2008 Federal Election

Well I must say that I’m pretty disappointed in the results of last night’s election. While the Election Prediction Project was predicting that the election would actually hurt the Conservatives, instead they came out stronger than they were going into it.  Now holding a commanding 143 seats, only 12 short of the majority Prime Minister Harper was looking for, I fear we’re in for a repeat of the past few years.

In fact, the only bright spot for me is that the NDP gained several seats. If you take a look at the CBC’s election map, the NDP painted large swaths of the country orange last night. While heartening, especially when you see seats that the NDP took from the Conservatives, it’s still a reality that the Conservatives are more powerful now than they have been in over a decade. The amalgamation of the majority of the right-wing vote has done them well, and I must say they’ve also done well courting centrists.

Another thing I’m displeased about is the Green Party further splintering the vote on the left. They were able to come out with 6.8% of the vote nationwide which, although lower than every poll I’ve seen predicted, certainly took away from both the Liberals and the NDP. With the environment clearly a focus of the Liberals and NDP these days, I don’t see why the Green Party couldn’t dissolve and join the ranks of the other, far more entrenched parties. It would probably do a lot of good in pushing an environmentally-focused and healthy lifestyle-focused approach to some of the problems we face. For example, I’m not a naysayer to a carbon tax, I just wish it was explained more clearly even before the election was called.

Stéphane Dion did a poor job of it and the Conservatives jumped down his throat about it. The true message was shut out, just like the NDP’s promise during the last federal election to cut everyone’s income tax by 1%. That would have made a much bigger difference to the majority of Canadians’ pocketbooks and bank accounts instead of cutting the GST by 2%. But we are where we are now, and the only way is forward.

And so I hope that the next 2 years can bring some renewed focus on winning the House of Commons and the PMO back from the Conservatives. If we don’t, I’m afraid we may end up like the USA is today, and that’s a far scarier premise than I care to imagine.