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Reduced to a minority and with a ‘balkanized’ country, Trudeau’s ‘in a political shark tank,’ say political players

‘If version 1.0 was Sunny Trudeau, version 2.0, to be successful, will have to be a Pragmatic Prime Minister,’ says pollster Nik Nanos.
Unlike in the last election, none of the major party leaders has promised to try and balance the budget within a four year mandate during this campaign.
'There may well be a message to this to the main parties, that slagging each other will only take you so far,' says Greg Lyle, whose own polling also suggested earlier this month that negative messaging was one of the best strategies available to the Conservatives and the Liberals, as they sought to pull supporters of small parties into the fold.
There's no clear front-runner, no overarching election issue, and both major national party leaders are taking personal shots at each other in what has become ‘personal’ and ‘ugly’ between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, says pollster and Ipsos president Darrell Bricker. It's a dirty election.
The NDP's only Quebec MP left, Alexandre Boulerice, reflects on what went wrong and how to resurrect the party in La Belle province next time around.
News
Chief Government Whip Mark Holland says the party was hoping to strike the Procedure and House Affairs Committee last week, but opposition had not reached a consensus.
Canada's new procurement minister Anita Anand 'ticks a lot of the boxes,' says one political observer of the first Hindu to be appointed into cabinet on a federal level.
'If you show up five minutes late at a meeting at work, you’ll probably get a stern look,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland. 'Whereas in our line of work, if you’re five minutes late, you could cost the government.'
In his first term, Justin Trudeau adopted the high-risk, leader-centric model and built the party’s brand around his leadership instead of focusing on the team. But he's changing his tune in this minority Parliament.
Maxime Bernier is likely to face an uphill battle in building the PPC for the next election, as he considers his legal options against a one-time Liberal strategist and some of his candidates reconsider their future with the party.
The 26-year-old NDP MP expressed frustration at Parliamentarians' lack of proportionate attention on issues affecting the North in Ottawa. 'A lot of the things I’m talking about, other MPs aren’t,' she says.
Wexit was one of the ‘top of mind’ issues at the Alberta Conservative caucus’ special meeting on Parliament Hill on Nov. 6.
The Conservatives and NDP had their poorest returns in Quebec, the Liberals had biggest losses in Alberta, and the Green Party shared their lowest count between Alberta, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
Opinion
The NDP ended up finishing in fourth place behind the Bloc Québécois. And in an odd sort of ironic way, the low expectations for Jagmeet Singh actually might have saved his job as NDP leader.
Andrew Scheer’s personality may have contributed to the failure of the Conservatives to win a majority, but their real problem was an unwillingness to risk offending their base supporters by presenting a credible and responsible plan for the social and economic development of the whole country, while effectively addressing climate change.
Opinion|Susan Riley
The Alberta premier’s belligerent and distorted attacks on 'Ottawa,' and his deafness to the climate change concerns that influenced the outcome of the recent election, is winning him no friends in the rest of the country. And Alberta is going to need friends as it manages the inevitable transition to a post-carbon economy.
Short of brazen skullduggery, stupendous incompetence, or scandal most foul, this government could last a lot longer than people think.
The Senate route is the only way to have cabinet representation from these two provinces; people who will have a high-profile, public role in the decision-making process.
Election Tools
News and Opinion

What’s your issue? Taxes, climate change, health care top leaders’ campaign pitches this election

The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens collectively spotlighted tax offers on 17 of 31 days of the campaign, climate change on 15 days, and health care on 11.
'We know that the government is going to need our support at some level if they want to pass bills,' he said. 'That’s not going to come for free.'
All of the Liberal and Conservative parties' top 25 candidates were elected on Oct. 21, while three NDP and one Bloc candidate lost despite being among their party’s strongest performers.
Opinion|Duff Conacher
Given the minority government, the next election could happen any time, so our election law needs to be strengthened as soon as possible to ensure our next election is more fair, honest, and democratic.
Whoever leads the Conservative Party needs to display a little bit of swagger and a whole lot of toughness.
News
The prime minister's cabinet appointments on Nov. 20 will come before any of the 98 new MPs elected last month will learn where their new Ottawa offices will be, the government whip confirmed last week.
Of the 147 seats where MPs earned more than 20 per cent lead over their closest competitor, the Conservatives 
There were 47 seats decided by a less than five per cent margin, including 21 that switched parties hands.
With Liberal fortunes on the decline in the Western provinces, one pollster says the party could be shut out of Alberta for a decade.
If Maxime Bernier was still in the Conservative Party, and the Ford PCs had not been pushed to the sidelines, Andrew Scheer would have most likely won the Oct. 21 election, says Conservative Party’s elder statesman John Reynolds.
Alberta is underrepresented in the Senate as well, with only six seats, say Senators Elaine McCoy and Patti LaBoucane-Benson.
'It was not a campaign about the future, it was a campaign about what happened in the past,' says Jean-Marc Léger of Léger Marketing.
Whereas the 2015 election was largely framed as a 'referendum' on Stephen Harper, Matthew Dubé said this election lacked a 'strong narrative,' giving the Bloc an opening to position themselves as a 'stable choice.'
Opinion
Opinion|David Crane
As Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP Oil, said, concerns about climate change are real—'the world is on an unsustainable path and that path, if left unchecked, could have huge implications for our planet and all of us living on it.' Jason Kenney and Scott Moe do their citizens a huge disservice by pretending they can. Their focus has to be on building a more diversified economy. That’s where Ottawa can perhaps best help.
How that second chance is handled will go a long way towards revealing who Prime Minister Justin Trudeau really is—the guy we all hoped he was in 2015, or the one who let a lot of people down in the four years that followed.
Opinion|Joe Jordan
Whether the political parties like it or not, hug-it-out is the new screw you and agendas will only advance through cooperative efforts.
Divisive rhetoric that inevitably occurs during hard-fought election campaigns, might sting us, but they won’t destroy us.
Polling
Opinion|Greg Lyle
The NDP's decline and the Conservatives' piling up of votes in their strongholds has the Liberal Party in a strong position to protect or even add seats in the election, writes pollster Greg Lyle.
But pollster Frank Graves says the upcoming election will be about a choice between the Liberal vision of an ‘more open Canada’ and the Conservative Party’s vision of a ‘more ordered type of Canada.’ Either way, he says, the country is divided and there's no outcome that will make most Canadians happy.
Opinion|Greg Lyle
The Grits are vulnerable on several issues, but more Canadians feel close to the Liberal Party than any other, says the pollster.
Despite 74 per cent of respondents expressing support for deeper emissions reductions, only 36 per cent of respondents were in favour of the levy.
News and Opinion

