I read Glen Pearson's commentary regularly. His take on the election is insightful:
Many have delighted in telling whoever will listen that this country is moving steadily along a progressive path. It’s hard to argue with such statements. Everyone seems to have an opinion on Justin Trudeau, many of them unnecessarily extreme, but his record is a progressive tour de force. Though only in power for six years, he has refined the NAFTA agreement, developed a somewhat credible plan on carbon reduction, welcomed a successful share of global refugees, centred indigenous reconciliation in national policy, at least in words and sometimes in deeds. Essential to people working in the anti-poverty movement, Trudeau has reduced child poverty to levels unseen in many years. His failure to commit to his electoral reform commitment in his first mandate will remain a deep stain on his legacy. Still, his years in power have left some impressive accomplishments for all the negatives aimed at Justin Trudeau.
So, yes, given the reality that the country has returned him to power, for now, the third term, speaking of a “progressive” age, is a credible claim. But little of this has happened in a vacuum. While the election extended the progressive wing of Canadian politics for another two or three years, the polarization it manifested drove opposition forces as they became ever more profound in their angst.
That angst was most apparent in the People's Party of Canada:
The depth of that change was perhaps best displayed by the rise in popularity of the People’s Party of Canada. Some never saw that coming, yet it created such an effect that many worried about the rise of the angry right. And with many Conservatives concerning with O’toole’s move to the middle, some might drift further right. Pollster Eric Grenier, in his credible assessment of the just concluded political contest, saw evidence of this troubling trend.
“The People’s Party made some significant gains but still didn’t quite meet the level of support they had in the polls. But they were up five points in both Alberta and Saskatchewan and six points in Manitoba. They gained four points in Ontario and New Brunswick and three in B.C. and Nova Scotia. They were only up 1.3 points in Quebec.
While it appears that the progressive movement in federal politics has found success three elections in a row, it is creating its own opposition as it attempts to forge a new future for Canada. The pandemic response only exacerbated that growing division, ensuring that hatred of Trudeau will remain a political staple for the near future.
The Liberal minority provides Trudeau with some stability. No political party wants an election for at least two years -- perhaps three. But those three years won't be without high tension.
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