Results from the Canadian Election
It is almost midnight as I start writing this post.
The election in Canada is almost over. The votes are cast, the ballots are counted, and we have a Conservative majority Government. There are quite a few surprises to report. Not many people would have guessed a Conservative majority. Not many people would have guessed that the NDP would form the official opposition. The separatist movement in Quebec is decimated. The juggernaut of Canadian politics for the last 120 years, the beloved Liberal Party, has been marginalized to 34 seats, just a hair above 10% of the total seats in the House of Commons. Two federal party leaders, Gilles Duceppe of the BQ and Micheal Ignatieff of the Liberals, failed to win their own seat in the House. Lastly, and perhaps the most surprising to me, is that Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party, has one the first ever seat for that party in Canadian history.
After tomorrow, the landscape of Canadian politics will be forever different. Will we finally see the true colours of the former Reform Party now that the Conservatives need not walk on eggshells? Has the NDP finally pulled itself out of the wilderness and become a relevant force in Canadian politics? Will politics in Quebec ever be the same? Those questions are for tomorrow.
I am, as I am sure you are all aware, more than a little disappointed about a Conservative Majority. This is not the direction I would choose for my country, and the next four years may be the most dangerous years in Canadian politics. I can only hope that a vocal NDP opposition will work to temper some of the policies that our next Conservative government will fight for.
But tonight is a night to toast some victories. The separatist Bloc Quebecois is standing at three seats right now. The separatist spectre has been, for the time being at least, sent packing. I hope desperately that the NDP can do the work necessary to earn the trust and respect of a province that has felt slighted and ignored virtually since confederation. We can all be happy at the prospect of a more unified Canada.
I am happy also that the New Democratic Party has earned legitimacy in Canadian politics. Long have I wished for a viable Left Wing alternative, a party that had a clear center-left agenda that could counter the complacency of the Liberals and the condescension of the Conservatives. This is a victory for progressive Canadians.
I can’t help but be exited at the prospect of a Green Party MP in Ottawa. I hope that this step helps to remind our elected officials that the environment is not a fringe issue in Canada. I hope that this gain helps to bring the Green Party away from some of their more ridiculous and pseudo-scientific policy positions as they realize that their party has been given an opportunity at relevance. I hope Elizabeth May never says in her victory speech that “The ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.” Crap. She actually said that? Damn. Jason will never let me live that one down!
Oh, and for all my talk about how my Liberal MP was a sure bet to win my riding, right now he is trailing by about 100 votes with one poll not reporting. I’m apparently in one of the tightest races in the whole country. Maybe I should have voted Liberal after all.
But I don’t regret the vote I cast. Not one bit.
It’s 12:40 PM and the vote stands at 166 Conservatives, 104 NDP, 34 Liberals, 3 Bloc, and 1 Green.
Who’d of thunk it?