Now that the election is over, this will be my token political post on the subject. ;-)
Getting right to it.
There are no Independent seats this time. Last election, there were five. I think people saw the writing on the wall and didn't dare vote for an Independent this time around.
The Greens finally got their first seat. Congratulations to them for getting their toe in the door. Too bad it had to be May. The Greens have sacrificed a lot for her, and quite frankly, I think they deserve better than her and her whining temper tantrums. I expect a lot of noise and bluster from her, every chance she gets.
The Bloc. Down from 47 to only four seats! Duceppe lost his seat and did the right thing by resigning right away. Hopefully, this is the end of this separatist party.
The Liberals. Down from 77 to 34 seats. A major trouncing, though to be honest, I would have liked to see the numbers lower. Not out of any specific dislike for the Liberals. I believe we need a strong Liberal party. They need to spend a bit of time looking hard in the mirror, then rebuild. They have just enough seats that they might think they don't need to. The Liberals are under the delusion that they represent the centre, and they don't. They still have that "natural governing party" attitude, and they need to lose it. They still seem to think Canadians think like they do, and losing the last several elections hadn't done much to point out to them that they don't. With 34 seats, they might struggle with that.
Ignatieff's speech last night was... weird. He rambled on for far longer than he should have. Though he lost his seat, he said he would stay on as long as his party wanted him. A difficult thing, since party leaders must also be elected MPs, which meant a winning Liberal MP would have had to step down and let him step in. A moot point, since he officially announced he would step down this morning. Now the Liberals need to have some new blood on all levels and a leader that they've actually elected. They need to reinvent themselves from the ground up. As it stands now, I have no idea how they'll do this, and the number of seats they've got now just might let them think they don't need to change all that much.
The NDP. Wow. From 36 to 102 seats and the Official Opposition. They quite nearly obliterated the Bloc.
Last night, when Layton stepped up for his speech, everyone was understandably ecstatic. I totally understand that, but I found a few things rather disturbing. One of those things was Layton himself. Listening to his speech, I found myself thinking, someone needs to tell this man that they didn't win the election and he's not Prime Minister. He made a lot of promises of what they were going to do, and as opposition, he can't be making those kinds of promises. They actually have less influence now than they did with a minority government (which I see as a good thing), not more. I also found myself noting his tone and body language. There is nothing humble about this man. Arrogant superiority is what comes to mind. As glad as I am to see them as the opposition, the more I see and hear from Layton, the less I like him. The guy gives me the creeps, and just when I think I might be acting silly with that, I hear him again and get creeped out even more. I think having the NDP as an opposition will be a nice counter balance to a majority Conservative government, but I am bothered by their ideologies and their leader.
Another thing that bothered me was the ungraciousness of the audience. That they cheered wildly for Layton makes perfect sense, but as soon as the name "Harper" was mentioned, people started booing. Layton, to his credit, did motion with his hands for people to tone it down, but it was still not something I liked to see during a "victory" speech at an election. When Layton congratulated Harper, they booed. When he spoke about May, Ignatieff and Duceppe, they cheered. The lack of graciousness at this particular time was bothersome to me.
The make up of this election is much the way I hoped to see it turn out. The Conservatives in a majority, the NDP as opposition and the Libs and Bloc well behind. What I would like to see is the Libs rebuilding and strengthening to become the opposition next election. As for the NDP, I predict a lot of NDP supporters are going to be very, very disappointed in their leader soon. Meanwhile, they've got a whole crop of completely green MPs that have a very steep learning curve ahead of them. I wish them well.
Now to the CPC. An amazing jump from 143 seats to 167 ! I am normally okay with a minority government, but with the opposition doing everything they could to sabotage the CPC, things have been very ineffectual. Clearly, voters saw through the fake contempt charges and scandals. With a majority, some work will finally be accomplished.
Harper's victory speech was something to see after the previous ones! What a difference! Talk about gracious. The focus was completely off of himself, and how he spoke about his opponents and the win was really classy. He was quick to mention things like passing the budget and fulfilling various other promises the CPC were prevented from accomplishing due to the machinations of the opposition parties, which brought out much cheering from the audience.
In the end, I see one very clear winner with this election, and that's Canada. This in spite of the folks I know on the left who are moaning and groaning, wailing and gnashing their teeth. You'd think it was the end of the world, and there's no shortage of demonizing and dramatic prose. Break out the sack cloth and ashes, folks. These people seriously seem to think that, any minute now, Canada is going to declare war on the rest of the world while forcibly impregnating women and shoving them barefoot into the kitchen. I've mentioned before that I used to think the term "Liberalism is a mental disorder" was just hyperbole. After seeing what these folks have been saying, I began to agree with the statement, but I am amending it again. It's leftism, not liberalism, that is a mental disorder. Straight off the deep end, delusional, mental illness happening here. It's very disturbing.
One comment that the losing side brings out right away is the old canard about how few people actually voted for the CPC, and that they have to remember that "60% of the population voted against them." Really? Tell me. Would you guys be saying the same thing if the NDP won? Or the Libs? You certainly weren't saying it when the Liberals had majority governments with even less of a percentage than the CPC minority government. Guess what? 70 % did not vote NDP 80% did not vote Liberal 95% did not vote BQ and 97% did not vote Green. Of course, there were the usual grumblings about election reform and proportional representation. What they sound like are a bunch of sore losers who want to re-write the rules of the game to make themselves winners. At first glance, proportional representation sounded like a good idea to me, but the more I looked into how such a system would work, the more I disliked it. In a grand, general sense, it sounds good, but at election time, we don't have one big federal election and vote in a Prime Minister. We have 308 little elections and vote in local representatives. Proportional representation would manipulate the final results of 308 local elections by appointing unelected people based on national averages. That doesn't sound very democratic to me!
Me? I'm happy with how things turned out. It's the configuration that's best for Canada right now, though I might still like to see specific numbers slightly different (like 0 Bloc... one can dream! *L*).
I look forward to 4 years of stability and progress.