October 19, 2015 concluded the long race to Canada’s top office. The run up to Canadian federal elections saw many ups and downs, attack ads, heated debates, finger pointing, and of course, many promises. The race also strengthened the belief that early leads don’t mean much and anything can happen anytime. Leading parties can be relegated to back benches and underdogs can become frontrunners. Case in point is Tom Mulcair’s National Democratic Party. Poised to lead with comfortable margins, the NDP got pushed to third place when Liberal Party candidate Justin Trudeau suddenly overtook everybody with surprise. However, one thing seemed certain. Voters were itching for change. After many years of Stephen Harper’s dominant blue, the skies are fluttering with red flags.
The issues were many. At the start of the race, the sluggish economy was front and centre. Not long after, the niqab veiled all other issues. The refugee crisis in Syria was a potent challenge, as was infrastructure spending and international politics. The youngest candidate among all contenders, Justin Trudeau promised Real Change. The playout of this Canadian federal election was reminiscent of the US elections when Barack Obama swept the nation with the promise of “Yes, we can!”
“I will be the Prime Minister of all Canadians,” said Justin, after leading the Liberal Party to a stunning majority government, downing hopes of Stephen Harper, Conservative Party leader seeking a fourth mandate. “We beat fear with hope,” Trudeau said. “We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.” Let’s pray for the overwhelming success of this charismatic new Prime Minister of Canada bearing the rich legacy of his legendary father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.