For the last couple of months, pundits have been speculating about a snap election. Robin Sears adds to that speculation. There are, he writes, several reasons why Justin Trudeau might call an election:
The Federal Court and Donald Trump have both just stuck a finger in the Prime Minister’s eye. This is an opportunity to return the favour with a much harder counterpunch, a strong new political mandate.
Tragically, the court has just heightened the prospect of a just-elected Premier Jason Kenney stumping Western Canada next summer on behalf of the federal Tories, blaring a searing message on Western alienation. Single-handedly, he may attempt to return Canada to the angst and disruptive regional tensions in which we languished for more than two decades.
This fall the economy is in good shape, a year after a blow-up with Trump with key Canadian economic sectors staggering under heavy U.S. tariffs, maybe not so much. A swaggering new right-wing Quebec government may have been elected, keen to challenge Ottawa on every front. Premier John Horgan may have called — and probably have won big — a B.C. general election between now and then, strengthening the federal NDP in that province and giving him a stronger anti-pipeline mandate.
Trudeau faces tough decisions and he might seek a mandate to support him in those decisions. He might decide to launch "a legislative counterattack on the Federal Court decision to allow work on the Trans Mountain pipeline to relaunch immediately. They could also ask voters to support a tough pushback on Trump on cultural protection and dispute settlement under any NAFTA deal."
And with NAFTA headed for rough waters, "do not be surprised if Trudeau orders his negotiating team back home soon — just as Brian Mulroney did on the FTA. Ironically, the breakdown is on precisely the same issue: American refusal to accept a genuinely neutral legal structure to decide trade disputes."
Theresa May tried the same tactic not long ago. It did not end well. We live in interesting times.