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How will Trudeau’s minority Parliament work? A brief guide to the new balance of power

The Trudeau Liberals emerged from the Oct. 21 election with too few seats to govern alone. The New Canadian Parliament 2019Here’s a primer on how minority rule could work with the Conservatives, Bloc, NDP and Greens, and what could happen next

Ottawa, Dec.6 (– The 2019 Canadian federal election (formally the 43rd Canadian general election) was held on October 21, 2019, to elect members of the House of Commons to the 43rd Canadian Parliament.

The Liberal Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, won 157 seats to form a minority government and lost the majority they had won in the 2015 election. The Liberals lost the popular vote to the Conservatives, which marks only the second time in Canadian history that a governing party will form a government while receiving less than 35 per cent of the national popular vote. In spite of getting a higher popular vote at the national level, the Conservative Party only got 121 seats. A total of 170 votes are needed in Parliament to get a mojority.

The new Liberal minority government will face its first do-or-die vote by Dec. 10. 

A motion on "government supply" (Commons-speak meaning "government spending") will be the first confidence vote for the government and everyone will be watching to see whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's minority government survives a vote on the throne speech. The "Speech from the Throne" opens every new session of Parliament. The Speech introduces the government's direction and goals, and outlines how it will work to achieve them.

But that's not the only upcoming vote that could topple the Liberal government. It's not even the first one on the agenda. Senior House of Commons officials told reporters Thursday that the first do-or-die vote after Parliament returns will be on a motion to allow the government to continue operating.

Yesterday's (Dec.5) post-election Speech from the Throne was distinctly vague and restrained on account that Trudeau’s party now presides over a fragile minority rather than the robust majority they had in 2015. Every decision about what they can accomplish, how they craft legislation and conduct committee work will now be subject to constant negotiation with a rotating cast of opposition MPs, and not simple majority fiat.

Yesterday, before Governor General Julie Payette arrived at the meaty part of the Speech from the Throne that was penned by the government and read out by her, she delivered an amazingly fanciful preamble that had come directly from her own pen. Meditating on how “we are inextricably bound to the same space-time continuum and on board the same planetary spaceship” she was able to grab all the attention online. Later in her speech, she estalished that “the mandate of this recent election is a starting point, not the final word. The Government is open to new ideas from all Parliamentarians, stakeholders, public servants, and Canadians,” recited Payette while reading the Speech from the Throne text.