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Month In Review: Status-Quo Election Outcome Belies Important Shifts In Canada’s Political Landscape

Despite the election delivering little change in the make-up of Parliament, notable shifts have occurred in this country’s political landscape.

Month In Review: Status-Quo Election Outcome Belies Important Shifts In Canada’s Political Landscape
Nabil Saleh/Unsplash

After calling a snap election in hopes of winning a parliamentary majority, Justin Trudeau was sent back to work after the September 20 vote with another Liberal minority government in what some have called one of the most status-quo election results in Canadian history.

  • The new Parliament will look much the same as the previous one: the Liberals finished with 159 seats, up two from 2019; the Conservatives finished with 119 seats, down two from 2019; and the NDP finished with 25 seats, up one from 2019. The Greens lost an incumbent MP, but picked up a new seat in Kitchener Centre, finishing the election with two MPs.

However, despite the vote delivering little change in the make-up of Parliament, notable shifts occurred in this country’s political landscape over the past month.

Rise Of The Far-Right People’s Party

Maxime Bernier/Facebook.

Despite failing to win a single seat this election, Maxime Bernier’s far-right People’s Party of Canada (PPC) tripled its vote share, and finished second in some ridings in Conservative strongholds in rural Alberta.

  • The Maple took a deep-dive into what this uptick in support for the far-right party means for Canada’s political landscape in the months and years ahead.

Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told The Maple that the party, which has numerous past and present ties to known white nationalists, has grown recently with the help of the COVID-19 conspiracy movement.

  • “All these people on the far right, they're conspiratorial to begin with. They believe in conspiracies about (U.S. Democratic Party financier) George Soros; they believe in conspiracies about white replacement,” Balgord said.
  • “Because the conspiracy movement is so large, when we're done with COVID, we're going to have a much larger far right,” he added.

Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, told The Maple:

  • “I think that even in terms of the post-COVID recovery, (the PPC) will find a way, I suspect, to manipulate that in a way that retains a lot of those same people, and perhaps even new ones from the elements of society that feels like maybe they've been left behind in terms of economic supports.”

Read the full story here.

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