Political Fun in Canada
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, what a different time it was.
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), and it seems a very good 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 really changed? My guess is that initially things will not be changing that much, but we shall also see a lot of political neophytes learn the parliamentary process, and we will see whether the Liberal party can “come off the mat” and resurrect themselves for the next election (due in 2015 evidently (August?)).
My personal Highlights from election night:
- The NDP Tsunami in Quebec just goes to show that the Quebec political forum is the most interesting in all of Canada. Where else could absentee or student candidates win by a landslide?
- Seeing the Bloc get wiped off the map is good as well for the federal discourse. Some are saying separatism in Quebec is dead, I say there are a lot of political pundits who have said that over the years, but they haven’t been right yet.
- Huge voter turn outs were good to see. I had to actually stand in line to vote in my riding, which I really enjoyed seeing. Yes, we ended up re-electing our MP (a Tory), but still good to see folks exercising their democratic right.
At the end of it all, the Tories really 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).