Fifty years ago | Decisive win for Trudeau

Published - July 10, 2024 05:07 am IST

Washington, July 9: The Prime Minister Mr. (Pierre) Trudeau’s Liberal Party has scored an astounding victory in yesterday’s Canadian elections, upsetting all previous predictions which said that it would be another close race, leaving the country with the prospect of another spell of uncertain coalition rule. The Liberals have now won not only a majority of the 264 seats in the House of Commons but have given Canada its third majority Government in 20 years.

In the last House, after the last election in 1972, the Liberals had won only 109 seats to the Conservative Party’s 106 seats and the former had been obliged to lead a cliff-hanger existence for 20 months in a coalition supported by the 30-member New Democratic Party. But that arrangement broke down and the Trudeau Government fell when the NDP voted with the Conservatives last May on budgetary issues.

The results yesterday were particularly astonishing because very rarely has a ruling party been re-elected when the country has been wracked by the kind of inflation (11 per cent), which Canada has been afflicted by during the last one year.

Mr. Trudeau’s principal rival, the stodgy Mr. Robert Stanfield of the Conservative Party, had pinned all his hopes on beating Mr. Trudeau by concentrating solely on the inflation issue, but his own solution, which was wage-price freeze, apparently did not appeal to the electorate because they know that it had been tried elsewhere without any success. Though the 60-year-old Mr. Stanfield has retained his seat in Parliament, the Trudeau victory is expected to end his leadership of the Conservative Party.

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