Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canada Voted 2008

Well, Newfoundland & Labrador got it right. I don't know what's wrong with the rest of the country.

Mansbridge just asked if this (minority) is a failure for Harper, and it absolutely is. I can't see him leading in the next election. This was his chance for a majority, but he's lost it, even though it seemed like a possibility when he called the election. He clearly lost it in Quebec, and we all know that it's just about impossible to win the country without winning Quebec. Harper has shown he's not capable of winning over Quebec, so he'll very likely step down before the next election.

Sadly, he won't be the only new leader next time around. I truly came to like Mr. Dion over the past few weeks. One cannot question his sincerity and he is undoubtedly one of the most genuine politicians around today. However, the knives will be out in the weeks and months to come. Someone will have to answer for the numbers we're seeing tonight, and people in the party will be looking to Dion. On the bright side, Dion has succeeded where Harper failed - in Quebec. One of my favorite commentators, Chantal Hebert, just mentioned that this election marks the point where the Liberals in Quebec have turned the page on the sponsorship scandal. Maintaining this resurgence will be important next time around.

Now, let us sit back and see how long this one will last...

Highlights and Low Points

The NS:

While I'm not surprised by Megan Leslie's win in Halifax, I was holding out hope for Catherine Meade [there aren't enough (read: any) lesbians of colour in the House.] I thought the race would be a bit tighter with Alexa's departure.

I was so excited when that first poll came out of Central Nova and Elizabeth May was in the lead. Sadly, it didn't last, but Ms. May did succeed in the way I predicted she would - the Green Party can no longer be perceived as a one-issue party. I saw May speak at Dalhousie a while back after she'd become leader of the Greens; I knew that night that the profile of the party would change under her leadership, and it has.

Back for another kick at the can

Glad to see Eyking & Cuzner back in their seats on the Cape, though not surprised. There was some buzz in Sydney-Victoria about the Conservative candidate, Kristen Rudderham, early on, and later the NDP candidate, Wayne MacKay. Rudderham's stock started to fall fairly quickly when it became apparent that she forgot she was running in Cape Breton and ran a dirty campaign against an incredibly well-liked incumbent. Redirecting your incumbent's domain name to your own Blogspot might work in some places, but certainly not in Sydney-Victoria. I see the typical CB voter as my grandmother. If you visit her and have a cup of tea (and you're a Liberal), you've got her vote.

My MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Mike Savage looked like he was being given a run for his money for a while there, but he pulled ahead of Brad Pye (NDP) nicely. Geoff Regan and Scott Brison also held onto their seats in Halifax-West and Kings-Hants. Wish we could say the same for Mr. Thibault in West Nova, but I think the Liberals were somewhat prepared for this loss.

The Rest of the Country:

Disappointed to see Belinda's Newmarket-Aurora riding go Conservative again. Third time's the charm for Ms. Brown, I guess.

All my least favourite Conservative MPs are back: Jason Kenney (can't wait to see if Harper's mouthpiece will run to replace him); Diane Ablonczy; Rona Ambrose; John Baird.

Another least favourite, Maxime Bernier, gets his own paragraph. The fact that this guy even ran again disgusts me to no end. I am astounded that he is so well-liked that he's been elected with a healthy majority. Harper hasn't got much to choose from in Quebec for his Cabinet, but if he has any sense, Bernier won't be doing anything of importance in this Parliament.

Voter turnout looks to be abysmal. It's depressing. Ormiston's tweets (for what they're worth) are blaming Harper and calling for electoral reform. I've thought a lot about proportional representation (not as much lately as during my undergrad days in the Poli Sci department), and while I like it in principle, I don't think it's the be-all-end-all; it's also an incredibly hard sell to most of the general public. I'd like to see what difference preferential ballots could make first. It's much simpler to understand; it seeks out what the majority want, or at least prefer; and it's still fairly easy to count, even with paper ballots. In the current climate, it would also help to unite the right without the Liberals and NDP necessarily embracing one another in any formal way.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts once I can get more thorough results, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

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