I’m still processing the disappointment that seems to come with every Canadian election. The NDP losses in Quebec to a party that made a clearly racist policy a point of principle is troubling, and our inability to remove Liberals from seats in Nova Scotia was profoundly disappointing. I’m hopeful the NDP can leverage the minority government to force Liberals to have less harmful policies, but I would have preferred many more voices from the left in government.
Cory Doctorow’s piece “Canada’s election, in which Justin Trudeau’s chickens come home to roost” lays out his view of the election and it echos some of what I’m thinking.
The Liberals still have the largest block in Parliament, and will form a minority government, relying on the leftist New Democratic Party (who lost 15 seats) to supply the majorities they need to enact their agenda. This will act as a powerful check on Trudeau’s politics of Clintonian sellout triangulation, with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh publicly declaring the cost of his support: “support for a national pharmacare plan, investments in housing, addressing student debt, lowering cell phone and internet bills, action on climate, and raising taxes on the wealthiest Canadians.”
It will be interesting/terrifying to watch what happens next. The Bloc Quebecois gained 22 seats and now has 32 MPs (the Greens managed 3 MPs); the Bloc has a mixed bag of priorities and policies, including broad support for the provincial Parti Québécois’s racist “religious symbol ban.”
Meanwhile, the Liberal Party’s internal power brokers — who won every fight over the past 5 years to put party over country and appearance over substance — are now going to be engaged in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship, demanding that the NDP support more-of-the-same neoliberal sellouts, dangling the threat of an election-triggering no-confidence vote and a possible Conservative majority.“Canada’s election, in which Justin Trudeau’s chickens come home to roost” by Cory Doctorow
When I look for positives, I am so thankful that Niki Ashton was elected again, keeping a strong voice in Manitoba. I’m optimistic that Jagmeet Singh can continue to push for aims such as a fully universal healthcare system, more affordable housing, and action on the climate crisis. As always, the fight for better continues.