It looks like a close race in Canada and in the last televised debate before the general election, main opponent O’Toole sharply criticized Prime Minister Trudeau.
Ottawa (AP) – A few days before the early parliamentary elections in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under pressure during the last televised debate of the main candidates.
His conservative opponent Erin O’Toole criticized the head of the Liberal government for his decision to call new elections despite the crisis in Afghanistan and the current pandemic: “You have put your own political interests before the well-being of thousands of people. . Leadership is putting others first, not yourself. Left-wing Liberal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh agreed with O’Toole.
Trudeau defended his policy in Afghanistan and praised the work of the Canadian armed forces in evacuating thousands of people from Kabul. As in Germany and other NATO countries, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan with its disastrous consequences has been strongly criticized in Canada.
In the second largest country in the world by area, with nearly 38 million inhabitants, a new government will be voted on September 20. Trudeau, who has ruled the country since 2015 and has led a minority government since 2019, called early voting a few weeks ago – critics accuse him of unnecessarily putting people to the polls amid the Corona crisis because , after an absolute majority in Parliament aspires.
A close race looms between Trudeau and his main rival O’Toole. Although O’Toole is ahead in some polls for absolute votes, most polls see Trudeau’s Liberals leading the seats in Parliament. The reason is the 338 electoral constituencies, whose mandates are distributed according to the principle of absolute majority. Therefore, only a few dozen contested districts are decisive – somewhat comparable to “swing states” in the United States.
With a good ten days before the election, it does not seem that one of the parties can win the absolute majority of 170 seats in parliament. Traditionally, there are no coalitions in Canada in this case, but minority governments with an average half-life of two years. The last federal vote in the fall of 2019 brought the Trudeau Liberals 157 seats and the Tories 121.