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A Tired Canada Votes In a Listless Trudeau

1 17 1
22.09.2021

When the American journalist Lincoln Steffens returned from a trip to the newly formed Soviet Union in 1919, he remarked: “I have seen the future, and it works!”

Speaking last year at a United Nations conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swore that, for all the devastation COVID-19 had wrought, governments faced an extraordinary chance to make the future work.

But one election later, Trudeau’s prospects for genuine change seem about as hopeful as the Soviet Union’s.

When the American journalist Lincoln Steffens returned from a trip to the newly formed Soviet Union in 1919, he remarked: “I have seen the future, and it works!”

Speaking last year at a United Nations conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swore that, for all the devastation COVID-19 had wrought, governments faced an extraordinary chance to make the future work.

But one election later, Trudeau’s prospects for genuine change seem about as hopeful as the Soviet Union’s.

“This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,” Trudeau said in September 2020. “This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.” Waking up Tuesday morning, the Canadian leader found that resetting is harder than he once imagined.

While mail-in ballots are still being counted, Trudeau has emerged from a particularly acrimonious federal election looking worse for the wear but with a virtually identical House of Commons. Trudeau’s Liberal Party appears to have netted a single additional seat, possibly two, meaning he still presides over a minority Parliament and will need to rely on other parties to govern.

His campaign, and the decidedly status quo results he earned with it, is a grim glimpse into the likely future for progressives looking to “build back better”—a........

© Foreign Policy


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