Omer Aziz on Trudeau’s humility problem
In this election, the Liberal Party was given a renewed mandate but without the majority that would permit them to act as they pleased. The electorate served as a check on untrammeled power. Mr. Trudeau will have to choose now whether he moves forward with humility or arrogance.
Omer Aziz is the author of the forthcoming book, Brown Boy: A Story of Race, Religion, and Inheritance. He was a policy adviser to the minister of foreign affairs.
Adam Prankratz on the NDP’s relevance problem
The NDP will have some small say in the strong Liberal minority, and it is a remarkable result given its early struggles under Mr. Singh’s leadership, including a wave of NDP incumbents declining to run this time around. But that cannot obscure the cold, hard fact: This was a big defeat. Mr. Singh himself seems oblivious to this: On election night, he declared that “if the other parties work with us, we have an incredible opportunity.” The reality is that the NDP will have to work with other parties to get the incredible opportunity of not being consigned to irrelevance – not the other way around.
Adam Pankratz is a lecturer at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He is on the board of directors at Rokmaster Resources and ran for the federal Liberal Party in the riding of Burnaby South in 2015.
Bob Plamondon on Andrew Scheer’s prime ministerial problem
While Mr. Scheer may never become charismatic, he might succeed if he can rebuild bridges across the conservative universe, adopts mainstream policies that don’t reek of ideology and are relevant in all parts of Canada, addresses climate change with substantive policies and somehow reconciles his social-conservative views in a way Canadians can accept. If he can’t do these things, he should step aside. If all Conservatives can do is hold their base, they will stay in opposition as they did for most of the 20th century. If that happens, then Canada loses.
Bob Plamondon is the author of Blue Thunder: The Truth about Conservatives from Macdonald to Harper and Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics.
Fabrice Vil on the Bloc’s sovereignty problem
Until recently, the prevailing wisdom was that the Bloc Québécois was a dead party. On Monday, it rose from the grave. ... Many political observers believe [Leader Yves-François] Blanchet is not interested in holding the first independence referendum since 1995 – that if such a thing were to happen in this day and age, it would come from Alberta or Saskatchewan. But I am not so sure. A renewed push for independence is not impossible. Such a push is not imminent, however.
Fabrice Vil is an Ashoka Fellow, a columnist at La Presse and was a lawyer in civil and commercial litigation from 2007 to 2013.
Melanee Thomas on Alberta’s anger management problem
Premier Jason Kenney described the idea of a Liberal minority government as a “Frankenstein” scenario, in which non-Conservatives pose an existential threat to Alberta. We Albertans should ask ourselves how far we are prepared to let our provincial government push this polarized partisan narrative in our name. Other Canadians, too, should ask how much they’re prepared to accommodate this belligerent approach.
Melanee Thomas is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary.
Chris Turner on solutions for climate change
Climate change has never before played as central a role in a Canadian federal election as it did this year, and Mr. Trudeau ran hard on his record as the only leader offering both credible action on climate change and continued support for Canada’s oil and gas sector. The Liberals were, as Mr. Trudeau once put it, the only ones who saw both pipelines and wind turbines in Canada’s energy future. This was Mr. Trudeau’s grand climate bargain – better market access for oil and gas in a sort of trade for consensus on a workable path to a low-carbon economy – and Canadians have given him a shot at seeing that bargain through. I’d argue his legacy as a Prime Minister will ultimately rest on whether he can deliver on it.
Chris Turner’s latest book is The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands, which won last year’s National Business Book Award.
Pam Palmater on solutions for reconciliation
This federal election was decided by the fear of another Conservative government so soon after their decade-long regime. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been reduced to a minority government; this is a strong message from Canadians and First Nations that the Liberals have some making up to do for all of their broken promises. If the Liberals want their minority government to survive any length of time, they would do well to remember that their election victory does not equate to a blank cheque to build pipelines in the face of climate change, nor does it mean genocide (as the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ruled it) against female Indigenous peoples can continue on as it has.
Doug Saunders on solutions for nation-building
Yes, Canada will have a national government that has no MPs in Alberta and Saskatchewan, is at war with several provincial governments, has a leader whose image is tarnished and relies on the support of opposition parties. None of this is new or unusual for Canadian governments, though. It might be called Canada’s default configuration. There is another way to treat such a political moment: as a time to look beyond immediate partisan interests and make some badly needed changes to Canada’s underpinnings, and a time to use a governing consensus supported by almost two-thirds of voters to make investments supported by multiple parties and lasting far beyond the next election cycle.
Doug Saunders, The Globe’s international-affairs columnist, is currently a Richard von Weizsaecker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.
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