Congratulations On The New Government, Canada!

Soundtrack? Yes. Soundtrack. This’ll do nicely, I think.

I have to start out by admitting that I was wrong. Not just because I voted NDP and the Liberals basically laid waste to everyone, but because in an older post I assumed that holding the advance polls over the Thanksgiving weekend would be a disaster. Around 3.6 million people disagreed with that assessment, it turns out. The advance numbers were up 71% from 2011. If I have to be wrong about something, I’ll happily take that one. The over all numbers aren’t out yet, but the figure I’ve been hearing on CBC radio this morning puts turnout nationally at close to 68%. That’s well up from last time, but we can and should be doing better.

CBC Radio seems like as good a lead-in as any for a wee bit of talk about the results. Long story short, we’re likely still going to have a CBC in 4 years now that Harper isn’t around to continue killing it to death. Woo!

The Liberals pulled off something pretty historic last night. They went from being the distant 3rd party with only 32 seats in the house to a pretty convincing majority (184 at last count). I’m not sure how much of that can be credited to love for Justin Trudeau, how much credit should go to people’s seeming overwhelming tiredness of the Conservatives and how much weight was behind the various anybody but Harper strategic voting campaigns, but in the end it doesn’t really matter all that much…yet. For now we can be happy that our country has gotten the change that so many people (myself included) felt it desperately needed, but that honeymoon phase won’t last forever. After almost a decade of Stephen Harper, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Trudeau and company to actually be the change they say they are. I don’t expect them to fix everything on day one because politics can be a slow-moving beast, but I, and I assume everyone else, expects a lot from this new government. It has a lot to fix, and here’s hoping that folks will be patient enough with them to let that happen, but not so patient as to not hold their feet to the fire if need be. For the moment though I’m happy to enjoy the honeymoon phase and bask in the feeling that comes with knowing that you’ll no longer need the Supreme Court on speed dial for those times when the government decides to pass a law.

So what becomes of Stephen Harper? Well, he’s quitting…ish. He announced through a statement but not in his concession speech that he’ll be stepping down as leader of the Conservatives but will continue to sit as an MP. I can’t say I’m stunned by this news.

As for the NDP, wow. That went a lot worse than I expected. From being the official opposition all the way down to 44 seats, making them a distant 3rd party again. Even though I wasn’t expecting them to win and form a government by the end, I honestly thought it would be closer. At this point it doesn’t sound like Tom Mulcair is going anywhere, which is fine by me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about him I like. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as Prime Minister one day. Maybe if this Liberal thing doesn’t work out but folks aren’t quite ready to put the Conservatives back in, who knows? Probably wishful thinking on my part there.

But I do hope this Liberal thing works out, and I’m excited about what might lie ahead. Nice work, Canada!

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