The centre-left Liberal party has swept 2015 General Elections for the Canadian Parliament. 43-year-old Justin Trudeau will be sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Canada. Riding on a late campaign surge, Trudeau toppled the decade long rule of the Conservative Party of Canada and the outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
According to the latest count, the Liberal party looks all set to win 184 out of 338 seats, 14 more than they need for a majority.
Adding a touch of youth to the politics of Canada and promises of significant changes, Justin Trudeau led his Liberal party to an unprecedented victory. The Liberals seized a Parliamentary majority that smashed the record for the number of seats gained from one election to the next.
“Canadians have spoken, you want a government with a vision and with an agenda for this country that is positive and ambitious and hopeful. Well, my friends I promise you tonight that I will lead that government. I will make that vision the reality, I will be that prime minister,” said Trudeau to his supporters as the results were declared.
The Liberals had been a distant third place party in Parliament before this election. Trudeau vaulted from third place to lead the polls in the final days of the campaign, overcoming Conservative party’s criticism that the Liberal leader is too inexperienced to govern. Mr. Trudeau is now set to return to the Prime Minister’s residence in Ottawa where he grew up as a child.
On the other hand, outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper accepted defeat conceding that “people are never wrong,” in his last speech as a premier. Thus, ending the Conservative government’s nine-year run of what they claimed as a “good” economic management in a decade of global slowdown.
Trudeau, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, had pledged to run a 10 billion Canadian dollars annual budget deficit for three years to invest in infrastructure and help stimulate Canada’s anaemic economic growth. This rattled financial markets ahead of the vote and the Canadian dollar weakened on news of his victory.
Trudeau has said he will repair Canada’s cool relations with the Obama administration, withdraw Canada from the combat mission against Islamic State militants in favour of humanitarian aid and training, and tackle climate change.
The Conservatives are to become the official opposition in Parliament, with the left-leaning New Democratic Party slipping to third position.
Significantly, Liberal Party’s win marks a swing toward a more multilateral approach in global politics by the Canadian government, which has distanced itself from the United Nations in recent years.
(With inputs from the Agencies)