Canadians are heading to the polls on Monday to elect a new federal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in a tight-race to keep his position.
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has more.
Born the son of a sitting Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was in the public spotlight long before he could speak.
Now, himself the leader of Canada, Trudeau is seeking re-election.
“Canadians have an important choice to make. Will we go back to the failed policies of the past or will we continue to move forward?” said Trudeau.
Trudeau’s prose is polished. His politics: a bit less so.
He gained praise on the international stage for taking in Syrian refugees when the U.S. wouldn’t.
But domestically, his sympathetic and sensitive good-guy image has been largely overshadowed by multiple scandals.
Despite coming into office making lots of promises, many Canadians say Trudeau has failed to deliver.
On his watch, Canada’s cost of living has soared. That’s despite low unemployment and stable economic growth.
His center-left government angered indigenous communities and climate activists when it bought an Alberta pipeline that’ll push oil to the Pacific.
And, it angered the other-side when Trudeau introduced a carbon tax that his main challenger, Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party, has vowed to repeal immediately if elected.
“He puts on a middle-class mask and then raises taxes on middle-class Canadians. Mr. Trudeau, you are a phony and you are a fraud and you do not deserve to govern this country,” Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andres Scheer said.
Earlier this year, Trudeau’s approval rating was lower than Donald Trump’s, the controversial U.S. president. Which may explain why last week, Barack Obama – the former American leader who’s still greatly popular in Canada – publicly endorsed Trudeau in an unprecedented move and in a race that’s largely become a referendum on the Prime Minister.
Indeed, this election has always been Trudeau’s to lose. But it’s tricky. Canadians don’t vote directly for prime minister, but instead for hundreds of parliament seats contested by candidates from a handful of parties. The party that wins the most districts usually gets to form a government.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been slowly losing support – not so much to the Right – but rather to smaller parties on his Left. And while the vast majority of Canadians oppose a Conservative-led government? If the Liberals lose too many districts, they could ultimately usher one in.