It is easy to decide which party won or lost in an election. The party that forms the next government, whether it is a majority or a minority, will be considered the winner. It is a bit more complicated to decide which party leaders won or lost in an election.
Merely forming a government does not save one leader from being forced to resign, while winning one seat can lead to a coup for another.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has the highest bar to clear. If it is to be considered the winner in this election, it needs to win nothing less than a majority government. If the government had fallen on a no-confidence vote brought by the opposition parties, maintaining a minority government could have been considered a victory.
Despite his claims to the contrary, it cannot be denied that Trudeau called the election because his party was high on the polls and hoped to convert that support into a majority government. He has to win that gamble.
While the Liberal Party appears united in support of Justin Trudeau today, that will quickly change if Trudeau walks out of this election with a government less than a majority. The Liberal Party practices strangulation politics and if Trudeau does not get a majority, the day after the election, the knife will come out for Trudeau. Trudeau would have failed to secure a majority government in two consecutive elections. The party will not allow them to crack another on it.
The only question will be whether Trudeau can read the writing on the wall and resign, or whether an ambitious within his own party will tear him apart.
Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), will be the clear winner if he also forms a minority government. The CPC has run a respectable campaign and O’Toole has established himself as a respected leader. Even if the CPC retains its role as the official opposition after the election, O’Toole must be secure enough under his leadership to be able to contest the next election.
That said, conservatives are notorious with their leaders. If O’Toole does not win a minority government, many members will question whether the compromises made by the conservative-leaning policy were worth it. O’Toole will have to work hard to maintain unity, especially if the number of seats for the CPC really goes down.
Jagmeet Singh will be considered the winner if NDP retains or slightly increases its number of seats. The NDP thrives on maintaining the balance of power in minority government situations. They know they will probably never form a government, but can strongly influence policy within divided parliaments.
Singh would certainly prefer to deal with a liberal majority than the CPC. The chances of the CPC succumbing to the demands of the NDP on the basis of the threat of a trust vote will be slim.
Green Party leader Annie Paul is in trouble. To be considered the winner in this election, he has to win at least his seat and keep or pick up some more seats. Paul’s own party has turned against him and he needs some kind of strong electoral performance.
It seems unlikely that Paul will win his seat and the Greens could very well be out in this election. Paul would not last long as leader in that case. However, the Green Party will not go away. It is an established brand and can survive without seats in Parliament.
Maxime Bernier can already be considered the winner of the election. He has taken PPC beyond even the most optimistic expectations going into the campaign. Bernier has rolled out support for his new party and will seriously influence the election results. Will they really win any seats though?
Alternative parties have a very difficult time maintaining unity, funding and organization between elections. If Bernier doesn’t win at least one seat for himself, he will have to work hard to gain attention and stay relevant through post-election political apathy.
The PPC does not have a long-established premise that it can rely on for its long-term survival if it does not win seats. They have been influential in elections but can stand in support. However if they win a few seats, they will be well poised to become a long-term force.
In our parliamentary system, counting of seats for parties is everything. Party leaders have different measures of success. Every leader has a lot of political capital in this election and the voting results don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Time will.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times