Monday, June 27

Trudeau Calls for Early Elections Hoping to Regain Voters | Canada


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called snap elections, betting that voters will reward his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic with a parliamentary majority while closing a two-year minority government.

On Sunday morning, Trudeau met with Governor General Mary Simon to ask her to dissolve parliament, a request she approved.

“The decisions your government makes at this time will define the future in which your children and grandchildren will grow up,” Trudeau told reporters after meeting with Simon. “So, at this crucial and momentous moment, who wouldn’t want to have a say?”

For the past two years, Trudeau has relied on opposition parties, largely the left-wing New Democrat Party (NDP), to pass legislation, a budget and emergency spending for coronavirus. In recent months, however, he has accused opposition parties of delaying the passage of laws.

With the world’s leading vaccination rates and an improved outlook for the country’s economy, Trudeau sees an opportunity to regain the majority that voters denied him in 2019.

By sending Canadians to the polls, Trudeau hopes to capitalize on the success of provincial leaders in recent elections. In all cases, voters have rewarded sitting provincial governments with legislative majorities.

But there is no guarantee for the prime minister, whose liberals have led the country since 2015.

Recent polls put Trudeau on the verge of capturing the 170 seats needed for a majority government. Data from the Angus Reid Institute found that liberals have a five-point advantage over opposition conservatives, and that the pandemic is the most important thing to voters.

The prime minister’s rivals have shown little interest in going to the polls.

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In late July, the neo-democrat leader, Jagmeet Singh, sent a letter to the newly installed Governor General, Mary Simon, asking her to reject Trudeau’s request to dissolve parliament.

Singh noted that the country’s fixed elections law requires all general elections to be held on the third Monday in October, four calendar years after the last one.

While the law allows for an early election if the government has lost the trust of the House of Commons, Singh noted that Trudeau’s Liberals have won every confidence vote they faced.

“This is not the right time to have elections,” he said earlier this week. “People might say ‘that’s what governments do’ … I don’t think that’s what governments do when you’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.

Constitutional experts have widely rejected the idea that the governor general would reject the prime minister’s request.

Singh is the most beloved federal leader, and polls suggest the NDP will win seats, but the conservative opposition leader, Erin O’Toole, faces the prospect of her party losing multiple contests. With coronavirus restrictions hampering in-person events for the past year, O’Toole has struggled to make headway with voters since winning the party leadership race last August.

“Canadians are concerned about a fourth wave of Covid-19… Now is not the time for an election. We can all wait and go to the polls when it’s safe, ”O’Toole. he said in a video released on social media this week.

Canada’s public health director, Theresa Tam, has warned that the country may be on the brink of a fourth wave of the coronavirus, driven in large part by the fast-spreading Delta variant. He said the extent of the infection would likely be determined by vaccination rates.

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Elections Canada, the national body that oversees elections, has said it is prepared to safely vote across the country, but has warned that counts could be delayed.

Canadians will cast their vote in five weeks on September 20, the shortest election campaign allowed by federal law.




www.theguardian.com

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