Canada's Trudeau wins as prime minister

Justin Trudeau

Canada's Trudeau wins as prime minister, but his Liberal party falls short of a parliamentary majority

Canadians Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's win in Monday's parliamentary elections, but their gamble to win a majority of seats failed. Trudeau, 49, liberal icon and the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau when he first won elections in 2015.

The New Left Democrats were either leading or elected in 29, gaining five seats, while the Quebec-based Bloc slid three into 28 and the Greens. Two seats left.

Trudeau did not win enough seats to avoid relying on the help of other parties to pass legislation. 

Trudeau's bet that Canadians don't want a Conservative government during the pandemic. Canada is now among the most vaccinated countries in the world. He has argued that the conservative approach, skeptical of shutdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous. 

Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole has not requested that his party's candidates be vaccinated or specify how many have not been vaccinated. 

Trudeau supports mandate vaccination mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something Conservatives oppose. Trudeau noted that Alberta, which a conservative provincial government runs, is in crisis.

"Hubris led Trudeau to call for elections. This is nothing but a great night for the Liberals because two weeks ago it looked like they were going to lose government outright—something they could not," said Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at University of Toronto:

Wiseman said the situation in Alberta hurt conservatives. "The outbreak in Alberta in the past ten days has undermined O'Toole's greetings to Alberta governors over the way they have handled the epidemic and reinforced Trudeau's argument about mandatory vaccinations," he said.

"Trudeau lost his gamble for the majority, so I would say this is a bittersweet victory for him," said Daniel Byland, professor of political science at McGill University.

"We're back to square one, where the new minority parliament will look like the previous one. Trudeau and the Liberals have saved their skin. They will still be in power, but many Canadians who didn't want a late summer, pandemic election likely disenchanted with the whole situation."

The Opposition Leader's Strategy Failed

A Conservative victory would have marked Trudeau's rebuke against a politician with only a fraction of his name recognized. O'Toole, 47, has been a military veteran, former lawyer, and Member of Parliament for nine years.

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