Third term for the liberal Justin Trinto or a change of power with the victory of the center-right Erin O’Toole? The Canadians, who are called to the polls early today, will decide who will form the next government in this parliamentary election with an unpredictable result.
The race, which practically all polls want to be ambiguous, starts with the voters of New Earth and Labrador, on the Atlantic coast, who will start voting first, from 08:30 (local time; 14:00 Greek time).
In the opposite, as in Canada There are six time zones, the last voters to cast their ballots at the polls will be those in British Columbia, a province on the Pacific coast, where polls close at 19:00 (local time; 05:00 tomorrow, Tuesday). Greece).
The lightning campaign ended as it began: with a speech by the outgoing Prime Minister, who asked the Canadians to give him a new strong mandate to govern the country and get it out of the crisis of the new coronavirus pandemic.
It was Mr Trinto who decided to call early elections in mid-August to try to regain the parliamentary majority he lost two years ago.
But according to opinion polls, he is in danger of losing the bet. The decay of power is now felt and the “Trudomania” of 2015 seems far away: It has a ceiling of 31% of the voting intentions, it is practically equal with its main opponent, the conservative Erin O’Toole, until previously unknown to the general public.
Elections in Canada: Towards a New Minority Government
As in 2019, the “almost absolute suspense” leads analysts to warn that securing a majority in parliament will be “too complicated to secure” by whoever wins.
It is “difficult to imagine a more ambiguous race,” Felix Mathieu, a political science professor at the University of Winnipeg, told AFP.
Until yesterday Sunday, Justin Trinto continued his campaign, appearing in the east and west. In recent days, he has been urging voters to vote strategically, arguing that the Conservatives’ return to power would be tantamount to a setback for Canada, especially on the issue of climate change.
Erin O’Toole, who spoke yesterday in Toronto, where he is a candidate, promised the Canadians a renewal. He campaigned decisively for the center.
“Back to the starting point”?
The approximately 27 million Canadians aged 18 and over currently eligible to vote are required to nominate the 338 members of the House of Commons.
If neither of the two major parties in power since 1867 is able to secure a majority of the seats in parliament, the winner will need to form a minority government.
In this case, the future prime minister – Liberal or Conservative – will be obliged to seek cooperation with smaller parties to rule in Ottawa.
Like Jagmit Singh’s New Democratic Party (NDP), which is credited with about 20% of the vote. Or the Quebec Bloc, the separatist faction under Yves-François Blanche, which seemed to recover somewhat at the end of the election campaign following a battle for Quebec’s position in the Canadian federation.
Once a big party, the Greens of Anami Paul, find it difficult to pass on their message to the people about the climate crisis, they fight for their own survival because of the problems of unity, image, funding.
The “copy and paste” scenario seems likely in this early election, according to several commentators.
“In the beginning, the question was whether the Liberals deserved to have a majority government. “Now the question is whether they deserve to stay in power,” said Daniel Belland, a professor at McGill University.
Patience may be needed on Monday night, as there is a possibility that the winner will not be announced on election day, according to the polling agency. Many Canadians voted by mail and this means that the outcome will be even more ambiguous in some regions.
“Everything will depend on the number of constituencies where the contestations are ambiguous,” said political scientist Genevieve Telier, adding that many Canadians have been questioning in recent weeks about “Justin Trinto’s leadership.”