Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Quebec Voters Poised to Determine the Outcome of Canada's Federal Election

It is looking as though voters in Quebec will decide who forms the next federal government in Canada. After the French language debate support for the Block Quebecois surged as did support for the NDP. This has come at the expense of the Liberals. While the Conservatives cannot expect to gain any ground in the province, the fact that the Liberals may be hemorrhaging support does not bode well for their bid to secure another four years in power.

The outcome of Canada's election may be contingent on young people (18-34). The two key issues for the youth demographic are climate change and affordability. The Conservative platform tries to capitalize on the latter while the Liberals, NDP and Green Party are all vying for the climate vote.  However, this will only mean something if young people turn out to vote. In 2011 young people could have prevented Stephen Harper from becoming Prime Minister, but they did not vote.

There is unprecedented support for climate action and the Liberals may be hurt by their dualism (support for both climate action and fossil fuels). Justin Trudeau's Liberals come in a distant third in terms of their carbon reduction plans, (Elizabeth May's Greens are the only party to meet and exceed the Paris targets). Although Canadians want climate action, strategic voters are concerned that by voting for either the NDP or the Green Party they may inadvertently end up contributing to a Conservative win.

As suggested by their fossil fuel powered green plan, Scheer's Conservatives would be the worst choice for the environment and climate action.  So strategic voters, particularly those in Ontario and BC, have to make some difficult decisions. Vote their conscience and risk splitting the vote, or vote Liberal to stave off a Conservative government.

With the Liberals and the Conservatives neck and neck, the Block Quebecois appears poised to hold the balance of power. The separatist Block Quebecois has made it clear that they will not be part of a coalition government. However, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has indicated that he would be open to a coalition government with the Liberals if the conservatives won.

Related
Polls Reveal Unprecedented Support for Climate in Canada
The Climate Platforms of Canada's Four Major Federal Parties
References to Climate in the 2019 Canadian Federal Leaders Debate
Canada Votes: The Climate Platforms of the Four Major Federal Parties 
The Obsession with Fossil Fuels is a Canadian Disease
Canadian Conservatives Fossil Fuel Powered Green Plan
Canadian Oxymorons and the Dangers of Liberal Dualism

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