Justin Trudeau calls snap elections in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday announced an advance poll for September 20, less than two years after the last federal elections, and said the country was at a “historic” moment with the pandemic.

“The Governor General accepted my request to dissolve Parliament. Therefore, Canadians will go to the polls on September 20, “he said from the federal capital, Ottawa.

According to him, the country is going through a “historic moment” and, therefore, it is “extremely important that Canadians can choose how we will get out of this pandemic and how we will rebuild better.” “Now we are going to make decisions not only for the months, but also for the next decades.”

“I ask you to support a progressive and ambitious government” that advocates “a strong healthcare system, affordable housing and a protected environment,” he said, launching some of the main themes of his campaign.

At the head of a minority government since October 2019, which makes him dependent on opposition parties to approve his reforms, Justin Trudeau intends, during this election, to surf favorable polls, his management of the coronavirus pandemic and the success of the campaign vaccination.

But the other parties, all opposed to conducting a poll this summer, immediately denounced this political calculation in the midst of a pandemic. Like other countries, Canada has recently announced that it is facing a fourth epidemic wave, due to the development of the Delta variant. However, the country has one of the best vaccine coverage in the world: 71% of the 38 million Canadians have received a first dose and 62% are fully immunized.

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“It was the only window of fire for Justin Trudeau because with the return to school and university in two weeks, Covid cases will inevitably increase,” explains Felix Mathieu, professor of political science at the University of Winnipeg. “And it has already lasted 18 months, which is the average life of a minority government.”

But it’s a “risky gamble,” believes Daniel Béland, a professor of political science at McGill University, given current polls that don’t guarantee him a majority. To lead a majority government, his party, which has 155 elected members, must win at least 170 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons.

“The election could be played in a few seats,” adds Daniel Béland and “as this election is clearly Trudeau’s decision, it could cost him dearly in terms of leadership if he fails.”

In front of him, Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservatives, the only other party capable of forming a government – 119 deputies at present – suffers from a lack of notoriety among the population but will be able to count on the rural provinces as a reserve of votes.

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