2021 Canadian election result — this time opinion polls were close : another Liberal minority government like in 2019

Posted: September 21st, 2021 | No Comments »
“The Science of Everything” by Michael Seward, September 2021.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, EAST TORONTO OFFICE. TUESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2021, 1:00 AM ET. There isn’t a lot to say about the results of the September 20, 2021 Canadian federal election. It has all gone as the smart money and the pollsters pretty much expected.

The exact numbers will not be altogether clear for a while yet, as a result of counting complications in a pandemic election. But it is clear that the Trudeau Liberals have won a second minority government.

(See, eg, “Canadians have re-elected a Liberal minority government, CBC News projects” and “Liberals win minority government in 2021 federal election.”)

As we write an hour after midnight on September 21, both the CBC and CTV News sites are reporting Liberals elected or leading in 156 seats, Conservatives in 121, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 27, and Greens 2. [UPDATE : As of the afternoon on September 21, the numbers reported are LIB 158, CON 119, BQ 34, NDP 25, GRN 2.]

At the same time the Conservatives with their hordes of votes on the Prairies (and esp in Alberta and Saskatchewan), have a somewhat greater share of the Canada-wide popular vote than the Liberals. (At the moment 34% versus 32%.)

As already widely noted in earlier reports of opinion poll projections, these numbers are also remarkably similar to the results of the 2019 election : Liberals 157 seats, Conservatives 121, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 24, Greens 3, and Other 1. (And in 2019 the Conservatives had 34% of the Canada-wide vote versus 33% for the Liberals.)

The Canadian people, that is to say, have been given a chance to revisit the decisions about who is to run the country they made in 2019, before COVID-19 first struck in the late winter and early spring of 2020.

With an anticipated low voter turnout, they have replied that in 2021 they are finally still happy with the arrangements they made in 2019 — a Liberal minority government that often relies on support from New Democrats for the parliamentary majorities needed to pass legislation and bless budgets.

PM Justin Trudeau captured all this nicely enough in his short, sweet, and confident early morning response to the election of his second minority government : the Canadian people have chosen or reaffirmed their commitment to a “progressive plan” for the near future.

(And it is true enough that the combined Liberal-NDP-Green vote this time around was about 52% — and a substantial chunk of the almost 8% of Canadians who voted for the Bloc Québécois would no doubt endorse the progressive plan as well. In the 2021 campaign even the O’Toole Conservatives were making frequent progressive-sounding noises.)

As for how to deal shrewdly with one’s second minority government Mr. Trudeau may want to ponder the experience of two first ministers from across the aisle. The first and most recent is the Stephen Harper who finally managed to turn his second minority government of 2008 into a majority government in 2011.

Rare photo of jazz great Charlie Parker playing tenor instead of his usual alto sax.

The second and perhaps more congenial and authentically old-school “Progressive Conservative” historical case is former Ontario Premier William Davis, who managed to turn his second minority government of 1977 into a majority government in 1981.

Meanwhile in the larger Canadian democracy it is presumably incumbent on everyone involved to help bring the progressive plan the people have voted for to life, possibly for even as long as the next four years until the next legislated fixed date election in 2025?? Or until the opposition parties collectively decide to defeat the government in the House??

Like everyone else we’re glad the election is over. But maybe it will prove more useful in retrospect than it when it happened. As Prime Minister Trudeau also observed, it has shown the strength of “our democracy and institutions” in challenging times. (Up to and especially including the many free and democratic citizens, waiting in socially distanced lines to vote under pandemic rules.)

Now, if only today’s House of Commons in Ottawa wasn’t so often such a hard-to-watch Animal House movie … Wouldn’t it be wonderful to look forward to some genuinely constructive debate on our many important public problems … Maybe the Canadian people who voted on September 20, 2021 have given a mandate for something like that too ????

2021 Canadian election last-half log, VI : ???? (Another Lib minority gov that lasts how long ?? Or a bigger surprise waiting till last minute to make up its mind ??)

Posted: September 19th, 2021 | No Comments »
“Persephone” by prize-winning Toronto artist Michael Seward, September 2021.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, EAST TORONTO OFFICE. SUNDAY 19 SEPTEMBER 2021. For this our last Canadian federal election 2021 log entry before election day tomorrow, we’ve confined the polling statistics to an appendix at the end.

