OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadians vote on Monday to determine whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who swept into office four years ago as a charismatic figure promising “sunny ways,” will remain in power after two major scandals.
Trudeau, 47, the Liberal Party leader, was endorsed by former Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world’s major democracies.
Campaign - Blackface - Scandal - Criticism - Handling
But he was shaken during the campaign by a blackface scandal and has been dogged by criticism of his handling of a corruption case involving a major Canadian construction company. Trudeau, the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has also had to overcome a sense of fatigue with his government.
His Liberals and the main opposition Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer are in a neck-and-neck race, according to opinion polls.
Truth - Coin - Toss - Ipsos - Pollster
“The truth is it’s a coin toss right now,” said Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker.
A year ago, no one would have predicted that Trudeau risked being the first prime minister since the 1930s to secure a parliamentary majority and then fail to win a second term.
Opinion - Polls - Result - Office - Minority
The latest opinion polls suggest he may narrowly avert that result and could return to office with a minority in the 338-seat House of Commons. That would still leave Trudeau in a weakened position and needing the support of left-leaning opposition parties Five parties are contesting Canada’s federal election to push through key pieces of legislation.
Despite Scheer’s dimpled smile, Trudeau’s main rival has proven to be a determined opponent. One of the defining moments of the campaign was when Scheer attacked Trudeau during the English-language debate.
Times - Blackface - Fact - Matter - Mask
“He can’t even remember how many times he put blackface on, because the fact of the matter is he’s always wearing a mask,” Scheer said. “Mr. Trudeau, you are...
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