Trudeau will need help to continue as prime minister

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-10-22 07:27

Mock student vote returns similar results

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will have the chance to form a government again, but he’s going to need help from another political party to make it work.

Why? Because Trudeau’s Liberals won 157 seats in Monday’s federal election, which is not quite enough to form a majority government — only a minority.

What does that mean?

It means Trudeau’s going to have to take his cues from Sesame Street and start singing the cooperation song.

He didn’t go so far as to ask for help in his speech from Montreal on Monday night, but his tone was business-like.

“Tonight, you’re sending us back to work for you,” Trudeau said, addressing Canadians. “We take this responsibility seriously.”

What is a minority government?

When one party wins more than half of the 338 ridings (or electoral districts) in the country — at least 170 seats — the leader of that party gets to be the prime minister. Easy peasy.

But if all of the parties fall short of the halfway mark, things get more complicated.

In that case, the party with the most seats might try to form a partnership with another party in order to run the country together.


Chart compares adult and kid election results by seat count. Liberals: adults 157, kids 110. Conservatives: adults 121, kids 94. Bloc Quebecois: adults 32, kids 9. NDP: adults 24, kids 99. Green: adults 3, kids 28. Independents: adults 1, kids 0

How did Canadian kids vote?

For the most part, kids and adults seem to be on the same wavelength this election.

In a mock student vote, which allowed more than a million students across the country to cast pretend ballots, the Liberals won 110 seats, which would also allow them to form a minority government.

In the student vote, which was organized by a national charity called CIVIX, the NDP came in second place, followed by the Conservatives.

Chart compares adult and kid election results by percentage of votes. Conservatives: adults 34%, kids 25%. Liberals: adults 33%, kids 22%. NDP: adults 16%, kids 25%. Bloc Quebecois: adults 8%, kids 1%. Greens: adults 7%, kids 18%. People's Party: adults 2%, kids 0%.

Interestingly, in the adult vote, although the Conservatives didn’t win the most seats, they did win the highest percentage of the vote, with the Liberals coming in second.

In the student vote, the Conservatives also won the highest percentage of the vote, but the Liberals came in third place, after the NDP.

Jagmeet Singh cheers as he stands in front of a big Canadian flag with supporters waving smaller flags in the background.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and his wife, Gurkiran Kaur, celebrate winning 24 seats on election night. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Because minority governments require cooperation to make them work, they often don’t last more than two years.

In his speech on Monday night, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he was putting Trudeau on notice.

“When your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” he said.

Andrew Scheer looks serious as he stands behind a podium against a blue backdrop.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said his party would be ready to win if Trudeau’s government falls. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

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