Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, sons Xavier and Hadrien, and daughter Ella-Grace watch a television broadcast of the initial results from the federal election, in Montreal on Monday night. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
world

Canada's Trudeau to remain in power but with minority government

62 Comments
By David Ljunggren and Kelsey Johnson

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will remain in power but with a minority government that will require the support of a smaller left-leaning party after a hard-fought election in which he was dogged by scandals.

The Liberals had won or were leading in 156 out of 338 seats in Monday's vote, according to Elections Canada. That put the Liberals far short of the 170 seats needed for a second straight majority government.

"You did it, my friends. Congratulations," Trudeau told supporters in Montreal early on Tuesday.

Trudeau, who took power in 2015 as a charismatic figure promising "sunny ways," saw his popularity drop over old photos of him in blackface and his handling of a corporate corruption case. He will now have to rely on the New Democratic Party (NDP) to push through key legislation.

Although the NDP had a disappointing night, as the number of seats it was projected to win was down sharply from the 2015 election, the party could exercise significant influence over Trudeau's next government.

"I think a Liberal government supported by the NDP is likely going to lean farther left," said John Manley, a former Liberal finance minister who now works in the private sector.

"It raises a series of issues about what are the demands that an NDP party would make. What's the price of governing going to be? And I think businesses are going to be reluctant to make any moves until they get some satisfaction around that."

Minority governments in Canada rarely last more than 2-1/2 years.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he had spoken with Trudeau and vowed to "work hard to deliver on the country's priorities."

Ahead of the vote, polls showed a tight race between Trudeau and his main rival, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. The Conservatives, who trailed on Monday with 121 seats, actually won the national popular vote, according to preliminary results.

Trudeau, 47, who has championed diversity as prime minister, was endorsed by former U.S. President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world's major democracies.

But the son of the late Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau also had to overcome a sense of fatigue with his government.

U.S. President Donald Trump, whose relationship with Trudeau has been testy at times, congratulated him "on a wonderful and hard fought victory" via Twitter.

The Bloc Quebecois saw its support jump in the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec, the only place where the separatist party contests elections. It was elected or ahead in 32 seats, more than three times what the party won in 2015.

The Greens, who have assailed Trudeau for not doing enough to combat climate change, also made gains on Monday.

The Canadian dollar was little changed after the Liberal win, holding at near three-month highs.

"Markets don't like uncertainty so it will all depend on what coalition they can come up with and how sustainable that will become," said Greg Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments in Toronto.

"The bigger problem is it seems that Canadians have never been more divided and the next government really needs to work to correct that. Alberta is at risk of a broader separatist movement and that would be a major negative for Canada."

Two Liberal Cabinet ministers lost their seats in western Canada, including veteran Ralph Goodale, the public safety minister. Anger at Trudeau has mounted in the oil-producing region over federal environmental policies that the energy industry says will harm output.

The oil industry’s top lobbying group has blamed Trudeau’s policies for throttling investment in the sector, and some global energy companies have shed assets in the oil sands region of Alberta, the country's main oil-producing province.

Canada's economy, however, has been on a general upswing in 2019. The Canadian dollar has been the best-performing G10 currency this year, rising more than 4% against its U.S. counterpart, as the economy added jobs at a robust pace and inflation stayed closed to the Bank of Canada's 2% target.

The six-week official campaign period was a rough and meandering ride with dirty tactics on both sides in the G7 country.

The liberal image of Trudeau, whose father opened the country to mass immigration, took a severe blow when pictures emerged early in the campaign of him wearing blackface in the early 1990s and in 2001.

Trudeau had already been wrestling with the fallout from accusations he pressured his justice minister to help shield engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc from corruption charges. In August, a top watchdog said Trudeau breached ethics rules.

Scheer also proved to be a determined opponent, although his hopes for a major breakthrough were dashed.

Scheer, 40, promised to balance the federal budget and eliminate a "carbon tax" on fossil fuels. He was running his first campaign as party leader after winning a bitter leadership fight in 2017.

"The Tories made a fundamental mistake by being opposed to the carbon tax," said Hugh Segal, who was chief of staff to former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

"I've often heard it said the worst mistake a party can make is to get sucked into its own low expectations of the population," he said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

62 Comments
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The least bad option, I guess.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

A victory for peoplekind!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Oh canada, You have to suffer more..

10 ( +16 / -6 )

What a joke minority democracy.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

What a joke minority democracy.

