Last Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement that we will have a federal election on September 20, 2021. In revealing what was perhaps the worst kept secret, parliament was dissolved and campaign mode kicked in.
Local candidates will spend the next five weeks kissing babies, knocking on doors, debating, doing interviews, and making promises. The party leaders will use those weeks to criss-cross the country urging voters to support local party candidates, as per the British Parliamentary system.
However, most Canadians don’t want, no do they see the need for, an election at this time as we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic
Trudeau, whose Liberal Party has spent the last two years in a minority government situation, relying on the support of other parties to get things done, has been criticised for calling the election. His party currently has a lead in the polls that Trudeau hopes to build on and use to secure a majority government. However, most Canadians don’t want, no do they see the need for, an election at this time as we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. This call could come back to haunt Mr. Trudeau.
Regardless of whether this is a good election call or bad, the only thing that is certain is that Canadians will flock to polling stations on Monday, September 20th. This is something that gives me pause for thought. Is it really a good idea to encourage people to gather at schools, church basements, and community centres, to wait in line to cast their ballot?
Will we need two sets of polling stations: one for vaccinated people and another for non-vaccinated?
Here in Quebec, the provincial government is running radio ads pointing out that come September, many public places will require proof of full vaccination to gain entry. While I disagree with anti-vaxxers’ take on the vaccine, I recognize their democratic right to vote. Will we need two sets of polling stations: one for vaccinated people and another for non-vaccinated?
Will this pandemic election increase the number of mail-in ballots? If so, will we one day, not too fat down the road, see elections with only mail-in or online voting? Time will tell. But here’s hoping we don’t see a nation-wide spike in COVID cases at the beginning of October.