Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Looking on the Bright Side ...

Of last night's election in Canada, which resulted in a Conservative Party of Canada majority government ...

  • The NDP are the new official opposition, so whichever side of the political divide one might fall on, there is now a real opportunity to air those views. Ah, but if you are a centrist like I tend to be?
  • The Liberals, while shellacked last night, have been flailing aimlessly since the Dynamic Duo of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin resigned in rapid succession, taking many of their party's more experienced and worthwhile voices down in their rancor. They have needed some time to regroup and plan a new course for the future, but they have been busy in the important role of Official Opposition to a Minority Government; now in third place, they will really have the opportunity to re-assess, rebuild.
  • The Bloc Quebecois has been reduced to a rump. And while I sympathize Quebec has a unique culture and some unique needs, so do many parts of the country, and a party that ultimately seeks to break our country up, quite honestly, has been way too close to having way too much power for a long time. While I think the Liberals are just due for some 'time in the wilderness' as the Cons were 20 years ago, I think this might be a serious paradigm shift in Quebec. And speaking from my Anglo-Quebecker by background, that can only be a good thing.
  • The Green party got their first-ever seat in the House of Commons for their leader, Elizabeth May, which can only be a good thing for the legitimacy of their party.
  • The Conservatives will have a real opportunity to govern with something of a mandate; hopefully they will do good things with it. If not, it will create the opportunity to reassess ...
  • How a party with 40% support gets a majority, and just how that provides a mandate. I will stay away from getting into political nitty-gritty as honestly I think representatives of all ends of the political spectrum have SOMETHING to offer and deserve a place at the table - but I will say that the First Past the Post system doesn't provide, for anyone, an accurate representation of just who should be at the table and in what ... well ... proportion, if you will. Look up Proportional Representation; while I try not to use this blog as much as I might have in the past for soap-boxing - everyone's entitled to their views, and I have no particular desire to be controversial - when we see the Bloc Quebecois over-represented for years ... when we see the opportunity for the Liberals and NDP to split votes and the Conservatives to come up the middle ... when 40% can lead to a majority government ... when votes can honestly be wasted ... it's time to take a second look at our system.
Just saying ... welcome to the New Canada. Congratulations to Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, and Messrs. Ignatieff and Duceppe ... well, we wish you well in your future endeavours. :) Somehow, I suspect you will both land on your feet. Here's hoping the rest of us do too.

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