Canada finds itself in a pandemic election. The logistics are easy. The Prime Minister hopes the outcome is favorable.
When the PM told everyone in the spring that Parliament was functioning well and there was no need for an election, no-one believed him. His lust for a vote, to capitalize on COVID fears was palpable. He has been telling people no-one else could possibly have handled the pandemic so well – and many, if not most, Canadians believe him.
Cases are on the rise again though, so he needs to get the election in before more bad news comes his way. He wants a vote, despite assurances from the NDP that they will support his government, so there is no need to go to the polls.
My guess is he has learned from Joe Biden. Conservatives believe in democracy so strongly they will come out to vote in person, even in a pandemic. Liberals seem less likely to do so. Biden won because of strong mail-in support. Justin Trudeau thinks he will too.
Of course he would prefer that voters would just click “like” on Facebook, but Canada doesn’t have that as an electoral possibility – yet. Look for it for the next election.
What issues are so pressing that Canada needs to have an election now? I have no idea.
That’s not true. There are issues, there always are, but I doubt this government wants them raised. They think they have a good record fighting COVID-19 (though an objective assesor might disagree) and that is where they want the focus.
Maybe that is becasuse their record is spotty on indigenous relations, on the environment, foreign relations, the military, women’s rights, democratic reform, government spending and pretty much any other topic you can imagine, including the personal integrity of the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers.
That’s not the message of the Liberal Party though. They will tell you everything is great, and hope you don’t discover that the facts don’t match theor rhetoric.
Justin Trudeau is gambling that Canadians, tired of COVID, don’t have the energy to scrutinize his actions too closely. He figures the other parties are in disarray.
He may have a point there. The Green Party executive tried to oust their leader last month. NDP support hasn’t grown under Jagmeet Singh. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole seems largely an unknown to Canadians after a year as party head.
Things can change during an election campaign though. Now the fun begins.