On October 19, Justin Trudeau, from the center-left Liberal Party, was elected Canadian Prime Minister, defeating Harper, the Conservative Party. Canada has been a close alliance with U.S. especially since Obama came to power about seven years ago; however, Trudeau told President Obama by phone after the election that he would keep his election manifesto to withdraw Canada’s jets, CF-18, from the U.S.-led air strikes campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Does this mean the U.S.-Canada alliance becomes cold under Trudeau?
In conclusion, Trudeau government “may enjoy the warmer relations” with U.S. than Harper, the former Prime Minister, did. Under Harper, Canada’s foreign policy had a great emphasis on hard power; for example, Harper was skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal and disagreed over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Although Trudeau decided to withdraw Canadian air forces from the fight in Iraq and Syria, he keeps strengthening the relationship with U.S. by getting Canadian trainers to remain in northern Iraq.
Under Harper goverment did Canada see the economic success, but Harper’s tough policy, especially over immigrants, cost him support in this election. On the other hand, Trudeau’s policy were more humanitarian and more pro-Canada national interests. That means while Harper lost his ‘winning coalition’, Trudeau got more ‘selectorates’ by not choosing Conservatives’ policies.
Although Trudeau was elected as the Prime Minister, how he authenticates his policy is much more important. As we have discussed in the class, in order for the leader to remain in his position, he needs to pay attention not only to international problems but also to domestic situations. For this reason, it can be possible the leader changes his policy during his tenure. Whether Canada changes its course or not remains to be elucidated.