Liberals Come Back to Power After Ten Years in The Shadows

After almost ten years of being Canadian Prime Minister, Conservative Party leader, Stephen Harper, lost the election to Justin Trudeau, leader of Liberal Party.

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 21: TLiberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks from the podium. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is the focus of a tribute at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel in Toronto for A-list crowd.        (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks from the podium.  ( via Getty Images)

Lead by Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party defeated the Conservative Party by wide majority, last Monday, 19th October, on the Canadian federal election. Stephen Harper was the Canadian Prime Minister since 2006, being reelected in the 2008 and 2011 elections. The Conservative Party got the majority of votes in 2011.

The current Conservative party was formed in 2003 as a merger between the two right wings of the main parties in Canada; the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party, choosing as Canadian Alliance leader, since 2002, Stephen Harper, who remain as the new party leader. Harper long term in power has been criticized by many sources, mainly due to the hard economic reforms he implemented that have cut many social services such as health, and the imposition of strong security measures. Harper has also been recently criticized due to his reluctance to admit Syrian’s refugees into Canada (an important matter on the last election campaign), he agreed to admit 10,000 in January, but according to the New York Times, in August only 1,074 have entered the country.

Justin Trudeau was elected as leader of the Liberal Party in 2013, counting with the support of the 80% of his party. He is the son of the former Liberal leader, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Being son of a well-known politician made things a little bit easier, but Trudeau’s popularity with his scandalous reveals about other politicians from the oppositions, his promise to practice “positive politics”, his intentions to legalize marijuana, and showing himself more concerned with problems as environmental care – something that Harper seemed to ignore. As Canada is currently in a recession Trudeau intends on accepting funding to major infrastructure investments which will ultimately boost the economy. Justin Trudeau election campaign consisted mostly of criticizing Stephen Harper. Another strong aspect of his campaign was his emphasizing on a multicultural and plural Canada, in which he stressed his support for immigrants and all cultures now present on Canada. In contrast to his opponent Harper, Trudeau has a less harsh policy regarding the Syrian refugee’s problem, his intentions are to receive 25,000 individuals and invest around $100 million to make the process quicker.

In the field of Foreign Policy, Trudeau has declared his intention to promote Canadian soft power by focusing on humanitarian actions, such as the entrance of Syrians refugee into Canada and engaging with development goals. While Harper was known for promoting Canadian hard power, working on strong finances and sending Canadian military forces to combat the Islamic State. As we can see on Foreign Policy, a think tank, it is expected that this change in Canadian politics, encourage better relations with United States as Obama and Trudeau are both liberals and share common objectives toward major international issues, like the Islamic State, and the refugee crisis. In fact, Liberals attitude toward Canadian International relations can be summarized in Trudeau words “I want to say to this country’s friends all around the world, many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years”, as shown on U.S. Today.


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