The series of campaigning cycle scandals in Canada spilled over into election night when Justin Trudeau took to the stage to deliver his victory speech while his main rival Andrew Scheer was still addressing his supporters.
The Liberals managed to retain in power in a narrow election win getting 157 seats of 338, according to Elections Canada.
Even though the result put Trudeau’s party far short of the 170 seats needed for a majority government, he was apparently too impatient to make his triumphant appearance. While Conservative candidate Andrew Scheer was giving a speech thanking his supporters, Trudeau walked on stage, breaking into Scheer’s speech, forcing news networks to switch all attention to him.
Some anchors said they and their studio guests were “shocked” and “mystified” with Trudeau’s move. Global News’ anchor called this “unprecedented” and explained the choice of switching to his speech solely by the fact he got more votes in the election.
CTV’s news anchor said: “It’s very unorthodox for one leader to start talking while another leader is still talking.” The channel later had to screen Andrew Scheer’s speech from where they had to cut it off in order to cross to Trudeau.
Trudeau became Canada’s prime minister in 2015 with a champion’s badge for political correctness and liberal values. Soon after taking the reins in Ottawa, he enjoyed an impressive approval rating of 63% and was labeled a “geopolitical golden boy” by the media.
However, as Trudeau’s term was getting past its equator, his popularity started to plunge which resulted in nearly two-thirds of Canadians disapproving his performance by 2019 election.
Prime Minister, who positioned himself as an arbiter of liberal values, saw his popularity slip over a video of him wearing blackface in 1990s and his handling of a corporate corruption case, apart from failing to deliver some of his core campaign promises. Trudeau’s opponents pointed he had been unsuccessful in delivering probably the main electoral promise of his – fighting climate change – after it emerged Canada dumped tons of plastic in the Philippines and that the Prime Minister himself was the only candidate to use planes during electoral campaign.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party is now facing a new reality of not having a majority in the parliament which means they will have to depend on one of the smaller left-leaning parties to push through key legislation. The New Democratic Party is expected to come to the rescue, but the nature of their future relationship in the Canadian parliament seems unclear with sceptics saying NDP would be drawing Trudeau in an even more “progressive” direction. How this will be taken by Trudeau’s electorate and his critics remains a question.