Poli Savvy: Challenges of a Minority Government

It is no question that the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau has achieved a considerable victory of sorts this month, namely the “privilege” of leading the entire country of Canada. However, it is still a political step down from the party’s status prior to the elections; that of a majority government. So, what challenges will the Liberals have to face?

First, cabinet management. It is customary for all Canadian federal cabinet ministers to be representative of each province. Cabinet ministers are MPs chosen from amongst the winning party based on their province. However, given that the Liberals have lost all their representatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the party effectively has no representation in the two prairie provinces. MPs from the other parties will have to be chosen for proportional provincial representation within the cabinet.

The second problem involves passing bills, specifically those related to the Liberal platform. Majority governments are formed when a given party attains 170 plus seats in the House of Commons and doesn’t face the obstacle of votes when passing a bill. Not anymore for the Liberals. They will now have to collaborate with other parties to get enough votes. Although, it is important to point out that Trudeau has ruled out any official coalition, according to the BBC.

The third and final problem, compromise. Looking at the platforms of some of the parties, it’s easy to see where some overlap; the Liberals, Greens, and New Democrats sporting clear similarities in both social and environmental policy fields. Regardless, the true success of a minority government lies in compromise, ensuring that their political partners have enough to gain to vote favourably. But where will it happen? On the matter of Quebec sovereignty with the Bloc? Doubtful, according to an article in Global News. By cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline as encouraged by the NDP and the Greens? Not likely, reported CJME.

Anything with the Conservatives? When pigs fly.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

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