Temas de Capa

Majority Government or bust?

A federal election has been called for September 20, 2021 by Justin Trudeau where his political nose tells him that the timing for an election that will give him a majority government is now. Is this move by Trudeau a high-risk chess move or is it going to be a slam dunk with a possible low voter turnout? Either way, this is a risky move, but one that Trudeau feels is worth taking.

Majority Government or bust-canada-mileniostadium
And they’re off: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, left, Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O’Toole, centre left, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, centre, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. (Andrej Ivanov/AFP/Getty Images, Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press, Patrick Doyle/Reuters, Patrick Doyle/Reuters, Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Why now? COVID-19 has been good for Trudeau even though he had screwed up and dropped the ball when it came to the vaccine rollout about 20 months ago and the mismanagement or conspiracy that the Chinese government was in cahoots with Trudeau. China has been pulling Trudeau’s strings and the investigation that is supposedly still going on has never been transparent to the general public. The connection between Trudeau and his government will eventually come out in the wash, but until then, he is hoping for a majority and possible cover up what has gone on.

This past weekend all parties were ready to go and campaigns were kicked off across the country with the shortest possible campaign since 1945 where Trudeau is hoping for a majority government, but it looks like Quebec will once again ultimately decide on which party will form that coveted majority government. Canadians have been expecting Trudeau to call an election for some time. In recent months, Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been ahead in the polls, and the prime minister has been touring the country making funding announcements. Though the government does not legally need to have an election until 2023, polls suggest that support for the Liberals is high and it could be an opportune moment for Trudeau to try for a majority government.

A minority government means that the governing party does not have the majority of the Canadian Parliament’s 338 seats and the party must work with other parties to create new laws. The 2019 election resulted in parties winning the following number of seats.

Liberals won 157 seats

Conservatives won 121 seats

Bloc Quebecois won 32 seats

New Democratic Party (NDP) won 24 seats

Green Party won 3 seats

…An independent candidate won 1 seat

The Liberals tend to sit on the center-left of the political spectrum while the Conservatives sit on the center-right. Canada’s COVID-19 situation has improved significantly in recent months. The country has the highest vaccination rate among the G20, and case levels have dropped rapidly since peaking in April. This has allowed provinces across Canada to re-open, resulting in a stronger recovery of jobs.

The promising pandemic outlook has also enabled Canada to relax its coronavirus travel restrictions. Thus, Trudeau is seeking to harness this momentum to obtain another majority government. Having a majority enables the government party to pass any laws of their choice without requiring support from opposition parties. Majority governments are more stable since they do not require opposition support to remain in power.

The parties will now head to the campaign trail as they look to convince Canadians to vote for them. They will also debate one another in English and French before a national television audience. Canadians will discover the final results on September 20, 2021. Public opinion polls indicate the Liberals are currently in the lead followed by the Conservatives. But this political bet by Trudeau may just backfire because many folks also believe that the timing of this election is not needed at this time. There could be a serious backlash to this snap election call by the Liberals.

The 2015 and 2019 elections suggest there will be few changes to Canadian immigration policy over the coming months. During the election campaign and shortly after, the Liberals will remain in power and hence, their immigration policies will continue to be implemented by immigration, refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other federal departments. IRCC will continue to pursue the immigration levels plan of 2021-2023 hold express entry draws, and process immigration applications.

Following the election, the new government party will spend some time forming its cabinet.

The Prime Minister will then provide ministers with mandate letters outlining the government’s policy priorities. For now, the Canadian government is guided by the immigration mandate letters Trudeau has provided to immigration minister Marco Mendicino. This issue of open immigration to Canada is one of the strengths that the Liberals have to garner loyalty and votes from ethnics of which the Liberals have been using this playbook for decades dating back to Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

This process of the new government establishing itself will take us into the winter holidays which means it likely won’t be until January that the new government finds its footing and begins to put its stamp on immigration policy. If the Liberals win again, we can expect similar immigration policies as those they have pursued since 2015. The Conservatives also express strong support for immigration and oversaw high immigration levels and the launch of express entry when they were last in power.

All the political parties will be releasing their formal election platforms over the coming weeks which should give us more indication of what immigration policies they would pursue if they form government.

Let’s play politics….

Vincent Black/MS

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