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“Mandate from voters” for what reason?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on September 07, 2021 with No Comments

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced snap elections two years ahead of schedule, there was no threat to his government; there were no burning political issues that called for seeking opinion or approval from the voters. Also, he had done good enough to handle the pandemic. What prompted him to do so?  History that too directly connected with the family could have been one of the reasons. But can Prime Minister Justin Trudeau really gamble on the same.

In 1972 Pierre Trudeau, Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister, lost his parliamentary majority in an election and found himself in charge of a minority government. Two years later he went to the country again, regained his majority and remained in office ,with a brief interruption; for another decade. His son Justin Trudeau Canada’s Prime Minister since 2015, perhaps has assumed that he may be able to repeat the history.  On August 15th he called a snap election, to be held on September 20th, with the aim of regaining the Liberal majority he lost nearly two years ago. He may hope to exceed his father’s 15 years in office. 

However, politics is known to throw uncertain agendas and since August 15, the political platform all around the world has changed a lot. Same day, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan. Over the past three weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has faced widespread criticism for not having done enough to bring Afghans to safety. In what could further dent the already flagging fortunes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the September 20 snap polls, a nationwide survey has shown that a large majority of people are closely following the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, and 20% of them say Ottawa’s role in it could negatively impact how they vote. Even though Canada had wrapped up its evacuation efforts in Afghanistan last week. But last Sunday, foreign minister Marc Garneau had described the criticism of Ottawa’s mission as “fair enough” during an interview with a leading TV channel. An admission that could further dent the prospects  of the Liberal party.

At the same time, Prime Minister Trudeau is also facing pushback over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conservative party leader O’Toole and New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh have criticised Trudeau for calling an election as Canada faces a fourth wave of the pandemic linked in large part to the highly contagious Delta variant.  The country has reported 1.49 million cases and nearly 27,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus since the pandemic began.  On last Friday, Trudeau had to cancel an election rally in the Toronto region because of angry anti-vaccination and anti-masking protests.

On Wednesday, O’Toole asked Trudeau at the French-language debate in Montrea,l “Why did you trigger an election in the middle of a fourth wave?” Trudeau said he needs a mandate from voters. “Mandate from voters” for what reason? Prime Minister Trudeau was not facing any no confidence motion or any other kind of threat from the elected representatives.

Trudeau wanted to capitalize on his good work done to control the pandemic. There is no denying the fact that close of eighty  percent of Canadians have been administered the first dose.  However, he was caught on the wrong foot-not having anticipated the fourth wave and the happenings in Afghanistan giving no indication of the onslaught. 

An election campaign many had thought would be fought on the basis of Canada’s handling of pandemic is instead being overshadowed in its third weeks by the future of Afghanistan and the evacuation of those desperate to leave the embattled nation.


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