It’s hard to believe, but we can now say that the federal election is “next year.” Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are already through three-quarters of their mandate, a period marked by great social and political upheavals, both internationally and domestically. The government has embraced policy moves in areas such as climate change, feminism, cannabis legalization, electoral reform and the restoration of a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples.
Throughout, Trudeau and his team have cultivated a highly personal and unabashedly progressive brand — with varying degrees of success in the public sphere. He goes up against three new opposition leaders during the next campaign.
A panel of public policy and political experts, moderated by Policy Options editor-in-chief Jennifer Ditchburn, took stock of these last three tumultuous years, but also looked ahead to the next federal election and what might be in store.
Graham Fox is President and CEO of the IRPP. A policy entrepreneur, Graham’s research interests include parliamentary reform, democratic renewal, citizen engagement and federalism. Prior to joining the IRPP in 2011, he spent over a decade working in Canadian federal politics, as a senior advisor to political leaders and a government relations practitioner. He is co-editor, with Jennifer Ditchburn, of The Harper Factor (2016), an analysis of the policy impact of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.
Amanda Bittner is an associate professor of political science and Director of the Gender and Politics Laboratory at Memorial University. She is the author of Platform or Personality? The Role of Party Leaders in Elections (Oxford University Press 2011), co-editor with Melanee Thomas of Mothers and Others: The Impact of Family Life on Politics (UBC Press 2017), and co-editor with Royce Koop of Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics (UBC Press 2013).
Alex Marland is a professor of political science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the author of Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control (UBC Press 2016) which won the Donner Prize for best public policy book by a Canadian.
Jennifer Ditchburn is the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, the IRPP’s online magazine. An award-winning journalist, she spent more than two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television. She is the co-editor (with Graham Fox) of The Harper Factor: Assessing a Prime Minister’s Policy Legacy (2016).