What is a joke about it?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I don’t see that it’s a question of humor one way or the other.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The Majority of Canadians voted against this man. He should not be PM.

Once again, the will of the people is rejected and a result they did not want is being shoved down their throats.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

A minority government in the 338-seat House of Commons would leave Trudeau in a weakened position and needing the support of left-leaning opposition parties to push through key pieces of legislation.

that's fine, that's usually been the best governments we've had. Health care was passed in a minority gov't back in the day. This bodes well for stopping pipelines, green issues, and changing our electoral system from FPTP to proportional representation

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

65% of voters didn't vote Creepy Conservative thank goodness.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

The Majority of Canadians voted against this man. He should not be PM.

Which part of the Prime Minister’s act does this contravene?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The Majority of Canadians voted against this man. He should not be PM.

That's not how Parliaments work. We don't elect the PM. Only the people in his riding elect him.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The CBC just declared a Liberal government. Scheer will probably lose the leadership. The universe is unfolding as it should.

Ha! Maxime Bernier just got tossed to the curb. Good riddance.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

That's not how Parliaments work. We don't elect the PM. Only the people in his riding elect him.

I was trying to trick him with my question about the fictional (unless I coincidentally got it correct) Prime Minister’s Act. The PM is a position of convention in Canada and is the office is not written into the constitution. It’s a position filled, again though convention, by the head of the party with the most seats.

These silly right wingers are trying to apply their silly American logic to a country who’s political system they clearly know nothing about.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

It's one of the vagaries of the parliamentary system that the party which wins more of the popular vote than any other party does not form the government. At present, the Liberals will take 155 seats with 32.9% of the vote, the Conservatives will take 122 seats with 34.4%. It shows that a party needs to be truly national to earn the privilege of governing.

Also that Scheer has all the charisma of wet paper towels. They should have left the party to Mad Max, he would have wiped the floor with young Justin!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

As you constantly scream about “the popular vote” actually meaning something as it relates to USA.

seems trudeau has himself a minority government. Not really a ringing endorsement of him.

These silly right wingers are trying to apply their silly American logic to a country who’s political system they clearly know nothing about.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I know it's great. Proud to be Canadian. Proud to have lined up with fellow Canadians and just enjoy the moment of everyone executing their rights regardless of party or faith or race and just be Canadians. We're a left of centre nation and having a left of centre government is fine. They will have to work at it and can't just coast so that should keep them on their toes. About 33% of any nation has conservatives so we just deal with it.

Mad Max as you say had another mad max running in the same riding, same name! The Rhino Party!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

sf2k: gotta love the Rhino Party, they are nothing if not persistent! Running Bernier vs. Bernier in his own riding was a stroke of genius.

Agree about the election, I'm not a big fan of the result but that's the reality of politics. For better or worse, it looks like Trudeau is my PM again for the next little while. At least he is a fan of the oil pipelines from Alberta to the coasts, that will bring in some good revenue.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Overall I don't think the Liberals will be able to do anything on the pipelines as he'll need to court support from the NDP for most of its agenda and won't be able to just a-la carte the party bills. When Warren Buffett invests in windmills in Alberta the writing has been on the wall for tarsands for a long time. The irony is that Alberta has been sitting on a renewable goldmine but is so used to selling out to multinationals it literally has no idea what to do while the rest of the country can only grown.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Canada is back to the "traditional" Canada, where the West and Quebec feel the Federal Government does not listen to them. The Trudeau government did not get to changing the electoral system to be more equitable as they promised in the previous election so this is the message the Trudeau government needs to address soon.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yes with a proportional system the flip flopping from majority minority Liberal-Conservative governments would end the hold of conservative politics forever in this country and allow the left of centre parties to be the king makers, NDP, Greens, etc. That'd be great. Everyone's vote would finally matter.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Oh Canada what have you done?

The guys a walking parody of himself. If this is what you think a leader looks like, then you guys have been had big time.

How did he do it? Did they lower the voting age to 15 or something?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Americans are confused, and that's okay

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The guys a walking parody of himself. If this is what you think a leader looks like, then you guys have been had big time.

Seems Canada’s election system has worked fairly decently. Canadians weren’t entirely happy with him, and now his party has to work together with other parties to get things done, ensuring governance that is more likely to cover the needs and desires of a wider range of Canadian peoples.

Trudeau has made some questionable moves, not followed through on some promises, and got stuck in some silly blackface scandal. But he also did some good things such as legalizing marijuana and representing Canada values well in dealing with Trump and on the world stage.

