The Liberals won the federal election in Canada and will form a minority government; their leader, Justin Trudeau, will continue as prime minister.
Prior to the Oct. 21 election, the Liberals had a “majority.” Now they will have a “minority,” which means that they have fewer Members of Parliament (MPs) than the other political parties combined.
That’s important, because it means the Liberals could be out-voted when they try to pass legislation (laws) or introduce new programs.
Because of that, they will have to work well with other parties, to try to convince them to vote with them.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) had gotten a lot of publicity throughout the campaign. That’s largely because the NDP’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, did and said a lot of things that people liked, particularly in standing up against racism directed at him. He also made a funny TikTok video that people liked.
However, the NDP lost seats. (In this case, “seats” means Members of Parliament.) They went from 44 seats to 25. Singh won in his own riding of Burnaby South.
There are 338 seats (or, Members of Parliament) in Canada’s Parliament. Any party needs 170 for a “majority.” Here’s how parliament looks after the election:
Liberals: 157 seats (down from 184 in the 2015 election and 177 they were holding in September when parliament was dissolved)
Conservatives: 121 seats (up from 99 in 2015 and 95 they were holding in September)
Bloc Quebecois: 32 seats (up from 10 in 2015). The BQ has moved into third place, which used to be held by the NDP.
NDP: 24 seats (down from 44 in the 2015 election and 29 held in September)
Green Party: 3 seats (up from 1 in 2015)
Independent (a politician who doesn’t represent any political party): 1 seat
According to Elections Canada, nearly 66 per cent of people in Canada who were eligible to vote did so (down 2.35 per cent from 2015 when about 68 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot).
THINK AND DISCUSS
- The article mentions that the Liberals have a “minority” government now. They used to have a “majority” government. Why is it important how many Members of Parliament are from each political party?
- Because they came in second, the Conservatives are the “official opposition.” What does the official opposition do that’s different from the other parties?
- Not everyone who could vote, did. Why do you think so many Canadians did not vote in this election? Would you? Why or why not?
- Not everyone who voted in this election did so on October 21. About 4.7 million Canadians voted in an “advance poll” over four days, prior to the election. That’s up 29 per cent over the last election in 2015, when nearly 3.7 million Canadians voted in advance polls. Why do you think people vote before the election? Why do you think that this year, many more people chose to vote this way?
Elections Canada website: https://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
Information about advance polls in this CBC article:
This National Post article features a map showing how people voted across the country.