EDITORIAL: Canada awaits ‘real change’
NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN) - The electoral victory of Justin Trudeau in Canada puts the Liberal Party back to power, indicating a turn of political fortunes in Canada.
Canada is on the turn. The sweeping victory of Justin Trudeau, the son of late premier Pierre Trudeau, places the Liberal Party back in power after a spell in the wilderness.
The triumph has been as decisive as it is unexpected. Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, whose recent achievement was essentially the victory of an individual, Trudeau’s mandate also registers a famous victory for a party that had been languishing for the past three years.
The spectacular has happened in large part because of his passionate campaign and his positive message of change to the young generation of voters.
As the country’s prime minister-elect and the head of a Liberal administration, Trudeau has effectively ended Conservative rule; the party’s strength in parliament has plummeted from 166 to just 99 seats.
The Liberals have secured a clear majority ~ 184 of the 338 seats in Ottawa’s House of Commons. The Conservatives have been swept out of power primarily owing to a stagnant economy and controversial policies on immigration and terrorism.
Both issues will almost inevitably be uppermost on the Liberal agenda. In the immediate aftermath of the victory, the new government will be expected to halt combat missions against ISIS and welcome another 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country--fundamental shifts in terms of Canada’s policy.
With the West dithering in its quest for a strategy, the new prime minister will be expected to walk the talk, specifically his analysis of the victory and defeat.
He has attributed the Conservative debacle to what he calls “negative, divisive politics”. In his victory speech, he has promised a “positive vision that brings Canadians together. "It’s time for a change in this country, my friends, a real change.”
More than domestic issues, notably taxes and public spending, the change is expected to be reflected in the policy towards ISIS and the Syrians fleeing repression.
A huge responsibility rests on Trudeau, who was till last Monday a “political lightweight” in Conservative reckoning. As part of their electoral pledge, the Liberals have vowed to end Canadian involvement in the US-led combat mission against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Trudeau has now pledged to focus on humanitarian efforts, signalling his intent to invest $250 million to process new refugees from the region, and to withdraw Canada from the F-35 Stealth fighter jet programme, an initiative by 12 countries including the US and the UK.
It is open to question whether the US offensive against the Caliphate will be weakened; suffice it to register that Canada under the Liberals is seemingly poised to take a unilateral decision on matters that are on the boil.
- Canada, Victory, Liberal Party