On the Election, and Canada’s New PM

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We Canadians now have a new Prime Minister on the way after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau led his party to a majority victory in Monday’s election. With a couple of days to digest what’s happened, here are my thoughts.

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ustin Trudeau will be sworn in as Canada’s Prime Minister at some point over the next few weeks, bringing Stephen Harper’s 10 year run to a close. This is generally good news. I think most politicos would agree that 9 years tends to be the top end for successful governing. I think “cautiously optimistic” is probably the cliché that best describes how I’m feeling about the results. Here are a few of the things I’ve been thinking about since the election.

1. The Liberal party is probably the party most closely aligned with my own beliefs, but on a few issues I definitely swing conservative, which leaves me in a difficult position because while we have  Left, Far Left and Ridiculously Left parties in this country, we somehow do not have a Centre-Right party to which I’d probably subscribe. This generally leaves me hating every party, to some degree, over something.

2. I would not have voted for Trudeau if he himself were to give me money from his own wallet to do so. The Conservative mantras of “Just Not Ready” and “I’m not saying no forever, just not right now,” actually struck a chord with me because it was exactly how I felt. I truly believe the Canadian people have elected a head of hair and a last name, something I thought too low for a nation such as ours.

3. It was obvious that Stephen Harper had to go. He realistically had no chance of winning this election. But apparently, the mass hysteria generated on the left of the #AnyoneButHarper types led people to vote strategically when it wasn’t necessary. Now we’ve given a grown man who willingly chose to look like this while he was an elected Member of Parliament1 a majority.

4. When discussing election reform, why is the discussion limited to First-Past-The-Post vs. Proportional Representation? To me, the system needs a greater overhaul than that. Why must I vote for a federal leader based on who I want to represent me locally? This election, because I felt there was no party properly representing my views, I planned to vote NDP simply because I felt Tom Mulcair, especially in the minority government I expected him to win six months ago, would probably be least offensive. On the other hand, locally, the NDP candidate was probably my least favourite choice.

It became obvious that Trudeau and the Liberals were going to win the election2 so I voted Conservative in the hopes that at least my local Conservative candidate would win re-election.3 This means that I voted for Stephen Harper in this election. This is not something that makes me happy. The system that made that happen should be overhauled in a manner far greater than simply how we count the votes.

5. I believe these two statements to both be true:

a) Stephen Harper was a solid, if unexceptional, Prime Minister who was the best choice for leader in the two elections previous to this one.
b) It was high time Stephen Harper was no longer our Prime Minister.

6. I look forward to increased spending on our country’s infrastructure and a reduction in Canada’s role in the fight against ISIL. I look forward to a renewed emphasis on the importance of climate change and the reduction of our dependence on fossil fuels4.

7. I have little faith in any single collection of people, and that includes governments, so I’m concerned that the spending Trudeau has committed to will be misplaced5 after we’ve finally gotten our budget balanced. I do believe it’s possible, maybe necessary, to spend out of a recession, but it has to be done properly. We certainly don’t need more debt.

8. Where did this inquest into missing/murdered indigenous women come from? How did this become an election issue? This, to me, seems as incongruous as the Niqab debate6 . How much is this going to cost the taxpayers? Will indigenous people be paying for any of it? Does anyone expect this inquest to lead to any decision other than some combination of dismal conditions/lack of policing/lack of education has led to these crimes/tragedies?

There are plenty of cultures and nationalities in this country who proudly preserve their backgrounds and customs while at the same time embrace being Canadian. Their land is their land, but they should be paying taxes for it like everyone else, or they should forfeit the benefits afforded to them. Until then, rampant misappropriation and mismanagement will continue and conditions will not improve. To be frank, I’m not sure what the endgame on our current path would even look like. Their young people deserve the same chance at improving their station in life that our young people do.

9. I truly hope Trudeau can be our best Prime Minister yet. I wouldn’t have voted for him, but it’s obviously in our best interest for him to be a success. For those now basking in the post-coital-like glow of a Liberal victory, I ask you to spare a moment for reflection: Stephen Harper won three elections, including a majority mandate, and despite this, social media was littered with increasingly ridiculous attacks on him from those on the left7Some of the points being made were meritorious, but methods were, to be generous, usually not.[/foonote]. What motivation is there now for Conservatives to move to centre to support this PM? How do we keep our political discourse from devolving into the entrenched partisan circus our American neighbours have built for themselves? I’m not for a second suggesting that Mr. Harper, of puerile attack ads and Harper Government™ infamia, wasn’t complicit in the degradation of our political climate, but he wasn’t alone, either. I hope Mr. Trudeau (and his supporters) reaches across the figurative aisle now to help mend this relationship, and I hope Conservatives and those of us who were merely skeptical of Trudeau enthusiastically shake his hand when he does.

 


  1. Not the George Clinton band, either.

  2. Sometime last week, maybe Friday.

  3. MP Rob Nicholson is a long-time family friend, and in a perfect system, I would have voted Mulcair/NDP federally and Nicholson/Conservative locally

  4. Not a Green Party-sized emphasis, you know, one that would ruin our economy? But an emphasis, to be sure.

  5. Like his Ontario Liberal peers

  6. On which I actually stand with the Conservatives, but only because I take the extreme view that all outward shows of religion should be banned from public view, let alone in a goverment ceremony. Yes, I absolutely include Christianity too.

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