Letter: Liberals have no mandate to impose policies

The Liberals won because of their strong showing in Toronto

Liberals have no mandate to impose policies

I recently read a political commentary that implied that Justin Trudeau now had a clear mandate from the Canadian people. At the time I thought this was a remarkable leap when you consider the following: in the recent federal election Trudeau did not come close to achieving the parliamentary majority he wanted. Also, for the second election in a row, the Conservative Party of Canada captured the popular vote.

The Liberals won because of their strong showing in Toronto, Montreal and other major cities, but Canada is not a city state and locking up Toronto should not be the measure of victory. So, once again, we Canadians have been divided, this time through a rural/urban divide.

When 90 per cent of the polls reported in during the last election, it became apparent that the Liberals had won by the slimmest share of popular vote in Canadian history 32.2 per cent. Hardly a mandate. And, as if this were not enough, the election revealed massive splits between the resource rich West that voted heavily for the conservatives and the liberal East that did not, although the Conservatives did pick up seats in the Maritimes. Quebec voted along nationalist lines, dividing us even further. Quebec Premier Legault came out in favour of Erin O’Toole, a surprise to everyone and a repudiation of the Liberal tradition there. I could go on.

So where, in all of this, do the Liberals get the idea that they have a mandate to impose their beliefs and policies on Canadians? The Canadian electoral system gave them the official victory, the country did not. All in all it’s a sad commentary on our nation. Hopefully, in the next election, called in 18 months time, and there will most likely be one, as Trudeau will once again try to achieve the majority he wants we will see change. At this point we could certainly use it.

Perry Foster