Bare with me, I’m typing on a Blackberry.
So What Happened?
It came down to two provinces, as it usually does in federal elections: Ontario and Quebec. Ontario went Conservative to the tune of 72 seats, an 18 seat increase from the last election on the back of vote splitting across the province between Liberal and NDP candidates (though it’s tough to tell which side to blame for splitting the vote with the final results being what they are), as well as a healthy dose of “Rae Days” reminders in the final week. I expect that many centre and right-of-centre Liberals jumped to the Conservatives when the prospect of a Layton-led coalition – in the event of a minority government – was brought up by Conservatives during the last week, invoking the spectre of Bob Rae’s tenure as Premier with the message: Conservative majority or it’s back to this.
Quebec also saw a dramatic shift, with the NDP surging to an unlikely victory, crushing the Bloc Quebecois down to non-official party status. The Bloc’s fall, which can be at least partially blamed on the late rise of separatist rhetoric scaring away the moderate BQ voters to the NDP, led to the NDP’s historic Official Opposition finish. There’s been a clear change in the political direction in Quebec. For now.
In a word: stability. We know exactly when the next election is going to be, and until then this is Stephen Harper’s show, for better or worse.
The Green Party finally found a riding that Elizabeth May could be parachuted into and win, and good on them. I’m a fan of the environment. It provides air and water and food, and in my book, that’s pretty decent of it. I’m glad she won her seat, but it’s going to be interesting to see if she can be remotely effective as the only member of her party in a lame-duck opposition.
On election night I declared that seperatism was a dead issue in Canada in the wake of the BQ’s stunning defeat in La Belle Provence, dropping from 54 to 4 seats; their leader (who is a personal favourite of mine) Gilles Duceppe among the fallen. However, now that I’ve slept off the whiskey induced haze that got me through last night, I’m reconsidering that stance. The NDP is a national party, and as the Official Opposition, will have to represent federal issues despite the fact that the bulk of their support comes out of Quebec. Meanwhile, for the next four years the Bloc is going to have troops on the ground looking to rally support. If the NDP does not adequately represent the interests of Quebec, and they’ll be hard-pressed to do it as the opposition in a majority government. I believe that we’ll see another 180 degree turn and the resurrection of the BQ and all the issues that come with the party in 4 years time. In fact, as the majority Conservatives actually dropped support in Quebec, the BQ should have an easy time demonstrating that the federal government is apathetic towards Quebec interests.
The LPC is not dead yet.
Over the next few days I’ll attempt to assess what’s next for the five (Elizabeth May finally counts!) Federal parties.
I’m writing to inform you that your government is making some changes around here. You see, the idea of Canada just doesn’t fit in to the ideas that we’re trying to cultivate around here. When people think of Canada they tend to think friendly, peaceful and reasonable. That’s just not what we’re all about. So instead of “The Government of Canada” we’re going to go with “The Harper Government” . In these times of “minority government” it’s important that the people of this nation and abroad recognize that we wear the pants around here, and the other parties have absolutely no say as to what does or does not pass in the House. There is only the Harper Government.
In a similar spirit, we’ve gone ahead and changed the official name of the nation to coincide with the new name of its government; after all, consistency is key. And so this great nation will hence forth be known as “The United Dominion of the Provinces of Harperland” or “Tim Horton’s Presents: Harper-Nation” for shot.
We’ve also taken the liberty to change some other titles around government: The Leader of the Opposition will now be known as “The Not Harper”, the leader of the NDP will now be known as “Mustache Harper”, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois will now be known as “French Harper” , the Office of the Prime Minister, now a position held for eternity, will be known as “The Office of the Infallible, Super Cool, Really Popular Ladies Man who is Always Right, Has Great Hair, and is Totally Not Fat” His word is law.
Your Supreme Overlord
The Right Honourable, Super Awesome Home-Coming King
Stephen “Vanilla Thunder” Harper