Amazingly, climate change seems to have almost eclipsed traditional voter concerns like the economy, healthcare and employment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, after introducing the controversial carbon tax, last June declared climate change an emergency, then immediately gave the go-ahead to a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline project. The truth is that the government has fallen far short of its Paris Accords commitments. But the economy is in fairly good shape. Despite frequent criticisms of style over substance, the charismatic Trudeau retains his ability to tap into voter concerns and portray a ‘middle way’ that will almost certainly see him remain Prime Minister.
The Greens, under popular leader Elizabeth May, look set to benefit not only from disenchanted Liberal voters but also from those disappointed with the NDP. Canada’s Greens are arguably the West’s most fiscally conservative Green Party, while the NDP stresses jobs and, under Jagmeet Singh, has returned to its Keynsian roots. Despite its challenges to drug companies and racism and its championing of free education, the New Democrats have an aging voter base and are widely — if somewhat unfairly — portrayed as yesterday’s party. This has not been helped by the recent defection to the Greens of a number of former NDP federal election candidates.
Canada’s political fulcrum has shifted to the right, but this has been of little benefit to Andrew Sheer and his Conservative Party. Despite his tepid adoption of certain climate change concerns, the former insurance salesman has failed to unite, let alone expand, his voter base. This may be of some benefit toThe People’s Party of Canada. Despite his insistence that his party is neither left nor right, leader Maxime Bernier’s former attachment to the Conservatives — and most of his present positions — leave no doubt concerning his orientation. Like other such western populist parties tapping into the low standing of mainstream parties, the People’s Party is a mix of more authoritarian social positions with libertarian economics.
Bloc Québécois retains its adherance to broadly social democratic economics and social values, despite the hardening of racial attitudes among some sectors of the province.
Our chart has been compiled with reference to speeches, manifestos and, where applicable, voting records. Should significant policy changes be announced during the campaign, the chart will be updated accordingly.