HURRAY! TO THE LIFEBOATS!
« It’s like winning bingo on the Titanic, » said my fellow election viewer Mitch Anderson, referring to Elizabeth May’s win and Jack Layton’s minority in the wake of a Harper majority this evening.
Watching the election results roll in with a handful of others in Anderson’s apartment in East Vancouver felt indeed like a historic event, even Titanic in the realm of Canadian politics. The Bloc Quebecois is virtually dissolved, its leader resigned, and the Liberal party is, as Peter Mansbridge put it, « near destruction. »
What it signifies for the future of Canada is less certain. While some in the room tried to look on the bright side — this election is a historic first for both the New Democratic and Green parties — other were worried that, like the fated ship, their Canada is sinking into a deep, dark place. Especially the artists, women and homosexuals.
Jack Layton has a big job ahead of him, but I think he could unite progressives in this country to defeat the Conservatives in the next election. Working with his new Quebecois cabinet will be a challenge, but perhaps the bigger challenge will be breaking through to those who don’t identify with either French or English speaking Canada. A victorious Conservative MP Jason Kenney told the CBC’s Terry Milewski that internal party polling showed the new Canadian vote, especially in the Greater Toronto Area, was a hugely important to the Conservatives’ win.
I am an optimist. When there is a growing chorus for change there will be equal push for things to remain constant. I predict the next four years will be a polarizing, but interesting period in Canadian politics.
HARPER CAN REALLY DO THE SPLITS
The biggest loser this election night is not Michael Ignatieff or his Liberal party. It is the Canadian electorate. As British Columbians should know rather well, the biggest determinant in the outcome of many Canadian elections is which side of the political spectrum splits its vote. In all but one of the last six elections, the Conservative or Reform/Conservative vote has fallen within two points of 38 per cent. The only true majority tonight is the 60 per cent of Canadians who didn’t get a government they supported at the ballot box.
Colleen … get a life !!!