Stay the course, but work better with others is message sent to Liberals in Ottawa
Following a short election campaign, there was a sense of déjà vu in the country on Tuesday with Justin Trudeau once again leading the country with a minority Liberal government -- as was the case when he was previously elected two years ago.
There were questions raised when the snap election was called back in August as to whether it was the right time, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the fourth wave – now the question for the prime minister is whether his political gamble has paid off.
"From Victoria to St. John's, voters basically said, look, we want you to stay the course," says political scientist and professor at St. Thomas University Jamie Gillies, "we're not going to reward you for helping us through this part of the pandemic – finish the job and we'll check with you back in 18 months or two years."
Gillies says the message from voters is that they did not want a major political change, but that they do want the parties to work together to get through the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As for whether it was all worth it, he says in his opinion, no.
"They're basically right where they were when they started, and so in that sense in failed," says Gillies, "but they get to renew their mandate, they don't have to worry about another election for potentially four or five years if they can work with the other parties."
Professor of political science at Cape Breton University Tom Urbaniak says this was an election where everyone essentially lost to some extent – he says voters were "annoyed" at having an election at this time, and that these results should be a "humbling message" to all of the party leaders.
"Justin Trudeau is safe for now as Liberal leader," says Urbaniak. "But he needs to take the message, and I think some of his caucus colleagues are going to say it to him straight out, that Canadians expect a humbler, more collaborative authentic approach."