McKenna may be moved to new cabinet role after four years implementing Grits’ climate policies, say politicos

News|Neil Moss
Catherine McKenna's 'tenure in environment would have prepared her well for any other kind of responsibility the prime minister may assign,' says former environment minister Jean Charest.
With the new House of Commons set to be made up of 98 women and 240 men, 'we should be asking why men are overrepresented,’ says Professor Erin Tolley.
The prime minister’s first task should be to figure out to manage the House in a minority situation, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe. ‘Everything else is irrelevant.’
The internet and social media are breaking down the traditional ‘gatekeeper’ role of media in campaigns, says Carleton journalism professor Paul Adams.
NDP MP Jack Harris says the Liberal mandate has been ‘significantly tempered by the attitudes of Canadians about the election and by the necessity for this country to work,’ and that he ‘hopes Parliamentarians rise to the occasion.’
News
The NDP will have to rebuild its ranks in Quebec after all but one MP lost in the province that had elevated the party to the official opposition status eight years ago.
Democracy Watch says Governor General should speak with all party leaders before deciding who can try forming government, but Emmett Macfarlane says the confidence convention is the 'linchpin of the parliamentary system.'
'If anybody should've won a majority, it should've been Trudeau. He didn't, and it's his to wear,' says CBC columnist Neil Macdonald of the Oct. 21 election results.
High voter turnout in the National Capital Region demonstrates public servants 'must be doing their civic duty,' says PIPSC president Debi Daviau.
Almost 4.8-million Canadians voted at advance polls this year, according to Elections Canada estimates, a roughly 30.6 per cent increase over 2015, accounting for roughly one-quarter of all ballots cast this election.
News|Neil Moss
'I’m so relieved,' Catherine McKenna said, about continuing with the Liberal climate change plan.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she has never seen an election where mudslinging overwhelmingly dominated the campaign, leaving little or no time for policy discussion.
Here’s an analysis of the near-record 1,700-plus candidates running for the six major parties this election.
Parties have been pitching promises that directly appeal to the preoccupations of millennial voters, who represent the largest voting bloc in this election.
Traditional media commentary simply can’t go into the same kind of detail around policy developments and election campaign developments as podcasts, says David Herle.
From Rihanna's follow to Obama's endorsement of Trudeau to Time Magazine's brownface scoop, here are some highlights from the 40-day campaign.
Opinion
Opinion|Tim Powers
For most of the campaign, Trudeau and Scheer were painful to watch and listen to. Talking point, after talking point targeting different segments of voters. Political marketing is killing originality and neutering personality.
Opinion|Scott Taylor
Given Canada’s track record of late, it’s probably for the best there weren’t any concrete foreign affairs ideas during the campaign.
Opinion|Erica Ifill
Despite any positive outcomes, we’re stuck with the same-old prime minster, who uses the same-old parlour tricks to get us to vote for him.
If you want someone who says he can both cut taxes and increase spending, then Justin Trudeau is your man, writes Michael Harris.
Opinion|Greg Lyle
In 2019, 37 per cent of Canadians strongly agree that it is time for a change in government. In 2015, this number was 57 per cent.
Opinion|Stanley Tromp
In this 2019 federal election campaign, Canadians should insist upon answers from all the candidates.
Opinion|Rose LeMay
The horror is the Liberals' decision to refuse to change their ways and the Conservatives stating they would do the same. The fact is that a request for a procedural delay until after the election was the obvious choice. An ethical choice.
Election 43 should be known as the Election of Ignorance for the lack of vision, lack of leadership, and a lack of accountability. If this is the best Canada has to offer, we’re effed.
Opinion|Susan Riley
Monday’s outcome will be a verdict on the shameless brand of Trumpian politics that crept into this campaign. Does it work, or does a fair-minded, open-hearted, slow-to-judgment country assert itself and say 'enough'?
Interest in where food comes from and what’s in it, and concern for the impact of the dominant food system on health, equity and the future of the planet have never been higher.
Opinion|David Crane
Our next government must address the big challenges of economic growth, innovation, and productivity, environmental sustainability, including climate change, and economic and social equity. The road to success will be highly disruptive and could also be highly divisive.
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