OTTAWA , Ont. (NEWS 1130) — One political analyst says we’re heading back to the polls two years ahead of schedule because the Liberals think they can win, again.
Speaking with NEWS 1130, Washington Post political columnist David Moscrop, who’s based in Ottawa, believes Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ultimately wants to win a majority.
“There’ll be lots of reasons from the government. They want to check in with Canadians on their recovery plan, they think parliament is toxic and obstructionist, and that doesn’t work,”
he said. “The fact is, what they really want is to win a majority, and they think they’ve got a shot at it, and they probably do. And the worst case is that they’ll end up with another minority.”
There are 42 federal ridings in BC:
Results from 2019:
*The Conservatives won 17 seats
*The Liberals won 11 seats
*The NDP won 11 seats
*The Greens won two seats
*Independent captured one seat
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) August 15, 2021
The Prime Minister arrived at Rideau Hall on Sunday morning to visit with Governor General Mary Simon, kickstarting a 36 day campaign that will culminate with a vote on September 20.
Moscrop says the NDP and Conservatives don’t have what it takes to throw the Liberals off from potentially winning a majority this year.
“The risk is, there’s a backlash because people don’t want an election, and they punish the government and vote for someone else. But it doesn’t always happen, and it doesn’t seem particularly likely to happen this time.”
He says thanks to the national COVID-19 vaccine procurement strategy, along with financial supports like CERB and CRB, voters may reward the Liberal Party this election.
“They’re pleased with pandemic supports, whether it was the service or the business account or the wage subsidy. And so if you’re the Liberals, it’s not the worst time to try to capitalize on that.”
The Conservatives know they can’t win, Moscrop says, adding that to gain seats this election, what they should do is understand that Canadian’s don’t dislike Justin Trudeau, and a negative campaign against him won’t work.
“As much as the Conservative Party dislikes Justin Trudeau, that strategy has not worked for them, and won’t work. So part of it is getting over the fact that dunking on Trudeau is not their path to victory.”
He believes B.C. will be a focus for all the parties, especially the opposition, as they try to steal Liberal seats across Metro Vancouver.
“The wildcard in this race isn’t the Conservative party, it’s the NDP, who are surging right now and who are in pretty good position,” he says. “If people aren’t scared of the Conservatives, they might feel free to vote NDP, in cases where previously they wouldn’t have in a tight race, and that can compromise some liberal races.”
Moscrop says the NDP aren’t “playing to win”, but are looking to have a major role in the next parliament.
“They’re playing to have a significant role in the next parliament, and that probably means holding the Liberals to a minority again, and then being the kingmakers — which is an absolutely plausible scenario.”
Elections Canada says it is prepared to conduct a safe election during the pandemic, with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador all having successfully held provincial votes in the past two years.
– With files from Paul James