Our conclusions more immediately below are based on careful study of such statistics, and our own ongoing internal debate as it most openly takes place before the giant TV screen in our office boardroom.

Winners and Losers

As far as tomorrow’s ultimate ballot question goes, we agree with the widely held view that the polling and other more or less objective evidence suggests another Liberal minority government (albeit with somewhat greater dependence on the New Democrats for key legislation) as the most likely 2021 election outcome.

But we also think either a Conservative minority government or even (PM Trudeau’s original holy grail) a Liberal majority government are, in the technical jargon of eminent CTV pollster Nik Nanos, “not out of the realm of possibility.” And as a team of confirmed political junkies we will be watching our giant TV screen with great fascination tomorrow night — another great show for We the North, after the more continental Emmy Awards tonight.

Something sensible from CBC at the last minute : On what is basic income and which of Canada’s main parties support it?

Whatever else, we have been encouraged that at last, on the day before the election, the CBC News website has posted a helpful article on a major issue for the Canadian future — in a campaign that has focussed more on manipulative political rhetoric than any deep debate on real-world public policy.

See Jaela Bernstien’s “What is basic income and which of Canada’s main parties support it? … The Canada emergency response benefit renewed calls for establishing a national livable income program.”

Ms. Bernstein aptly notes that “What makes basic income different from other programs, such as income assistance or welfare, is that it comes with no strings attached. In the simplest terms, it’s a regular payment without conditions, sent from the government to families and individuals.”

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2021 Canadian election last-half log, V : are people of Canada just saying world may have changed since 2019 but we haven’t?

Posted: September 16th, 2021 | No Comments »
Some Canadian people venting their anger at politicians during the 2021 federal election campaign.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, EAST TORONTO OFFICE. THURSDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2021. [UPDATED SPTEMBER 17]. With just four days to go we’re detecting a somewhat strange mood.

There are hardly any election signs on the old streetcar-suburb street that hosts our global corporate headquarters. Even some noted political commentators on Twitter and elsewhere are saying they just wish it was over.

We’re a bit off on the campaign ourselves. Our office wisdom is that it will be a low turnout election this coming Monday, September 20 — possibly as low as the current record of 58.8% in 2008, when Stephen Harper tried unsuccessfully to convert his Conservative minority government of 2006 into a majority government. (That would have to wait until 2011.)

There is one maverick in our group, who points eg to the recent Canadian Press report “Around 5.8M Canadians voted in advanced polls — nearly 1M more than 2019.” But most of us are saying this just shows how many are keen to get it all over with, and tune out all the grating noise.

(1) Numbers, numbers, numbers … take us back to 2019 …

Some Canadian people showing their admiration for politicians during the 2021 federal election campaign.

Meanwhile, as of 9:27 AM on Thursday, September 16 Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker has the Trudeau Liberals very slightly ahead of the O’Toole Conservatives in Canada-wide popular vote (31.7% to 31.2%). The Singh NDP is at 20.1%, BQ 6.4%, PPC 6.2%, and GRN 3.3%.

As far as what actually counts — seats in the Canadian House of Commons (where 170 is a bare majority) — the September 16 Poll Tracker update has 150 Liberals, 120 Conservatives, 38 New Democrats, 29 Bloc Québécois, and one Green Party (in the real world likely Elizabeth May’s Saanich–Gulf Islands seat in BC).

Mmmm … in case you’re thinking this looks a little familiar, take another look at the seats actually won in the 2019 election, which also gave the Trudeau Liberals a minority government : 157 Liberals, 121 Conservatives, 32 Bloc Québécois, 24 New Democrats, 3 Green Party.

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2021 Canadian election last-half log, IV : continuing close race makes you wonder— could California recall vote Sep 14 have some impact on Canada Sep 20?

Posted: September 13th, 2021 | No Comments »
“Some Things Will Never Be Known” by Michael Seward, September 2021.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, EAST TORONTO OFFICE. MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2021 [UPDATED SEPTEMBER 15] : With exactly a week to go there are some slight (and vague and altogether vastly uncertain) hints of the Trudeau Liberals’ inching-ahead, at least enough to keep their minority government next Monday, September 20. (Maybe?)

