that from every three Canadians, one had decided to don’t participated in the election.

There has been a long discussion about the meaning of participation in an election and state of democracy. Some argue number such as above can translate into a normal election process and society.

But still, it is also a reminder that a significant portion of the country doesn’t appreciate this privilege.

Especially when you look around the world and witness how people are fighting for the minimum standard of democracy? How they are struggling to gain the right to cast their vote, to be sure that their vote counts, to protect their votes and fight against fraud and systematic manipulation in the ballots. Then it seems a little concerning that we the people who have these rights don’t practice it.

The Liberal Party: Winner or Loser

At the end of the night, the Liberal Party, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, won the most seats at the Parliament and will shape the next government of Canada. However, this time, the Liberal government wouldn’t have the majority and will face more challenges as the minority government.

By comparing this election with 2015, when the Liberal Party swept all the country, some argue that this election was the beginning of an end for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party.

In 2015 the liberal party entered the election while they had only 36 seats in the Parliament.

They added 148 more seats and jumped from the third place to the majority government by 184 seats. It was a remarkable victory that put an end to the ten years rein of the Conservatives.

This time around the Liberal Party lost 20 seats and the majority with that. They also lost the majority of popular votes. This could translate into the weakness of the Liberal Party.

But there a few backgrounds issues that we should consider before making a judgment.

1st: in 2015 The liberal party under the new leadership of a charismatic and young Justin Trudeau—who is the son of another famous and popular prime minister of Canada—changed the Liberal Party. He and his team created a fresh, young and progressive face for the liberal party.

Their main competitor was the conservative under the leadership of Stephan Harper, who was prime minister for a decade.

It is always easier to be the critic of the government—especially a long lasted one—rather than defending the current government actions of it.

The liberals in 2015 could frame the election as a New vs Old. And this frame with the new progressive voices in the party created outstanding energy and support for them.

2nd: In 2015, the world was a different place—at least politically—It was the time when ideas such as climate changes and the necessity of response to it were gaining power.

International cooperation and coalitions, and politicians were careful of what they were saying. Barack Obama was the president of the U.S., and it was the time when the world was trying to reach the global agreement to address climate change.

That looks like an old dream. But the reality has changed. Now the winds of the nationalism and the right-wing politics are firm around the world. Right populist movements are on the rise in Europe. E.U. and U.K. are going through an ugly divorce. The ideas that empowered the Brexit, including anti immigrants’ ideology, is now spreading around the world. In the U.S., President Trump is showing that international agreements could be ignored at any moments. His signature policy is an anti-immigrant one which is emphasized on the topic of the Wall in the southern borders.

In this Canada election, the newly formed People’s Party of Canada didn’t hesitate to express its ideology as anti-immigrants, and against the fight against the global issues. Maxime Bernier, the leader of the PPC, called Greta Thunberg, a “mentally unstable” kid.

The main issue and the point that the Conservatives have focused on in this election was giving people more money. And a significant portion of this money was supposed to come from the cut of Canada international aids and also the repeal of Carbon Tax.

These changes make the progressive ideas and the Liberal platform as a distinct favourable position in this new world and ‘society’. As a result, the psychology of the voters has been changed since 2015.

3rd: The Liberal government had a hellish few months. Prime minister Justin Trudeau and his government went through a series of scandals and political difficulties that could put an end to any government.

The question is if the Conservative party couldn’t beat the Liberal when they are in such a weak position, is there any hope for them at all?

It has started with the February 2018, India trip. The trip was portrayed as a total failure and gave the opposition enough materials to questioning the policies and the promises of the Liberal Government. Then it came to the SNC-Lavalin scandal, which was involving ‘attempted political interference with the justice system’ by the Prime Minister and his office.

This was a political nightmare for the liberals and cost them a lot, including the resigning Jody Wilson-Raybould, the first indigenous Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

This scandal has everything for the opponents of the government.

If these were not enough, just a few weeks before election days a series of photos have emerged from Justin Trudeau that show him wearing brown-face.

All of these made the Liberal an easy target and combining with the new leadership in the Conservative party; It wasn’t hard to imagine the Conservative win the election and even form a majority government.

But at the end of the night, it was the Liberal party who won the most seats and kept its governments.

It wasn’t the victory that the Liberal Party has wished for, but definitely, it was a victory beyond the imagination of many observers. In a different world, with a train of scandals and new faces in the oppositions, The Liberal and Justin Trudeau managed to become the victor of the election.

The question is if the Conservative party couldn’t beat the Liberal when they are in such a weak position, is there any hope for them at all?

The leader of the Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, in his speech at the night of the election, said that this election put the Liberals on notice. But the truth is this election put Mr Sheer leadership and the Conservatives platform on a more serious notice.

The Paradox of The Green

The Green Party added one more seat to its caucus and reached the three seats in the Parliament. The central policy of the Green party is defending the environment and fighting against global warming. Elizabeth May, the leader of the green party, considered both Liberal and Conservative policies, devastating for Canada and the environment.

But the truth is the Green party of Canada is facing a paradoxical situation like other Green parties all around the world.

They clime that they are caring about environments more than other political parties, but in the meanwhile, their actions could help the party with the worst policy about the environment.

This is not a new paradox for Greens. In 2000 U.S. election when the competition between Bush and Gore was so close, the votes for Green party under the leadership of Ralph Nader was one of the significant parameters that decided the fate of the election in favor of Bush.

Al Gore was known as the champion of fighting against global warming. But his policies were not good enough for hardcore environments activists. So, they decided to cast their vote in favor of the Ralph Nader and the Green Party.

The result was devastating for climate change. George Bush became the president, and with Dick Cheney as vice president, the fissile fuel industry flourished. The policy for protecting the environment almost had forgotten, and the environmental policies ended up in worst place.

This is the curse of the Green Parties in the world and also in Canada.

In the battle between idealism and pragmatism, Green party usually plays a role against its own agenda.

It understands that progressive environmentalists don’t agree with any of the central stream political policies. But there is a crucial question that they have to answer about their prioritize. Are they are going to support the less evil policies or stand independence and by decreasing the chance of a better but not perfect polices votes, are helping the worst policies in the environments to get to the power.

Maybe in the future, a day will come that the Green party has enough votes and support to have a chance to become the government or at least an effective minority. But till then the Green Party and its supporters should address a tough question. Which is more critical: Their political statues or the environment?

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