It should be interesting to see how the next four years goes in Canada. Let’s hope that the predictions about Stephen Harper’s hidden agenda don’t come to pass. Something every government should keep in mind, if it is to survive, is that it must govern according to a real majority of the population and not just its voters. My hope is that any changes the Conservative party does make to Canada are in accordance with the values of Canadians and not what desire them to be.
No, you’re not in a parallel universe: NDP as Official Opposition
In Quebec the Liberals and Conservatives took six seats each, with the Bloc at 4 and the NDP picking up 59 of 75. I expected the NDP to do well tonight, but I did not expect the absolute landslide of support for the NDP or for them to become the Official Opposition. It seems to really have come at the expense of the Bloc Quebecois, and in a major way!
The Bloc was nearly wiped off the electoral map (not a bad thing) only being elected in four seats, compared to their 49 just before the election. Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe failed to be re-elected. Lets hope that is the last we hear of separatists in Quebec. There are provincial elections coming, so who knows?
Liberals: time for a new leader (again)
The Liberals have been plagued by weak leaders so I’m curious who’ll come up next after the drubbing the Liberals took. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff failed in his re-election bid. I wouldn’t have predicted that. I thought the Liberals would slide in support but not the huge fall from 77 to 34 seats.
I noticed Justin Trudeau won his seat. Perhaps a new round of Trudeaumania will be coming for Canada?
Was Ignatieff really the right choice for the Liberals? He never seemed to be a very strong opposition leader and missed many opportunities to attack the Conservative party on some very serious issues. That is the role of the Official Opposition after all, and I think that Ignatieff did fail there.
He was certainly lacking in the likeability department. He’s probably a great guy, but he never really came across as a strong leader and it seems that the Liberal campaign really went downhill after the debate, with the NDP picking up all that support.
Green Party’s first seat
One bright spot in this election was that Green Party leader Elizabeth May got her party’s first seat! That is good news. Perhaps we’ll see that change with more seats in the next election. I’m sure everyone will be keeping an eye on her and the Green Party.
Diversity? What diversity?
If you look at the prairie provinces, once again there’s a distinct lack of political diversity, federally. Alberta has one NDP seat, Saskatchewan one Liberal and Manitoba jumps up to three seats: two NDP and one Liberal. Not much opposition representation for three provinces.
Ending party politics
I am tired of party politics and have said a few times before that I’d like to see political parties abolished. I would prefer a system much like Nunavut’s non-partisan legislature. No political parties and elected officials can vote on issues however they like. No control freaks need apply. Elected officials can also do a better job representing their constituents.
I’m not naive enough to think Canada will ever move to this sort of system, but I can hope. We expect accountability from our politicians, but there is none in political parties at all. Parties all preach openness, but that openness seems to be inversely proportional to their distance from power.
I wouldn’t mind seeing some form of proportional representation so that our Parliament more closely reflects the breakdown of the vote. I’m not going to hold my breath that it’ll happen in the next four years either. It’s much more easily achieved though, and a few years back B.C. nearly got a proportional representation system in the single transferrable vote.
Predictions I hope won’t come true
Here are some of the predictions I had made about what we might see from a Conservative majority. How many will happen?
I predict a Harper majority will:
- bring back the death penalty
- expand the prison system, populate it, privatize it
- ban abortion
- further increase military spending – $30 billion on jets with no engines will be nothing
- bring in more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy
- run up the debt & increase the deficit
- privatize healthcare
- squeeze the middle class even further
- kill the CBC
- further turn Canada into a police state (G20 was a warmup)
Other things I would add to the list:
- InSite safe injection site in Vancouver will be shut down
- expanded war on drugs (have to fill those prisons)
- expanded foreign worker programs
- abolish gay marriage, move to limit gay rights
- failure to protect Canadians from Internet company gouging
What will happen? Time will tell. I hope I’m wrong on this list more than I’m right. What do you think?
Interesting foreign view of Canada’s election.