If anyone from outside of Canada isn't understanding all this, the bottom line is that the Conservatives won the most votes in Monday's election, but the Liberals held on to the most seats in total, which means that Canada's current prime minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau will now head up a minority government. This is very much the sort of outcome I expected. In the practical, it realistically means that he'll have to make more concessions to the left on economic and environmental policies to accommodate the New Democrats on whose support he will now depend and maybe think about backing off his contempt for Quebec's internal cultural policies a little going forward, as that didn't work out too well. I think that's a pretty good outcome.
The Conservatives improved from 31.9% of the popular vote in 2015 to 34.4% this time around, though it's hardly a rebound back the heights of the Stephen Harper era. The most significant thing about this outcome for the Conservatives is that it suggests party leader Andrew Scheer's strategy of fending off a challenge from the new, far-right People's Party that appears to take inspiration from the anti-immigrant politics of Donald Trump was wholly successful, as the 2.5% or so of the vote that polls projected the People's Party would get instead all went home to the Conservatives on election day, propelling the party to a win in the popular vote at least. The People's Party didn't win a single seat anywhere. It would seem there isn't much demand for political xenophobia in Canada after all. One might say that the People's Party suffered from a lack of, well, people.
The other big news out of this election is that the Bloc is officially back! The Quebec sovereigntist party surged back to the second place in the province/nation, obtaining 32.5% of Quebec's votes, up from 19.3% in the last federal election. New leadership and the popularity of the local Premier François Legault's Coalition Avenir Québec government appears to have made the difference. The party, which fields candidates only in Quebec for ideological reasons, gained 22 seats, mostly at the expense of the New Democrats, who were reduced from 14 seats in Quebec to just one. It would appear that Quebecers weren't impressed with the fact that the NDP chose a turban-wearing party leader seemingly as a direct insult to their internally popular Bill 21, which bans public employees from wearing religious symbols on the job. It turns out that going out of your way to offend a particular region of the country can cost you a lot of seats there. In fact, Quebec by itself accounted for the majority of the NDP's embarrassing losses in Monday's vote. I'm just pointing that out as yet another sign to progressives worldwide that they're considerably overestimating the popularity of their cultural ideas.
Anyway, the Bloc Quebecois also gained five seats that had been held by the Liberals owing to their particularly aggressive stance against Bill 21, and two additional seats that had been held by the Conservatives owing both to the unpopularity of Andrew Scheer's pledge to open up an unwanted "energy corridor" through Quebec and to his past statements opposing abortion, which is completely legal in Canada and something almost no Quebecers want to see any new laws restricting in any way. The message is: back off! Overall, the Liberals will now hold 35 seats in Quebec to the Bloc's 32, the Conservative Party's 10, and the NDP's, um, one.
The Green Party also nearly doubled their share of the popular vote from 3.45% in 2015's federal election to 6.5% this time around. In 2015, they won one seat. This time around, they carried three, two of which were located in British Columbia.
Strikingly, this election also saw an independent candidate win a seat: Jody Wilson-Raybould, who you may remember was ousted from Justin Trudeau's cabinet, and from the Liberal Party, for calling out corruption therein, held onto her seat despite facing a major and high-profile challenge from her former party. It would appear that Canadians do, in fact, take corruption seriously, as in more seriously than the governing Liberal Party does.
Overall, this was the worst election performance for the New Democrats in 15 years. They lost 20 seats overall, including 13 in Quebec alone, as mentioned above. They even lost seats in their stronghold of British Columbia. Overall, the NDP acquired 15.9% of the vote this time around, down from 19.7% in the 2015 election and over 30% in 2011's vote, the difference in this election being mostly accounted for by the party's progressive wing emerging victorious in the party's internal leadership contest and going out of their way to alienate voters in Quebec. So much for the orange wave predictions. The NDP's economic policies might have a real base of support, but a lot of their cultural ideas do not is the lesson here.
So those were my takeaways.
Last edited by Jaicee - on 23 October 2019