At the same time, even with a final mini-surging Peoples Party of Canada vote on the far right, the O’Toole Conservative numbers continue to show impressive strength. As it looks right now, no assiduous numbers-watcher would be surprised to see either a Liberal or a Conservative minority government at the end of it all next week.

Statistics tell the story : quick review

On a quick summary, the 338Canada numbers for September 13 have the two parties in a virtual tie — 32% each on the cross-Canada popular vote. The Liberals and their more geographically spread-out vote finally take 146 seats to 126 for the Conservatives (again where 170 is a bare majority in a 338-member House).

The CBC Poll Tracker for September 13 actually has the Liberals slightly ahead in the popular vote (32% to 31%). Here they also take 155 seats (just two less than in 2019) with the Conservatives at only118. (And NDP 35, BQ 29, GRN 1.)

Meanwhile, Liberal supporters can continue to take heart from the September 13 Nanos Daily Ballot Tracking numbers : LIB 33.2%, CON 30.2%, NDP 18.6%, BQ 6.8%, PPC 6.6%, GRN 3.8%. This does seem as well a case where strong recent PPC support is having some impact on weakening the Conservative vote.

(Liberals might enthuse : at last a conservative counterweight to the progressive New Democrats, with a correct bow to the French fact in leader Maxime Bernier? And yet again note “Singh’s recent dip in support might indicate NDP supporters swinging to Liberals: Nanos.”)

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2021 Canadian election last-half log, III : polls still show close race after “farce of Canada’s televised federal leader’s debate … an insult to viewers and voters”

Posted: September 11th, 2021 | No Comments »
“Spectral Landscape” by Michael Seward, September 2021.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2021. Both Philippe Fournier’s 338Canada poll-based projections and Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker continue to show the O’Toole Conservatives slightly ahead of the Trudeau Liberals in Canada-wide popular vote.

(Though the Poll Tracker for September 11, 11:34 AM ET has a virtual tie : 338 Canada Sep 10, pop vote — CON 33%, LIB 32%, NDP 20%, BQ 6%, PPC 5%, GRN 3% ; 338 Canada Sep 11, pop vote — CON 33%, LIB 32%, NDP 19%, BQ 6%, PPC 6%, GRN 3% ; CBC Poll Tracker Sep 10, pop vote — CON 33%, LIB 32%, NDP 19%, PPC 6%, BQ 6%, GRN 3% ; CBC Poll Tracker Sep 11, pop vote — CON 32%, LIB 32%, NDP 19%, PPC 6%, BQ 6%, GRN 3%.)

Despite the popular vote numbers, at this point in the campaign both 338Canada and CBC Poll Tracker also suggest that in an election held today the Trudeau Liberals, with their more geographically diverse support, would win a few more seats in the Canadian House of Commons than the O’Toole Conservatives, and form a second minority government.

Electronic sign in Peterborough, ON falsely linking Peterborough-Kawartha (Muslim) MP Maryam Monsef with the death of 158 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Photo: kawarthaNOW.

(338Canada Sep 10 update, seats — LIB140, CON 136, NDP 35, BQ 26, GRN 1 ; 338Canada Sep 11 update, seats — LIB142, CON 134, NDP 33, BQ 27, GRN 1 CBC Poll Tracker Sep 10 update, seats — LIB 146, CON 131, NDP 34, BQ 26, GRN 2 ; CBC Poll Tracker Sep 11 update, seats — LIB 152, CON 126, NDP 33, BQ 26, GRN 1.)

Whatever else, Liberal supporters can take heart from the September 11 Nanos Daily Ballot Tracking numbers : LIB 34.4%, CON 30.1%, NDP 19.0%, BQ 6.4%, PPC 5.0%, GRN 4.6%. Some observers were surprised, but a parallel Mainstreet Research poll found similar numbers up front — LIB 33.9%, CON 30.2%, NDP 17.9%, PPC 7.9%, BQ 6.4%, GRN 2.6%.

