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Liberal Leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal.CARLO ALLEGRI/Reuters

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Readers respond: Liberals win strong minority but lose popular vote to Conservatives

Justin Trudeau: “From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected fear and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity.”

Translation: Your wallets will soon fund a taxpayer-fuelled bonfire of Liberal Party spending projects.

Our grandchildren may one day wish that voters had chosen the cuts and austerity thing. Doctor Demento

I suspect our grandchildren will be far, far angrier that voters didn’t choose the climate change thing. TKennit

Most disappointed with all of the leader’s speeches. You’d think they were all still on the campaign trail instead of listening to the voice of Canadians. No one party has all the answers to bind this country together. Other than the Bloc (who wasted no time in bringing up the sovereignty issue) the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP all could have demonstrated a little mea culpa – you all came up short in some measure. I want to see the personal partisan politics stop, and want our elected officials to roll up their sleeves and truly get to work – with each other! Enough of the bravado and bickering. Get to work for all Canadians, please! Candace9911

Why would anyone good ever want to be leader of a party given all of the vitriol thrown around by opposing sides at each other? It doesn’t seem worth it, which is why we seem to keep getting stuck with the choices we do. Kazrick

My read on this: If the Conservatives had Rona Ambrose or Lisa Raitt as leaders and they had agreed to support the carbon tax and take on reducing CO2 as a key plank – and not a wish-washy deny plank – they might have won.

There is a new generation voting and the Conservatives, I think, are very out of touch and too beholden to the oil and gas people, and I say this as a guy that invests in those companies. We need to move on and this election the Conservatives remained really stuck. It’s time to move on and bring along their base.

Otherwise, I am very happy with the result. Canadians ultimately know we have to get along, and even Justin Trudeau reminded people that the pipeline issue is a national unity issue and we can not ignore that. Cheers, fellow Canadians! MGordon

The first-past-the-post system in place is for better or worse. No system is perfect – the U.S. electoral college, for example. It is time for proportional representation, which would create more minority governments but force the parties to work with each other.Liberal4Life

Many thanks to the Bloc for blocking the majority. William Lyon Mackenzie1

Oct. 22: ‘If you didn’t vote, then you cannot complain about not being heard.’ Plus other letters to the editor

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer addresses supporters after he lost to Justin Trudeau in the federal election in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada October 21, 2019.TODD KOROL/Reuters

Readers respond: Andrew Scheer to face questions about future as Conservative Leader after Liberal win

Given all the missteps by the Liberals, this election should have been an easy victory for Andrew Scheer. It’s time for the Conservatives to replace him with someone who brings back the progressive elements to the party. He has no future given his inability to beat the Liberals and all the baggage now associated with him. ToryForever

I’m sorry, but no, Andrew Scheer deserves no credit for the Liberal’s lacklustre showing. It was Justin Trudeau who returned the minority.

His promises in 2015 turned out to be the hucksterism of a late-night infomercial: too good to be true. He compounded that with an embarrassment in India, shameful handling of SNC-Lavailn and skeletons in his closet.

A better man than Mr. Scheer would have made hay out of these missteps and easily sailed to a win, but he dropped quite a few balls on the way. Hiring Hamish Marshall as campaign director was a huge error. The foolish fibs on his CV, the covert operation to sink Maxime Bernier and concealing his dual citizenship while castigating others for the same showed him to be an untrustworthy opportunist, rather than the earnest everyman he painted himself as.

Tories, please don’t make the mistake of anointing Peter McKay. You need to break from Harperism if you want to do better than about 35 per cent of the popular vote. WhistlingInTheDark

Andrew Scheer did not make the most of his opportunities, and seemed to have some bad advice from his team. However, the Conservatives en masse are a troubled party with its generally regional-only appeal. A number of party members need to go, and be replaced with others who can represent their riding, but also credibly support a platform of national interest. It may be time to disunite the right. And most definitely, the dirty tricks have to go. George Bay

The right-of-centre electors are stuck at about 35 per cent. Where are they going to go? The honest answer is probably nowhere. Beans Maroc

It’s clear to me that the Conservatives erred in establishing a policy platform that had little appeal outside their traditional base. Neither did the Liberals. This approach leads to the geographical split in support for the two main parties, which weakens the country. If the Conservatives wish to run the government, I’d say they need to take some policy positions that appeal to the voters who have not traditionally supported them, while not alienating their base. Don227

Andrew Scheer is only the spokesperson for the party. The real problem lies with the so-called party strategists who failed miserably to present compelling and convincing policies to the voters. Anyone can criticize their opponents, but it takes much greater wisdom and talent to craft constructive, winning policies. I say the Conservatives should clean the backroom and find fresh blood. Robert Cheadle

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Voters head to cast their ballot in Canada's federal election at the Fairbanks Interpretation Centre in Dartmouth, N.S., Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Readers respond: Voter turnout dips to 66 per cent compared with enthusiasm that brought Trudeau to power four years ago

I would like to see Canada go in the direction that Australia went with mandatory voting in federal elections. They even impose a small fine for people who do not vote. Gigger_2001

Fair point: Elections are tailored for the settled middle class, so the youth, by default, default at the polls. But another point is that this wasn’t really an election – it was more a referendum on leadership style rather than substance and issues. Policy took a backseat to personality and a lot of people, young and old, took a pass while the old and the settled held their collective noses and voted strategically. C Wilson

Suggesting that older Canadians vote simply because they’re easier to reach seems slightly less than preposterous. No demographic today is easier to mobilize for a flash mob or a protest than our youth. Mature folks have experience in the results of not voting. Young people’s brains are still developing. Mature perspectives dominate the mature. steadtom12

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Independent candidate Jane Philpott reacts as she speaks to supporters after losing her Markham-Stouffville seat to Liberal candidate Helena Jaczek in the federal election on Monday, October 21, 2019.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Readers respond: From Adam van Koeverden and Jody Wilson-Raybould to Maxime Bernier and Lisa Raitt: a look at the political winners and losers

I don’t agree that populism was the loser in Maxime Bernier’s case. The fear of “extreme multiculturalism” is still alive; a vote for Mr. Bernier would have simply helped the Liberals to the expense of the Conservatives. englishpub

The election had a stark choice:

Four parties wanted to fight climate change.

65 per cent of voters voted for stronger action on climate change.

The Liberals lost virtually no votes to Andrew Scheer.

The votes they lost went to the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc.

There is now a huge majority in Parliament for stronger action on climate change.OldBanister

Adam van Koeverden won because he fought tenaciously and won a picture-perfect ground campaign that was tireless. bobPITA

Fingers crossed Dr. Philpott returns to medicine energized to stay political and fight for badly needed medical care reform in Ontario. Lisa Weber

During the difficult days of the 2015 election campaign, Justin Trudeau took counsel and benefited from the services and advice of older, senior members of the federal Liberal Party. Arguably, the Liberals would have suffered another, perhaps fatal, loss in October, 2015, if he hadn’t.

Too often during the following years, Mr. Trudeau took too much notice of his last-minute 2015 win against common expectations and his ensuing rock-star status. Over time, this seemed to impair his relations within his party, within government, with some leaders of other countries and with the Canadian public. Many of his problems over the past 18 months resulted from or were deepened by those impaired relations.

Continuing to lead a minority government successfully will require Mr. Trudeau to convince all concerned that he has learned the necessary lessons from his fall from grace. This will be difficult, but, regardless of our personal partisan preferences, we must all hope for Canada’s sake that he succeeds. bob adamson

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