So it seems Canada got what they both want and need.

Which really rankles right wingers from other countries as they haaaaaaate Trudeau for representing left wing values of tolerance and acceptance.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I think you may find they dislike him because of incompetence , virtue signaling, riding on his fathers name and being ridiculously unqualified for the job but if that’s what Canada wants and needs then rock on! No one is against tolerance and acceptance. Hey, At least they can smoke up and enjoy the show ay. Prioritizing like a boss.

Let’s see where this road leads. If it works for ya guys, I’ll be the first to stand up and clap,

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Stranger, as a right winger, I would argue that "tolerance" is a baseline conservative value. Live and let live. However, "acceptance" is another thing entirely. It implies moral approval. I tolerate many things that I don't personally approve of, and would not accept in my life, but are none of my business with regards to other people.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I would argue that "tolerance" is a baseline conservative value. Live and let live.

You say that - but I literally cannot think of any examples of right-wingers living and let live, or tolerating.

Your comment comes across to me as what you would like people to think right wingers embrace, rather than what right-wingers actually do embrace.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

No one is against tolerance and acceptance.

Right wingers usually are.

At least they can smoke up and enjoy the show ay. Prioritizing like a boss.

Yeah, it was something very important to the people, and a pillar of their 2015 election campaign - something they followed through on successfully. Canadians were sick of ridiculous laws putting people in jail and giving them permanent records for smoking a plant - something a significant number of Canadians were doing.

You put that out there as a condescension, where it was actually a very clear example of Trudeau enacting the will of the people as he had promised - in other words a political success. Weird you would try to use that condescendingly.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Stranger, the easy example I can give is the Conservative party (and Scheer's) position on abortion. They tolerate it without approving, and also without trying to change the law.

For me, pot legalization is the same. I think it's stupid personally, and i would never touch the stuff, but it's the law of the land so I have to tolerate it.

In contrast, I find left wingers the most intolerant, particularly of people who have differing views. Attacks on free speech invariably come from the left, for example. "Outing" people on twitter or social media for past perceived social faux pas are also common to so-called progressives. In the US, for example, even moderately conservative politicians are harassed in restaurants and other public venues. Never heard of it happening the other way.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Most peoplecould care less if you smoke or don't. Just wondering if it's wise to choose a PM on it that's all. It's the identity politics crew that I'd be concerned with. The woke and toke annointed ones and the post modernists. Where are they leading you? The utopian dream or the distopian nightmare?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Just to be clear to the right wingers complaining about the popular vote here, there were 6 parties running in this election. 3 of them were on the left, 2 on the right and the Bloc Québécois, which is kind of in its own universe. The two rightwing parties combined got about 35% of the vote while the three left wing ones got about 55%. This is about normal, Canada is just not a conservative country and the only time the Conservatives ever get a chance to govern is when the Liberals, NDP and Greens split the vote.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Right winger here, not complaning about the popular vote at all. The parliamentary system is deliberately designed to discourage regional parties from gaining power. Hell, Harper won a majority with just 40% of the popular vote in 2011. It works both ways. This time, the Liberals ran a better and more efficient campaign. C'est la vie.

IMHO if anyone has a right to complain it is the NDP. Their seat total in Parliament is very small to their vote total.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

As you constantly scream about “the popular vote” actually meaning something as it relates to USA. 

You don't neecquotes around popular vote because it's real. It does mean something: it expresses the will of the people, not who gets elected. Hilarious that you think an expression of the will of the people has no meaning.

seems trudeau has himself a minority government. Not really a ringing endorsement of him.

Losing the popular vote is not a ringing endorsement of someone either, but you're fine with it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Why would anyone want to vote for that guy - Trudeau's scandals or not ...?

Good luck, Canada, on staying a sane course.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

seems trudeau has himself a minority government. Not really a ringing endorsement of him.

what many cant understand is in Canada you still have the most votes of any party or coalition of parties, which Trudeau did . same thing happens in UK Australia majority of other world democracies. Its also just happened in Israel a minority government is in power but still had the most support of any other party.

basically Trudeau has more support of the Canadian people than any other leader.  Democracy isnt always a two horse race.

