Trudeau's Promises: Holding our Prime Minister Accountable

It’s been almost a month since the election campaign has ended.

And may I add, it’s been almost a month since the excruciatingly long campaign has been over, along with the distasteful attack ads and (sometimes) lively debates. We can now all go back to watching real television instead of just CBC.

However, though we’re free from splitting our focus multiple ways, we now have to pay attention to what comes next.

Justin Trudeau made a number of promises during the campaign trail, as do all politicians. But the beginning of his prime ministerial time is the most important, as it’s these crucial few beginning months that will reveal if he will hold himself accountable to said promises, or disappoints us.

Let’s look at some of those promises.

One promise targets the electoral system itself. Instead of a first-past-the-post system (the one Canada has now), Trudeau and the Liberals look to reform this into… well, who knows? It wasn’t explicitly clear, other than the fact that there will be a committee to examine possibilities. Now, this isn’t a bad idea. It’s important to analyze the options (especially ones other than Proportional Representation, which we’re hearing this debate circle around). A Proportional Representational system is where the number of votes a party gets translates directly into representation in the House. So that means, if we had that in this election, there would be a close number of Conservatives and Liberals (both of whom got around 39% of the vote). That’s something to keep in mind.

That’s just a taste of where the government may head in the future. But what about the near future? The Liberal party also promised to do a number of things immediately. Does that mean within 2 months? 3? 5?

One arrangement they have made is to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. That’s a lot more (perhaps not compared to Germany) than the Conservatives promised beforehand. And the end of the year is coming up soon. It’s a $100 million investment, and the details don’t get more specific than that. Trudeau also aims to provide $100 million dollars to humanitarian assistance, something some people think has been a diminishing characteristic of Canada. But how are they going to change the process or components of the refugee process? Is it even possible for them to get this done within two months? Policy details are vague, but this is an important promise to watch the progress of, as it will structure the way the Liberals handle foreign affairs in the future.

A domestic issue the Liberals have addressed is the call for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, of which numerous horrid accounts exist and has been delved into minimally, if at all. The next steps on this issue may determine how the government either strengthens or weakens its already finicky relationship with the indigenous population.

Amongst these promises are a myriad more. The policies and topics touched upon the Liberal platform cross many sectors of Canadian life, and some are bound to be reneged. The next few months are most crucial, as the development of the new government will give a small window into the future of Canadian politics. And though maybe not all promises can be fulfilled, how Trudeau prioritizes them will tell us whether or not we should brace ourselves sooner or later.