Launch of the Trudeau Polimetre 2.0: a minority government with 343 promises to track
Québec City, February 13, 2020—How will the Trudeau minority government navigate through a divided parliament as it seeks to fulfill its 343 promises? How well will it deliver on these promises and on Trudeau’s general promise on election night to ensure a “shared vision of a stronger Canada” with “safer communities, a cleaner planet and a good quality of life”?
To help answer these questions, the Center for Public Policy Analysis at Université Laval launches today its Trudeau Polimetre 2.0. This is the third edition of the Polimetre at the federal level, after tracking the electoral promises of the Harper (2011) and Trudeau (2015) governments.
The Polimetre team identified 343 promises in the Liberal party’s electoral platform from the documents posted on the party’s website during the last election. The researchers will monitor their implementation in real time over the next years, with the objective of providing citizens, the media and researchers with easy access to transparent and reliable political information.
The Polimetre team will regularly update the results to take into account the new actions undertaken by the government. Each promise will be described as “kept”, “kept in part or in the works”, “broken” or “not yet rated”. Each verdict will be supported by quotes from government press releases, laws, and other official or journalistic sources.
At the time of the launch, the Polimetre team has classified 330 promises as “not yet rated”, 10 as “in the works”, 2 as “fulfilled” and 1 as “broken.”
“The Liberals pledged to ensure gender parity in its first cabinet and this is the first kept promise of the Trudeau government,” notes Lisa Birch, Associate Professor and Director General of the Center for Public Policy Analysis at Université Laval. “The new Liberal government also repeated its 2015 post-election strategy by rapidly keeping its promise to grant income tax reductions to the middle class. However, the Trudeau government was unable to constitute a new cabinet that reflects the diversity of Canada,” continues the researcher.
“Our data on pledge fulfillment suggests that the main difference in the promise-keeping records of minority and majority governments is the duration of their mandates,” adds Lisa Birch. She suggests that the longevity and effectiveness of the Trudeau minority government will depend on its ability to strike punctual coalitions with opposition parties where there is a shared purpose on non-ideological issues or where the ideological policy space between the government and some parties narrows.
“More importantly, it will depend on the willingness of the opposition parties to either support a proposal or refrain from bringing down the government by adjusting their parliamentary voting behavior. Ultimately, the self-interested election calculations of the governing Liberal party and the opposition parties will influence the duration and effectiveness of the Trudeau minority government,” concludes Pr. Birch.
About the Polimetre methodology
The Polimetre team carefully scrutinized the official Liberal Party of Canada platform “Forward: A Real Plan for the Middle Class”, party press releases during the elections, and promises deposited at the Parliamentary Budget Office for costing. The team then identified all the promises in these documents, compared them and retained the most explicit version of each promise. Through this rigorous process, the team identified 343 promises, only 10 promises less than in 2015. The results as well as detailed information on the methodology can be found at https://www.polimetre.org/en.
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Center for Public Policy Analysis
Faculty of Social Sciences