It’s election day in Canada, and many major media outlets are predicting there will be a new prime minister.
Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party, is leading the vote as the numbers roll in from the Canadian election.
This could be the first time in almost a decade that Canada sees a change of government.
Incumbent Stephen Harper has been prime minister since early 2006. Now, it looks like he’s on his way out, and Trudeau, the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, could be the next leader of Canada.
A school teacher by trade, Trudeau Jr. has been on the political scene for a while, although he only became leader of the Liberal party in 2013. For 5 years before that, he was a member of parliament, representing part of Montreal.
He’s promised to stimulate the middle class and invest in infrastructure.
Trudeau is young, attractive, and charismatic.
The Conservative Party, under current-PM Stephen Harper, used his boyish looks and relative inexperience against him, launching a hugely successful attack ad that claims “He’s just not ready.”
(The ad also makes a crack at Trudeau’s signature shaggy hairdo, although these days he’s wearing a tighter crop.)
But in some ways, Trudeau has made it easy for his opponents.
Call it immaturity or call it passion, Trudeau has made some questionable decisions as a politician — from dropping an F-bomb at a charity event to the time he made a penis joke about dropping actual bombs on ISIS.
Perhaps the most memorable incident, though, was back in 2011, when in a heated parliamentary debate about the Kyoto Protocol, the young Trudeau called the environment minister, Peter Kent, a “piece of s—.”
Here’s that moment:
Now, it looks likes Trudeau may not only become prime minister, but may lead a majority government.
A change in government could have a big impact on everything from the Canadian dollar to the country’s trade policies — and on Canada’s decision whether to build the Keystone Pipeline.
To win the election, a party simply needs to hold the most seats in parliament. To form a majority government, the party needs 170 seats.
A minority government, one that wins but falls short of 170 seats, will most likely be a lot more left-leaning than Harper’s majority government has been. Beyond that, it’s hard to say what will happen.
Read what political promises the Liberals, the Conservatives, and the NDP have made here.
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