With support for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives just above 30 percent in the latest polls, there’s a good chance Canada will see a minority government and more political instability following Monday’s vote.
During a short election, neither party managed to ramp up the campaign. According to the latest Ipsos poll released on Sunday, whether the Liberals or the Conservatives will form the next government is a coin toss as both parties are locked in a dead heat.
Canada 44. In form ofth With the federal election nearing, here’s a quick look at some of the possible results.
Will any party get a majority?
When Trudeau abruptly launched elections in August, the Liberals had 155 seats in the House of Commons. If the Liberals are successful in getting 170 seats, they will have a majority out of 338 seats.
O’Toole’s Conservatives would need to go from 119 to 170 to take over as prime minister.
The majority seems like an impossible scenario.
An Ipsos poll released just before election day showed that the Conservatives held about 32 percent of the popular vote, while the Liberals were at 31 percent.
A liberal minority?
Essentially, if Trudeau’s liberals win a plurality of seats but fail to reach a majority, nothing changes, according to Philippe Lagasse, an associate professor at Carleton University.
“Since the government remains unchanged, the Liberals can still keep going,” Lagasse said.
However, if O’Toole’s Conservatives were to win a substantial number of seats but fall short of a majority, things could change.
“If an opposition party secures a significantly larger number of seats than the incumbent government, then the current government will resign either generally or at the election to the prime minister,” he said. “But it is not constitutionally required.“
Will the party winning the most seats form the next government?
In a word: no.
Under Canada’s Westminster system, the party that wins the most seats is not automatically able to form the next government. A party has to first win the confidence of the House of Commons.
If no party reaches a majority, incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have a first crack at forming a government, even if he wins fewer seats than O’Toole.
Real-time results in federal elections
“It is important to recognize that the only body elected at the federal level is the House of Commons. The Senate is not elected, the courts are not elected, the government is unelected,” Lagasse said.
“The government is appointed on the basis that it is able to uphold the confidence of the elected house. This is how we ensure democratic principles.“
Trudeau may turn to other parties like Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats to win the confidence of the House. Liberal leaders could do this by relying on formal cross-party agreements with the NDP, Bloc Québécois or the Green Party. Trudeau can move forward with vote-by-vote support from each party on key issues and bills for the regime.
a supplied trust system or formal alliance?
University of British Columbia political scientist Maxwell Cameron said Canada has no history when it comes to formal alliances that actually involve power sharing between two parties.
“In other words, cabinet positions or other court positions are shared between two political parties,” Cameron said. “We don’t have much of a tradition of this in Canada.”
In 2008, the Bloc, Liberals and NDP agreed to form a coalition government to block the Conservatives under Stephen Harper’s regime.
Block said he would support a government made up of ministers from the Liberals and the NDP for 19 months. Harper prorogues Parliament to avoid toppling his minority government.
Long lineups seen outside some polling stations in Toronto on Election Day
A more likely outcome would be a “supply trust agreement” between two or more parties that agree on certain basic principles or laws and agree to support the government for a specific period of time, according to Cameron.
In 2017, British Columbia’s provincial election saw a “hung parliament”, where former Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals won 43 seats in the legislature, and now Premier John Horgan’s NDP won 41 seats.
The Greens won three seats – maintaining the balance of power.
BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver negotiated with both the Liberals and the NDP, but would eventually reach a deal in which the Greens led the NDP minority.
What if a party loses a vote of confidence?
If Trudeau was not able to gain the confidence of the House, he could request another election, sending the Canadians back to the polls.
According to Lagasse, Governor General Mary May Simon turned to O’Toole and asked him to form the government, a much more likely scenario.
“The prime minister has to resign only if he loses confidence. But the reality is that politics comes into play,” Lagasse said. “If the Liberals have fewer seats than the Conservatives, there will be more pressure on Trudeau to resign politically that night.
“In that event, the governor general would appoint O’Toole to form the government and there would be a two-week transition, usually two or three weeks.”
Conservatives may find it difficult to get support from the NDP, as Singh declined to say whether he would support O’Toole. O’Toole may turn to Block Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchett for support.
After the September 20 election, Blanchett refused to be part of the coalition federal government, but stated that a minority would support a government that would survive in full…