In the US Presidential election you can still be president even if have a minority of the votes and your opponent has the the popular vote more support of the people. So remind me again which is the proper democracy again.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

3 of them were on the left, 2 on the right and the Bloc Québécois, which is kind of in its own universe. The two rightwing parties combined got about 35% of the vote while the three left wing ones got about 55%

and there you have it explained for the simpletons. Democracy isnt always a two horse race like the the US

either left or right Republican or Democrat. Canada is predominantly a left leaning country and the election results are a reflection of that.

Meanwhile in the US the right leaning Republican party has only won 1 election with the popular support of the people in the last 25 yrs. Think of the electoral college as a type of socialist electoral welfare for the right

0 ( +3 / -3 )

 Never heard of it happening the other way.

no they just run people down with their cars or shoot up some people in a mall or concert, all life is precious until it steps on my property and all

0 ( +3 / -3 )

MMP would make the national popular vote actually match how many seats they have in parliament as well as retaining single member districts. Half (115) could be party list PR and the other half (115) as single member districts. New zealand, Germany, and many other countries use this. Much more democratic

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bloc quebecois...I'm sorry, if you don't field candidates across all provinces of Canada you are not a federal party and should not be in the debates. Might as well have the Nova Scotian Gaelic Revival party being a federal party too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Canada wants to continue national suicide. Well, it is their choice.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The Canada wants to continue national suicide. Well, it is their choice.

Yes, The Canada wants to commit national suicide via democracy. A Canada, however, prefers autocracy, right?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Miss the Lemon Party. "For a "bitter" Canada." They are for supporting global warming so Canada is warm enough to allow lemon harvests. Would love to hear that in the debates. Heard climate deniers in the States, but those that want onal warming would be funny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Global not onal. Wierd..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

but I literally cannot think of any examples of right-wingers living and let live,

I don't tax you, you don't tax me.

You can drive a gas-guzzling SUV to work and eat beef all day, and I won't care.

If you want to dress up as a character from Aladdin. Go ahead, I don't care.

If you want to crack off color jokes at work, I don't care go ahead.

Conservatives let people don what they want.

Liberals want to tax people to death and constantly tell them what to do.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Trudeau lost the popular vote btw.

Looking at the electoral map, you can't even find Red anywhere, you have to zoom in on all the rich areas in Toronto.

What a sham.

A minority of people in a small regional area get to choose the government and everybody else gets dictated to.

The largest percentage of votes was for the conservatives, but their opinions and concerns will be ignored and dismissed for the next four years.

A minority get to impose their views on the majority.

What a sham.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"The Majority of Canadians voted against this man. He should not be PM."

In some ways similar to the situation in the US. So are people consistant?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The largest percentage of votes was for the conservatives, but their opinions and concerns will be ignored and dismissed for the next four years.

You often speak favourably of Trump. Do you see his election as a sham?

I notice our resident Trump supporters are not gleefully pouncing on this one...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Canada's economy, however, has been on a general upswing in 2019. The Canadian dollar has been the best-performing G10 currency this year, rising more than 4% against its U.S. counterpart, as the economy added jobs at a robust pace and inflation stayed closed to the Bank of Canada's 2% target.

If it's about the economy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least better than Green party, PPC or even communist.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Conservatives, who trailed on Monday with 121 seats, actually won the national popular vote, according to preliminary results.

From CTV -

According to CTV's election results as of early Tuesday morning, the Conservatives took 6,139,185 of Canada's nearly 18 million ballots cast, claiming 34.4 per cent of the popular vote compared to the Liberals' 33.1 per cent -- a difference of more than 243,000 votes.

Looks like Canada's conservatives have the same problem America's liberals had in 2016. They got more votes but they lost the election. They're going to have to make more effort.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

According to CTV's election results as of early Tuesday morning, the Conservatives took 6,139,185 of Canada's nearly 18 million ballots cast, claiming 34.4 per cent of the popular vote compared to the Liberals' 33.1 per cent -- a difference of more than 243,000 votes.

Looks like Canada's conservatives have the same problem America's liberals had in 2016. They got more votes but they lost the election. They're going to have to make more effort.

Except that in a parliamentary system, the Liberals were able to gain the support of the other parties that were also elected/represented. Trudeau's Liberal party was the largest percentage of the winning 'bloc' of parties. The Conservatives pretty much stand alone in the Canadian Parliament. The only way they can win is to gain more than 50% of the Parliamentary vote in total.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Conservatives pretty much stand alone in the Canadian Parliament. The only way they can win is to gain more than 50% of the Parliamentary vote in total.