On the other hand, it also seems that those who most aggressively oppose Justin Trudeau and his kind of Liberal government are having a last and conceivably damaging assault, with such alleged objective news stories as “Trudeau says he did not want Wilson-Raybould to lie as SNC-Lavalin affair re-emerges.” The race remains close, and the result is still a mystery.

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2021 Canadian election last-half log, II : watching close polls while waiting for debates (and wondering “reconciliation”)

Posted: September 7th, 2021 | No Comments »

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. TUESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2021. [UPDATED SEPTEMBER 8]. As has been the case for a while now, Philippe Fournier’s 338Canada and Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker agree that the O’Toole Conservatives are a few percentage points ahead of the Trudeau Liberals in cross-Canada popular vote.

(338 Canada Sep 7, pop vote — CON 34%, LIB 32%, NDP 20%, BQ 6%, PPC 4%, GRN 3% ; CBC Poll Tracker Sep 7, pop vote — CON 34%, LIB 31%, NDP 20%, BQ 6%, PPC 4%, GRN 4%.)

At the same time 338Canada continues to give the Conservatives seven more seats in the Canadian House of Commons than the Liberals (for a Conservative minority government). But CBC Poll Tracker gives the Liberals seven more seats than the Conservatives — for another if still more slender Liberal minority government, leaning on the NDP.

(338Canada Sep 7 update, seats — CON 142, LIB 135, NDP 34, BQ 25, GRN 2 ; CBC Poll Tracker Sep 7 update, seats — LIB 140, CON 133, NDP 37, BQ 27, GRN 1.)

At the same time again, Nanos Daily Ballot Tracking for September 7 has the Liberals ahead — LIB 34.1%, CON 32.0%, NDP 20.9%, GRN 4.6%, BQ 4.0%, PPC 3.8%.

The great debates

The big action tomorrow night (Wednesday, September 8) is the second (or major/mainstream) French debate on TV — sponsored by CTV News, CBC News and Radio-Canada, APTN News, Global News, L’actualité, Les coops de l’information, Le Devoir, Noovo Info, and La Presse. It will air 8PM—10PM EDT (5–7PM PDT).

The big action the night after that (Thursday, September 9) is the first and only English debate, sponsored by the same group. For better or worse, English Canada is more strongly tilted west than French Canada. And this debate will air 9PM— 11PM EDT (6–8PM PDT).

“Reconciliation” as a debate issue

Both debates will cover five topics. The fifth topic in the English debate will be “reconciliation” with Indigenous Canadians. And the French debate will cover a parallel subject. Back on July 13 our commentator from the Kawartha wilderness here in Southern Ontario was wondering “Is a federal election in Canada coming soon (and will ‘reconciliation with Indigenous people’ be a key theme)?

It is no doubt not altogether surprising that Indigenous reconciliation has not in fact figured in the actual 2021 short snap campaign so far in any large way. The sponsoring “Debate Broadcast Group” should be applauded for including it in the English and French TV debates. Apart from any higher virtue, it could be constructive and even interesting to watch the five party leaders debate a challenging issue about which none of us can plead perfection — from federal to provincial to municipal to indigenous leaders to all we ordinary Non-Indigenous and Indigenous voters on the streets and old concession roads, by the lakes and forests, and on and on.

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2021 Canadian election last-half log, I : After first French debate polls still say trouble for Trudeau

Posted: September 3rd, 2021 | No Comments »
First French Leaders Debate 2021. Canadian Press.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2021. [UPDATED SEPTEMBER 5]. We have now just passed the halfway mark in the short (36-day) 2021 Canadian federal election campaign. And we are at the edge of the Labour Day weekend.

Starting this coming Tuesday, legend has it, the people of Canada will at last arise from their favourite islands, vacation lands of lakes and forests, sea-bound coasts, and beyond. They will start to realize that a federal election campaign is actually underway.

Then at least large numbers of us will decide we need to pay some attention, so we can vote wisely on September 20. (Voter turnout in the last four Canadian federal elections has ranged from a low of 58.8% in 2008 to a high of 68.3% in 2015.)

