At first, it seemed like Justin Trudeau was doing everything right. He won the election big and got his own majority, he was hugely popular and a member of Canada's own Kennedy family, his father Pierre was formerly popular prime minister.The rock star of world politics
Canada has never seen such a rapid reform agenda with left-wing liberal decisions, it enforced its election promises to the point.
He emotionally asked the country's indigenous people for forgiveness, he increased the country's immigration rate, introduced a radical climate tax, legalized cannabis and removed the requirement to enter the sex of the passport. He calls himself a feminist and appointed an equal government. Today, the country's economy is strong and unemployment is low.
He also quickly became a rock star of world politics, challenging both Donald Trump in the United States and Xi Jinping in China, and granted asylum to a Saudi teenager who fled the oppression in Saudi Arabia. He has been described as one of the great posterboys of liberalism. At the summits, he has stood alongside right-wing nationalist leaders such as Turkey's Erdogan and Brazil's Bolsonaro, always with a multicultural, incisive message at hand.The climate tax divides the country
Justin Trudeau has pursued an ambitious climate policy, with the decision to phase out all of the country's coal-fired power plants and introduced a unique model for climate taxation.
Fossil fuels are taxed, but revenue does not go to the Treasury but is distributed as a tax refund. But the new climate tax has divided the country, and the state of Alberta, which holds large parts of Canada's oil reserves, has launched a court battle to abolish the climate tax.
At the same time, Justin Trudeau has agreed to a new oil pipeline. In this way, he has managed to become unfriendly both with the country's climate skeptics and the country's climate activists.
The carbon dioxide tax is one of the reasons why the Liberal Party with Justin Trudeau looks to be heading for electoral defeat after just one term in office. Should he lose, it is a warning of what awaits. The increasingly stringent demands of climate scientists are pushing politicians to act, but when it hits people's wallets it leads to social tensions and protests."Government Elit"
Justin Trudeau is also criticized for forgetting the issues of ordinary citizens beyond the big cities. Several of the country's political judges describe a politician with a well-thought-out image, who loves TV cameras and with a political talent for saying the right thing. But he has not been able to see how the country has become increasingly polarized.
After a tour of Canada, I recognize the criticism leveled at Barack Obama after his eight years in power, at a time when support for Donald Trump's "America First" policy began to grow ever stronger. Closed industries and growing sense of ourselves and them. I meet one of the candidates for the new right-wing nationalist party, Tom Ikert in the province of Alberta, who says that what he devoted his life to, namely the construction job for the oil industry and the beef animals on his ranch, is today mocked and criticized for carbon dioxide emissions.
"I feel deprived of my masculinity," he says frankly, noting that "the elite government" in eastern Canada is led by "an idiot" who fails to respect Canada's core values of independence and hard work.
He also turns to Trudeau's widely debated tweet, inviting all migrants portrayed by Donald Trump to come to Canada instead. Among the previously migration-friendly Canadians are becoming increasingly doubtful and today 40 percent say that they want to admit fewer immigrants.Challenged from right and left
Justin Trudeau's time as prime minister has also been plagued by scandals. He has received two warnings from Parliament's ethics committee, including for involvement in a corrupt building scandal in Libya. However, the recent scandal, with pictures of his youth as he dressed up in black or brown at parties, has not significantly affected his popularity, it had already fallen.
With only a few days left for the election, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party are at the same time in polls, both getting 30 percent. The newly elected party leader of the Conservative Party, Andrew Sheer, has promised to halve asylum immigration and abolish the climate tax if elected.
But Andrew Sheer is not very popular with voters and is considered a colorless politician. He is challenged from the right by the newly formed right-wing nationalist party PPC, People's Party Canada, led by former Conservative Minister Maxime Bernier, who wants Canada to leave the Paris agreement and wants to build a wall against the US to block migrants.
To the left of the Liberals, the New Democratic Party goes unexpectedly well with its charismatic turban-decorated party leader Jagmeet Singh. The Greens are looking to make the strongest choice ever and are at 12 percent in polls, their party leader Elisabeth May taking every opportunity to accuse Trudeau of lack of climate leadership.
Canada will most assuredly have a minority government, where either the Liberals will co-govern with the Conservative Party and then take significant steps further to the right, or Trudeau can form government with the help of the Greens and the New Democratic Party and then move further to the left. Whatever it ends, this year's election campaign has shown how Canada is a country with two faces, increasingly polarized between city and country.