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Voters in Canada Decide Justin Trudeau's Fate

Prime minister in danger of losing bid for reelection
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
Justin Trudeau holds a rally in Vaughan, Ontario, on Friday.   (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced the threat of being knocked from power after one term as the nation held parliamentary elections on Monday, per the AP. The 47-year-old Trudeau channeled the star power of his father, the liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he won in 2015, but a combination of scandal—including blackface photos and accusations of political abuse of power—and high expectations have damaged his prospects. Polls indicate Trudeau's Liberal Party could lose to the rival Conservatives, or perhaps win but still fail to get a majority of seats in Parliament and have to rely on an opposition party to remain in power. Not in 84 years has a first-term Canadian prime minister with a parliamentary majority lost a bid for reelection.

Trudeau reasserted liberalism in 2015 after almost 10 years of Conservative Party government in Canada, but he's one of the few remaining progressive leaders in the world. He has been viewed as a beacon for liberals in the Trump era, even appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine under the headline "Why Can't He Be Our President?" Perhaps sensing Trudeau is in trouble, Barack Obama made an unprecedented endorsement by a former American president in urging Canadians to reelect Trudeau and saying the world needs his progressive leadership now. No party is expected to get a majority of Parliament's 338 seats, so a shaky alliance may be needed to pass legislation.

(Read more Justin Trudeau stories.)

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