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Two lessons about American politics from the Canadian election

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Canada recently had elections! An odd idiosyncrasy of the Canadian political system is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (through the governor general) has the power to call elections whenever he sees fit. Trudeau called the elections in August, with an election day set for Sept. 20, in the hopes of securing a stable majority in Parliament to pass some of his more ambitious COVID-19 recovery packages. 

Before the election, Trudeau was the head of a minority government, in which the largest party in Parliament is the governing party unless a coalition rises to supplant them. Opinion polling indicated that it was likely he would be able to obtain that majority in Parliament, so he called the snap election. In the end, after a drop off in polling for Trudeau’s party, the Liberal Party and a surge for the rival Conservative Party (Tories), the election ended with disappointment for most parties involved, as none of the major parties saw…

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