Wednesday 23 October 2019 6:39 am

Debate: Is the re-election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister good news for Canada?

Dr Joe Zammit-Lucia is a co-founder and trustee of Radix, the think tank for the radical centre
and Matthew Lesh
Matthew Lesh is head of research at the Adam Smith Institute

Is the re-election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister good news for Canada?

Yes – Dr Joe Zammit-Lucia is a co-founder and trustee of Radix, the think tank for the radical centre.

Both Justin Trudeau’s re-election and the fact that he will not command a majority are good news for Canada.

Canada is essentially a liberal country. Its vast swathes of liberal voters are fortunate (unlike their counterparts in some other countries, including the UK) to have a liberal party that can represent the mainstream view and be successful. Trudeau’s fall from his heights of popularity has more to do with political missteps and his youthful follies than with his fundamental platform.

Yet Canadians have not given him an absolute majority. This will force the new government to tread with care. It will have to find compromises and take others’ views into account. Trudeau’s loss of all support in fossil fuel dependent western prairies and the surge in Quebec’s nationalist vote will remind liberals everywhere that they cannot afford to ignore these voters’ perspectives.

It will be harder work, but ultimately it will strengthen Canada’s democracy. 

No – Matthew Lesh is head of research at the Adam Smith Institute.

Justin Trudeau’s re-election is a tragedy for Canadians. His first term has been marred by controversy: multiple incidents of blackface, questionable dress choices, and a corruption scandal involving sacking the first indigenous attorney general.

This election, Trudeau lost the popular vote and his majority, struggling in the more conservative oil-producing provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan while holding on in the cosmopolitan cities of Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.

Trudeau is expected to form a minority government with the even more left-wing New Democratic Party, who want higher taxes and oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline. This will increase Canada’s unemployment, which is already almost twice that of the US.. 

The Conservative opposition, led by Andrew Scheer, promised limited government, more freedom, tax cuts, and a UK trade deal. This election was a lost opportunity for policies that would have boosted jobs and investment, and renewed Canada’s position in the world.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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