Last night (Thursday, September 2) also marked the first French language debate on TV, with the leaders of the Bloc Québécois, Conservatives, Liberals, and New Democrats. Campbell Clark in the Globe and Mail found that “Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole walks out of first debate in one piece.” On the big screen TV in our boardroom our sense was that (as best we could tell) the TVA commentator who said (in French of course) that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was a clear winner had the main dynamics right.

Continuing Liberal trouble in opinion polls

Former Progressive Premier of Manitoba John Bracken (left) and his wife and eldest son, just after he became leader of new Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1942.

At the same time, the opinion polls today continue to show trouble for the Trudeau Liberals. Both Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker and Fournier’s 338Canada poll-based projections show the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals in cross-Canada popular vote. (As does Nanos Daily Tracking for yesterday and today.)

The CBC Poll Tracker as of September 3 is still giving the Liberals a few more seats in the end — as a result of the wider geographic distribution of their vote. But 338 Canada now has the Conservatives with more seats as well as a greater popular vote — as do various other poll-based projections.

Right now, broadly, the polls seem to be saying we’re headed for a Conservative minority government under new Prime Minister Erin O’Toole — for as long as such a government can somehow construct parliamentary majorities for its budget and other key legislation.

Mr. O’Toole is trying to breathe new life into the old Canadian tradition of “Progressive Conservatism.” He is reviving political chords that in their most recent guise stretch back to 1942, when the Progressive premier of Manitoba became federal Conservative leader. In its most historic incarnation all this reaches back to the “Liberal Conservative” party of George-Etienne Cartier and John A. Macdonald, in the 1860s era of the Canadian confederation (and American Civil War). And the latest polls do suggest that “Everyman” Erin O’Toole’s revived progressive conservatism of the 2020s is somehow connecting with some current aspirations among the people of Canada.

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Is there a serious prospect of a Conservative minority government supported by the NDP??

Posted: August 28th, 2021 | No Comments »
Nicole Bogart : “Award winning journalist covering news/disinformation @CTVNews.”

CANADIAN ELECTION NOTEBOOK — RANDALL WHITE, FERNWOOD PARK, TORONTO. AUGUST 28, 2021 [UPDATED AUGUST 31]. … So what’s happening in Campaign Canada 2021 now, with only 22 days left until the actual vote on Monday, September 20?

Writing from Edmonton this morning, the wily Nicole Bogart at CTV News reported : “The Conservatives have opened up an advantage as Liberal support declined over the past three days of the campaign, according to nightly tracking conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News and the Globe and Mail.”

In fact Conservative support is down somewhat from yesterday’s numbers (which were also down from the day before). The deeper truth according to “Nanos Daily Ballot Tracking” is that support for the New Democrats has risen steadily over the past three days. Or as Nik Nanos has also explained : “what we’re seeing is Liberal-New Democrat switchers right now. That can’t be good for Justin Trudeau, but it is good for Jagmeet Singh.”

Just to highlight the main Nanos numbers here, the Conservatives actually dropped from 34.4% on August 26 to 33.3% on August 28. The Liberals fell more precipitously from 33.6% to 30.8%. And the New Democrats rose dramatically enough from 18.9% to 21.7%

On being conflicted about the NDP surge

So far at least both the CBC Poll Tracker and 338Canada are still projecting that the Liberals will finish with more seats in the Canadian House of Commons. The Conservative vote is still too geographically concentrated in a few provinces. (Alberta and Saskatchewan, eg.)

On the other hand, the Conservative vote in Ontario and BC is also growing stronger in the opinion polls. Even Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker has the Liberals losing seats and Conservatives (and NDP) gaining over the past three days. On these calculations Liberals dropped from 151 seats August 26 to 145 August 28 (in a parliamentary democracy where 170 seats is a bare majority). Conservatives rose from 120 to 126, and New Democrats were up slightly from 39 to 40.

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What’s behind early Conservative surge in the Canadian election campaign (and how long will it last …)?

Posted: August 25th, 2021 | No Comments »
Five Canadian party leaders 2021 — l to r : Erin O’Toole (CON), Justin Trudeau (LIB), Annamie Paul (GRN), Yves-François Blanchet (BQ), Jagmeet Singh (NDP). Left out : Maxime Bernier (PPC). Photo : Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, and Reuters.

