Canadian Election Results in Liberal Leadership

The BBC.COM reports that the liberal party in Canada has swept the elections.  The most notable win, of course, is the election of liberal candidate Justin Trudeau as the country’s new prime minister.

According to

Canada’s Liberal Party has decisively won a general election, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule.

The centrist Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, started the campaign in third place but in a stunning turnaround now command a majority.

Mr Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, said Canadians had voted for real change.

Incumbent Conservative PM Stephen Harper – in power since 2006 – has congratulated his rival.

Justin Trudeau is son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, considered the father of modern Canada.

Let’s take a look at what the new Canadian regime stand for?  Ryan McMaken of the Mises Institute outlines the new administration’s policies here:

Well, they voted in federal elections this week for a more free market in cannabis, and for less intervention in foreign wars. They also voted for higher taxes and more environmental regulation.

As with American elections, it’s impossible to point to a national election in Canada and say there is any particular “mandate” for the newly elected administration. But in this case, the new government under Trudeau has explicitly promised less interventionism in foreign policy, and legalization of recreational marijuana.

On the foreign policy front, the incoming PM Trudeau has already promised to withdraw Canadian fighter planes from Syria, and has promised withdraw of “ground troops involved in combat missions.”

Meanwhile, Trudeau’s Liberal Party has made legalization of recreational marijuana one of its priorities, with its platform stating: “We will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.”

The consensus among much of the Canadian media is that the election was a referendum on outgoing Conservative PM Harper himself, who gained a reputation as something of an authoritarian. Harper tended to take a hard-line pro-US foreign policy position, and supported the expansion of domestic spying against Canadians, and supported the infamous Bill C-51, something of a Canadian USA-PATRIOT Act. 

So what does this new government to the North mean for us here in the US?

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a fiscal conservative who brought about stability and a balanced budget.  Canada did not have any bailouts during the recession of 2008, and, overall, the government seemed to run well.

The new leadership will bring change that most American conservatives will find more than a little distasteful.  Several news sources, including Time,  reported that Trudeau plans to run the country with a budget deficit to fund a stimulus package that could boost the Canadian economy which is now in a slight recession, but the risk of his plan doesn’t offer the solid footing that his predecessor’s balanced budget did.  This could, however, open up some significant business opportunities for American companies.  His administration also plans to continue supporting free-trade with the US.  And, Trudeau plans to open the borders of Canada to Syrian refugees.  The most notable issue that will upset American Christian conservatives is Trudeau’s progressive abortion position.  Trudeau allegedly supports abortion up to the time of birth and is not opposed to abortion for the purpose of sex selection. reports:

“For the first time in Canadian history, we have the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada forcing his entire caucus to hold his personal views on abortion” said Alissa Golob, Youth Coordinator for CLC and one of the campaign’s main organizers. “Not only that, but Justin Trudeau is ignoring and discriminating against the majority of Canadians who support abortion restrictions, by proclaiming they are not welcome to run for the Liberal Party of Canada.”