Canadians vote Monday to ascertain if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who swept into office four decades ago as a charismatic figure promising”bright ways,” will stay in power following two big scandals.
Trudeau, 47, the Liberal Party leader, has been supported by former Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama at the last stretch of this campaign and is seen as among the last remaining innovative leaders one of the world’s leading democracies.
But he had been shaken during the effort by a blackface scandal and was dogged by criticism of the handling of a corruption case involving a significant Canadian construction firm.
His Liberals and the main opposition Conservatives headed by Andrew Scheer have been at a neck-and-neck race, based on opinion polls.
“The fact is that it’s a coin toss at this time,” said Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker.
The most recent opinion polls indicate he can narrowly avert that outcome and may go back to office with a minority at the 338-seat House of Commons.
Regardless of Scheer’s dimpled grin, Trudeau’s most important rival has been demonstrated to be a decided opponent. Among those defining moments of this effort was once Scheer attacked Trudeau through the English-language debate.
“He can not even recall how often he places blackface on since the simple fact of the matter is he is always wearing a mask,” Scheer said. “Mr. Trudeau, you’re a fake and you’re a fraud and you don’t need to govern this nation.”
Scheer, 40, even though a career fighter, is conducting his first effort as party leader after winning a bitter Conservative leadership struggle in 2017.
The six-week official campaign period was a demanding and twisting ride with filthy tactics on either side.
The liberal picture of Trudeau, who has championed diversity as prime ministry and his dad opened the nation to mass immigration, took a serious blow when pictures appeared early in the effort of him wearing blackface from the early 1990s and in 2001.
Trudeau had been wrestling with all the fallout from accusations that he forced his justice ministry to assist protect engineering company SNC-Lavalin Lavalin Group Inc from corruption charges. In August, a leading watchdog stated Trudeau breached ethics principles.
Given that neither of those front-runners could come off with a parliamentary majority, it’s the bigger left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) or even the separatist Bloc Quebecois which might wind up holding the balance of power.
Just six months ago, those parties seemed like they had been going toward electoral catastrophe. However, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh along with the Bloc’s Yves-Francois Blanchet has won praise for campaigns where they throw themselves as options to the leaders of those large parties.
“I’m a lifelong Liberal voter and now I am stumped with this one, largely because I’m very concerned about a win and just trying to determine how to vote,” explained Kristin Street, 33, a plan manager in a computer games company, at Port Moody, British Columbia.
Polls open at the Atlantic province of Newfoundland at 8:30 a.m. (1100 GMT) and unemployment ends at the Pacific Coast state of British Columbia at seven p.m. (0200 GMT on Tuesday).
“We might well be waiting before the last vote tallies from British Columbia to find out who’ll win on Monday,” Graves explained.