Justin Trudeau, confident that he will regain his majority in Parliament’s early legislative elections, finds himself at neck and neck with his main rival. The symbol of the damaged image of Canada’s Prime Minister that is far removed from his origins.
Did Justin Trudeau aim too high? The Canadian Prime Minister called for early federal elections on September 20 in an attempt to regain the House of Commons majority he lost in the 2019 election. Even though the Liberals used the pretext to blame a dysfunctional Parliament for their decision, polls favoring spring may have been equally motivating it.
But the bet turned out to be more risky than expected: new wave of Covid, victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan… The electoral campaign is not timely. Justin Trudeau in rural Canada had to deal with the disillusionment and protests of the people on every of his visits. This led to him having to cancel a meeting scheduled for August 31st.
The Liberals have now been able to maintain their position and the two major parties, Conservatives and Liberals, are now neck-and-neck after falling in the polls over the summer. Justin Trudeau is not guaranteed to retain his position, so it seems impossible for him to regain the majority.
This Canadian candidate is a big hit on TikTok:
Frédéric Boily, professor of political science at the University of Alberta, analyzes the degradation of the Prime Minister’s image, far from that which he emitted when he was appointed in 2015.
Justin Trudeau was a young, hip Canadian politician when he came to power. How has it changed over six years?
Trudeaumanie 2.0’s image, similar to his father [Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Premier ministre canadien de 1980 à 1984, NDLR] We also saw it in a different way with Barack Obama and Emmanuel Macron. It’s over. Although he still enjoys some sympathy from Liberals and other Liberals, it is very limited. Justin Trudeau needs to be more open in front of his party’s platform today than he was in 2015. He must also not place as much weight on his image or reputation in 2019 as he did in 2015, despite the fact that Trudeau’s image in 2019 was quite resilient, despite the scandal of “blackface” having not weighed down his campaign.
Trudeau was still disappointed by the 2019 election results, which showed that the Liberals were weak in the west. This was a terrible sign for a party which has always claimed it would defend national unity. Today, in 2021 we see that this 2015 message of sunny days and an image of reconciliation cannot be used.
Is it because his image has suffered?
The acquisition by Justin Trudeau (and his government) of Trans Mountain, an oil pipe connecting Alberta and British Columbia that was built between the two countries, contributed to the environmental degradation and fight against climate changes. He has been criticized by environmentalists and some on the left, who believe that a government truly concerned about protecting the environment wouldn’t have done so. Recent criticisms included his increase in greenhouse gas emissions during the tenure.
In 2015, the Liberals promised that reconciliation with indigenous peoples would be quick. But we’ve found it to be more complicated than we expected. Also, on the question of drinking water from reserves, the Liberals were criticised for not having solved this issue.
A second area, which takes up less space in this campaign, is the Liberal promise that Canada would be back at the top of the world. It has not actually happened.