It was federal election day yesterday in Canada and the results surprised more or less everyone! Honestly, it was intense. There are some major changes in the government and within each party. I know that this is not a political blog but this is such a big deal. I’m watching the CBC News Network and their only two major stories this morning are the aftermath of the election and proving Bin Laden is dead. So here are the results (305 seats in total):
|Harper wins majority. So much smiling.|
Conservatives: They won. With a MAJORITY!! Never suspected that (I didn’t vote for them). For the last seven years, they have had minority governments with frequent elections but they finally managed to pull it off and win 167 seats. So for the next 4 years, Harper is Prime Minister. According to youth sources (i.e. facebook) students are not happy about this at all. Most of the youth I know voted NDP, whereas the Conservatives are more popular with the older crowd. And although they might have won, 5 of their cabinet ministers lost their seats, so there is going to be a major shift in cabinet. The city of Toronto has 34 seats, and about 30 of them are now Tory. There hasn’t been a Tory seat in the city since the 80s and with our new mayor being a Tory supporter, I hope good things are to come.
|Jack Layton and wife Olivia Chow|
New Democrat Party: They are now, for the first time EVER, the official opposition party. Since Canada became a country in 1867, there have been two major parties, Liberal and Conservatives. If one wasn’t leading, then they were the opposition. So this NDP shift is huge. They finished with 104 seats, almost triple what they had last time around. Their biggest hurdle now is to make good on their promises. For many of the MPs elected, this is their first time in parliament, so it’s a whole new ball game.
Liberals: This is one of the biggest shockers of the night. For the first time in history, they are the third place party, and a distant third at that. They finished with 34 seats. To top it all off, their very disliked leader, Ignatieff, was not voted in in his own riding. He lost to a conservative. During his speech last night, he said he would stay on until a new leader could be found, but I awoke this morning to a text saying he resigned. Earlier today, he left his position as head of the Liberal party, leaving them to sort things out.
|Duceppe announces resignation|
Bloc Quebecois: This, is the biggest surprise. Since the federal debates a few weeks ago, the NDP have gained a strong foothold in Quebec, where the Bloc has been ruling for over a decade. Until now. They currently hold 4 seats. My gosh, just 4!!! They held 47 before the election. Like Ignatieff, their leader, Gilles Duceppe, lost his riding and resigned. He had been leading the party since 1997. It has been said that many Bloc supporters have not been pleased that their sovernist goals and conservative values have not been more prominent with Duceppe, saying that he has leaned heavily to the left. But at least they have another four years to completely rebuild and remodel their party. Although because they only have 4 seats, they lost their official party status, and thus much of their funding. 12 seats are needed for that status.
|May wins first seat|
Green: It has been a great night for them. This environmental party decided that they needed to have their leader in parliament so most of their effort was focused on electing Elizabeth May in her riding of Sanich-Gulf Islands in western B.C. It paid off. The Green party won their very first seat, beating out a long time Tory cabinet minister. Congrats to them 🙂
I am hearing rumours about a possible Liberal-NDP merger, but I don’t know if that’s such a good idea. I think the NDP need their chance in parliament as official opposition, to learn the ropes and figure out what they really believe in and how to go about achieving their goals. Also, it is necessary for the Liberals to rebuild and find a new leader for their party.
I really want statistics to be released soon, specifically about demographics. I want to know if there was a higher voter turnout, how much youth voted and who they voted for.
This really is intense. We’re going through a political change, we now have some stability and I can’t wait to see where we go from here 🙂