…from the NY Times…
It was a political calculation. And on Monday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will find out if it succeeded.
When Mr. Trudeau announced a snap election last month — two years ahead of schedule — his aides were apparently hoping that the lift in approval ratings for his handling of the pandemic would translate into a decisive win, giving his Liberal Party the majority in Parliament that it lost in the last election, in 2019.
He characterized the call not as a political gambit, however, but as pivotal moment in the country’s history. In the 36 days that followed, he does not appear to have persuaded many Canadians to see it that way.
Instead, there was continued grumbling about holding an election even as the Delta variant of the coronavirus was straining hospitals in some areas. Mr. Trudeau’s opponents characterized his move as a reckless power grab. Last weekend, Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservative Party and his chief rival, even called it “un-Canadian.” If the campaign ultimately holds any distinction, it may be as the most annoying one in recent memory.
Mr. Trudeau argued that, like his predecessors in the aftermath of World War II, he needed a strong mandate from voters to vanquish the pandemic and reset the nation’s economy on a path to recovery. While he avoided saying so directly, what the Liberals sought was a majority of the seats in the House of Commons. In the 2019 election, voters denied that to the party, which has meant Mr. Trudeau had to rely on votes from opposition parties to pass legislation.
If final polls prove accurate, Mr. Trudeau will again be denied. The Liberals standings dropped sharply at the start of the campaign, and have remained stuck in a statistical tie with the Conservatives, at about 30 percent each….