Dear Commons Community,
Proving that being a liberal is no longer a disparaging word, Canadian voters emphatically reclaimed their country’s liberal identity, by electing Justin Trudeau as Prime Minster. His election ends 10 years of leadership by Stephen Harper, whose dream was to recast Canada as a more conservative country.
The victory in Monday’s election by Trudeau’s Liberal Party was stunning. The Liberals were on a path to win at least 184 seats out of 338 – a parliamentary majority that will allow Trudeau to govern without relying on other parties. Harper’s Conservatives were winning 100. The Liberals received 39.5 percent of the overall vote compared to 32 percent for the Conservatives and 19.6 for the New Democrats.
Trudeau channels the star power of his father, Pierre Trudeau, who was one of Canada’s most dynamic politicians. Tall and trim, he is a former school teacher and member of Parliament since 2008. At 43, he becomes the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history and has been likened to Obama.
“Tonight Canada is becoming the country it was before.” Justin Trudeau told a ralley
Trudeau has re-energized the Liberal Party since its worst electoral defeat four years ago when they won just 34 seats and finished third behind the traditionally weaker New Democrat Party. Trudeau promises to raise taxes on the rich and run deficits for three years to boost government spending. He said positive politics led to his victory.
“We beat fear with hope,” Trudeau said. “We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together. Most of all we defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less.”
Canada shifted to the center-right under Harper, who lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided climate change legislation, and strongly supported the oil and gas extraction industry.
“The people are never wrong,” Harper told supporters in Calgary. “The disappointment is my responsibility and mine alone.”
Harper said he had called Trudeau to congratulate him.
Congratulations to Mr. Trudeau and the people of Canada!