Yeah, they're gonna have to make more effort to win more seats. There are a lot of pissed off Canadian voters today, more than satisfied voters. Just like in California in 2016.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The Majority of Canadians voted against this man. He should not be PM.

Once again, the will of the people is rejected and a result they did not want is being shoved down their throats.

The logical conclusion then is that Trump should step down as the majority of Americans did not vote for him.

Is that your position?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Only about 100 Brits voted for Boris Johnson to become leader of the tory party and then become prime minister.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Conservatives let people don what they want

Assuming you are talking about US conservatives sure, do what you want, ummm unless those things include items such as freedom of choice in sexual matters, freedom of choice on where you can travel to (Cuba as one example), There's a long, long list of things conservatives don't want people to do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So Trudeau stays though only about 46% of Canadians approve of him.

Guess more Canadians are gonna have to vote for the Conservatives next time if they want to get rid of him.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Looks like some JT readers does not know what "minority government" is. Below is from Wikipedia:

A minority government, minority cabinet or minority parliament is a cabinet formed in a parliamentary system when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament. It is sworn into office, with or without the formal support of other parties, to enable a government to be formed. Under such a government, legislation can only be passed with the support of enough other members of the legislature to provide a majority, encouraging multi-partisanship. In bicameral parliaments, the term relates to the situation in chamber whose confidence is considered most crucial to the continuance in office of the government (generally, the lower house).

A minority government tends to be much less stable than a majority government because if they can unite for the purpose, opposing parliamentary members have the numbers to vote against legislation, or even bring down the government with a vote of no confidence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A minority government tends to be much less stable than a majority government because if they can unite for the purpose, opposing parliamentary members have the numbers to vote against legislation, or even bring down the government with a vote of no confidence.

There are positives and negatives to both majority and minority governments.

Majority government pros: The majority party can push through legislation without being bogged down through negotiations with other parties. The government is more stable.

Majority government cons: Voters whose representatives are not members of the majority party do not have their concerns addressed, as the majority party does not need to address them to get legislation passed.

Minority government pros: The concerns of more of the populace are addressed, due to the majority party needing to work together with other parties to get legislation passed. Resulting legislation is more balanced across a wider range of people and the values they stand for.

Minority government cons: The government is less stable, and can lead to more frequent elections.

A minority government is not a bad thing. It's just a different thing. For contrast, look at the American 2-party system where it's always a majority government. How's that working out these days?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump would have won the popular vote had all the illegal votes been taken out of the equation.

Hahahaha! Absolutely incorrect, but good to see you sticking to Donny's excuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump would have won the popular vote had all the illegal votes been taken out of the equation.

But if you remove the all the double votes by Trumpets, he actually lost by twice as much a margin - 6 million votes.

What is the cost of lies? It's not that we will mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that, if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.

Anyways, this is about Canada. Let's not let Russian interests detract from this story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trudeau lost the popular vote btw.

Looking at the electoral map, you can't even find Red anywhere, you have to zoom in on all the rich areas in Toronto.

What a sham. 

A minority of people in a small regional area get to choose the government and everybody else gets dictated to.

The largest percentage of votes was for the conservatives, but their opinions and concerns will be ignored and dismissed for the next four years.

A minority get to impose their views on the majority. 

You really don’t have a clue, do you?

First, Canada has a parliamentary system, which works differently from a Republic. Trudeau, since he has a minority government, will have to either form a coalition or at least an agreement for support with one of the other parties, likely the NDP. The NDP got 15% of the popular vote, so between them that is 48%. Add the Greens, another left wing party, and you are at 54%, though the Liberals won’t need them to govern like they will the NDP. The Conservatives in contrast just won 34%, and there was only one other right wing party which was a fringe one that barely got any votes at all.

Also, your point about the map is just plain stupid. More than half the population of Ontario lives in Toronto and the surrounding area, so duh, that area has more MPs than the almost entirely unpopulated because its too cold and remote northern half of the province because that is how democratic representation works.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In an age where the sins of one's past come back to haunt them, a man who dressed in blackface not once, but numerous times, is still elected into office.

I may not agree with Trudeau's politics. And I agree that what he did in the past was poor taste and even wrong. But I think this is a good sign that the collective culture is forward thinking and what one has done in the past shouldn't be held accountable (within reason of course). So good for Canada.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ricky Kaminski13

I think you may find they dislike him because of incompetence , virtue signaling, riding on his fathers name and being ridiculously unqualified for the job.....

Exactly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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