With parliament reconvening, The Mail assembled a few politically-minded readers to give their take on the state of Canadian federal politics going into the 43rd Parliament. We asked.....
Q1. With a minority government, and none of the leaders appear to be eager to go back to the polls. How long do you think this government will stand? What are some of the factors you are basing this on?
Q2. Already the Green Party will be picking a new leader. If we go back to the polls, do you believe any of the current leaders (Trudeau, Scheer, Singh) will still be in place? What do they have to do to hold on to trust from their parties? Who else could be candidates?
Q3. Are there any areas where you could see cooperation among parties? Climate change strategy? TMX? Energy corridor?
Q4. Western alienation appears to have grown even more since the election. What are some ways the government could make inroads?
Q1. This past federal election resulted in the 14th federal minority parliament in Canadian history. We have had 12 minority federal governments plus 2 minority governments resulting from governments being replaced between elections. The average survival life is 479 days. My prediction for the life of this government is between 1 and 1/2 years and 2 years.
Q2. Every time there is an election and the party does not do well, the leader is under increased scrutiny. There will be people within the party who will want a leadership change immediately. With the election of a minority government, all parties will be re-examining their leaders and policies. The parties, at their annual conventions and meetings, will vote on their support or nonsupport for the leader. If the vote is not unanimous, there will be people searching for replacement leadership candidates. Parties want to win. I think Scheer and Singh are “on thin ice”. I have not heard of any replacement candidates coming forth yet.
Q3. One party cannot please everyone or all areas of our great country. Cooperation for the party in power plus only one other in a minority government is needed to get the majority votes (170 seats). Cooperation for survival till the next election is all that is needed. There are too many issues to resolve for the minority government. They have to pick a few major ones and hope they can get majority support to live another day. It is like a chess game! One move at a time!
Q4. Western alienation will continue to grow. Ottawa will attempt to make inroads but only in small ways. The new deputy PM will not be successful. Equalization payment formula will continue to be a burden on Alberta. Alberta and Saskatchewan will continue to have more bitterness towards Ottawa and the ugly relationship will grow more intense.
Q1. The Liberals are going to need time to repair Justin Trudeau’s image. None of the other parties have Leaders who are in a strong position.
Q2. Justin Trudeau will still be there and so will Jagmeet Singh. Andrew Scheer will be gone. The Conservatives are fighting among themselves, but perhaps Peter McKay might resurface.
Q3. I don’t see where parties have similar philosophies. I think they will all just sit back and see what the government brings forward and find fault.
Q4. The only way they can make inroads is to spend more time in the west or find some good candidates. The west is in for a very uncomfortable time.
Q1. This government will last 1-2 years. the west will make it harder to please the Bloc Québécois and NDP with their stance on Western energy.
Q2. Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer will be replaced, Jagmeet Singh will be retained.
Q3. There will be a slow compromise in order to try and appease the west. It won’t be fast and it won’t be big.
Q4. Western alienation is huge. They could hold parliament here for one month each sitting.
Q1. About 2 years if the conservatives select a new leader. Otherwise, because of their strong minority position, it would not be surprising to me if this minority government went the full mandate providing Trudeau can pacify at least some western issues.
Q2. Trudeau has weathered the storm of far too many scandals and could gain a majority government in the next election should the opposition not get their act together. Despite losing seats Singh appears to be on solid ground. Scheer, a nice man, appeared to me to be out of his element while addressing such things as gay rights, abortion, and the environment. Some say the die has been cast and he cannot recover. Like him or not, as a conservative leader, I think Max Bernier would have been an effective, major thorn in the side of the Liberals. Jason Kenney, Rona Ambrose, Peter McKay, and Lisa Raitt are a few who could be viable candidates.
Q3. There are many areas where conservatives can support the Liberals. A few examples are TMX, an energy corridor, consideration of further pipelines and adjustments to equalization. With the recent CN strike, and the hardships it created, one would think even Quebec should surely change their views on pipelines.