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“OK, everyone take a Valium”

Written in 2011 after the Jack Layton Orange Wave took over parliament, and there was hope for change (or fear of it) in the air. Before the 2nd Generation of Trudeau-mania and the start of the Tory Teens, it was a different time. We all took a Valium and calmed down. The Bloc didn’t go away, the NDP disappeared from Quebec and Canada’s Federal landscape looks very familiar these days.

This is the caption to a classic Aislin cartoon from 1976 just after the Parti-Quebecois swept into power provincially (scaring the hell out of all of Canada). It seems a perfect sentiment for Monday’s election results as well.

Yes, we have seen some breathtaking political changes (or tom-foolery) that will make the next sitting of Parliament very interesting, but at the end of it how much has changed? Initially, things will not change that much, but we shall also see many political neophytes learn the parliamentary process. We will see whether the Liberal party can “come off the mat” and resurrect themselves for the next election (due in 2015 evidently (August?)).

OK, everybody, take a valium!

My Highlights from election night:

  • The NDP Tsunami in Quebec shows that the Quebec political forum is the most interesting in Canada. Where else could absentee or student candidates win by a landslide?
  • Seeing the Bloc get wiped off the map is also good for the national discourse. Some are saying separatism in Quebec is dead. I say many political pundits have said that over the years, but they haven’t been right yet.
  • Huge voter turnouts were good to see. I had to stand in line to vote in my riding, which I enjoyed seeing.  Yes, we ended up re-electing our MP (a Tory), but still good to see folks exercising their democratic right.

Ultimately, the Tories didn’t promise much economically in terms of big changes, just some possible family tax break promises if they can balance the budget in a few years, which would be nice if they follow through.

In Ottawa the city there is a concern that the balancing of the budget might be on the back of the Civil Service, but if that was the case, why did the Ottawa area elect so many Conservatives? Interesting.

At the end of it all, the caricature of the late Monsieur Levesque sums it all up very well, “OK everybody take a Valium!“, relax, it’s going to be an interesting few months (or years for that matter).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. we didn’t really have a huge voter turnout – about 2 percent greater than the last election, which I think was a historic low.

  2. The NDP win is really mixed bag. On the one had you gotta give it to them for stepping up their game, and especially to Layton for going from hospital to campaign trail without missing a beat.

    But what Qc voters giveth they taketh away just as quickly. And more importantly, they clearly elected Layton – not the NDP. So now Layton has transfer that to the NDP, and the NDP has to deliver for Qc. Almost half their caucus comes from Qc, more than any other region. In a sense they have become the BQ – they represent Qc more than the other provinces!

    And not just the BQ, the Libs and Cons got tossed out of Qc too. The NDP is our only voice. For a province used to having it’s own personal voice in Ottawa (the BQ was even the official opposition once). So there will be really high expectations of the NDP from Qc’ers.

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