SPECIAL FROM THE DEMOCRATIC DESKTOP OF CITIZEN X, BUCKHORN, ON. K0L 0C1. COUNTERWEIGHTS ELECTION REPORT, II, 25 AUG 21. [UPDATED AUGUST 26]. What does one ordinary voter adrift in the multitude (and still half-immersed in summer at the lake) make of the 2021 Canadian federal election campaign, so far?

That is what the editors have asked me to grapple with, as Part II in the ongoing counterweights Canada election report 2021. I preface my remarks by noting that the Nanos Daily Ballot Tracking (on the CTV News site) is just today showing a fresh % increase for LIB, alongside decreases for CON and NDP The current August 24 nightly numbers released 6:30 AM August 25 are LIB 35.9%, CON 32.7%, NDP 16.8%, BQ 5.6%, GRN 4.8%, PPC 3.7%.

(1) Like others I have been surprised by how effective Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and his party warriors have seemed in the campaign’s early days. As noted by former federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair on CTV News “O’Toole has come as a surprise to a lot of people.”

“Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (second from left) wearing dark glasses, arrives with members of his new cabinet for swearing in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa, July 6, 1968. (Doug Ball/CP).”

(Though also note G.T. Lem on Twitter : “Former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair spends all his time making the round on QUEBEC radio telling listeners … Erin O’Toole was born in Montreal! … NEVER have I ever seen a former NDP Leader openly campaign for the Conservatives.”)

From my lakeside vantage point in front of my large-screen TV it has seemed to me as well that Erin O’Toole and his Conservative Party of Canada have come on more often and in stronger numbers than anyone or anything else in the early campaign.

This may have more than a little to do with a recent tweet from Canadian Resistance : “Most of Canada’s news media are Conservative propaganda machines.” And, some might add, once an election campaign officially begins the sudden surge in Conservative propaganda is finally reflected in a Conservative surge in opinion polls.

Even if there actually is some degree of truth in all this, however, the initial Conservative surge in opinion polls is impressive enough.

And so is the sudden new respect among Mr. Mulcair’s fellow politicos for Erin O’Toole (and his at least somewhat rhetorically left-leaning Conservative policy pronouncements — much more like the old Progressive Conservative legend John Diefenbaker than the much more recent and right-wing Stephen Harper, and his new Conservative Party of Canada!).

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Is Justin Trudeau’s summer snap election in Canada turning into a mistake? (&/or for Old Ontario residents will it just be Bland Bill Davis in 1977 all over again?)

Posted: August 21st, 2021 | No Comments »
“What the Walrus Said” by Michael Seward, August 2021.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS : 2021 CANADIAN ELECTION REPORT, I. SAT 21 AUG 2021, 7PM EDT. EAST BEACHES, TORONTO. [UPDATED AUGUST 22]. The first week of what amounts to a five-week campaign in the snap federal election Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called this past Sunday for Monday, September 20, 2021 is almost over.

It’s still early days and many voters will not start paying attention until after Labour Day, etc. But so far the latest available opinion polling numbers do suggest that PM Trudeau may finally have made the same mistake in 2021 that the recently sadly departed Ontario Premier William Grenville Davis made some 44 years ago, in 1977.

What’s Election 2021 really all about?

“Nightscape” by Michael Seward, August 2021.

The real political point of the September 20 election (as in the case of recent provincial elections won by Conservatives in New Brunswick and New Democrats in BC) is to give the current minority-governing Trudeau Liberals a majority of seats in parliament.

This majority, the argument goes, is needed to ensure the strong and effective government required to meet the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, and whatever kind of accompanying broader social and economic recovery may be possible over the next four years.

Note as well that even with a majority government there will still be a so-called “fixed date” election four years hence. But with minority governments such fixed date elections can never be altogether final in Canada’s kind of “Westminster” parliamentary democracy (as in the Constitution Act, 1867).

More exactly, in our kind of parliamentary democratic minority government, the ability of the cabinet (or “executive council”) to manage effectively can be recurrently complicated by the fractious politics of winning enough opposition support to sustain a parliamentary majority for, just to start with, the government’s annual budget.

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