We got what we deserved.
Canada is — and has long been — a country of regional differences; a nation divided and subdivided by issues, language, heritage and lifestyle. A peace-making nation, politely respected around the world, this country’s growth has been fostered by immigration and, often, hindered by partisan politics.
Monday’s federal election delivered a minority government that closely represents the current mood of the country: fractured, resilient, capable of change, but tired of what has been going on in the nation’s capital.
In 2015 we saw a wholesale change to the election map as the Liberals replaced the governing Conservatives. This back and forth between the two major parties happens every decade or so (and occasionally more often). It is predictable.
But never is it boring.
Monday night we saw the reining Liberals lose a lot of power, still maintain a minority, as they painted the vote-rich Toronto region red. We saw the west go true Blue as the Conservatives took back space they had let go astray. We saw the resurgence of the Bloq Quebecois, a separatist party, again take hold of its province with numbers that will definitely influence the country’s direction. We see the NDP coming back in certain areas (perhaps more than expected) and holding the balance of power, and the Green party taking up a little more space on the map.
The results do not represent the popular vote, but that is not how this country operates. Here we count bums in the seats, and for the foreseeable future that means the government is Liberal.
The net result shows a population so obviously divided that no one single party government could appease all provinces, regions, or nations.
We have a political makeup that will now require cooperation. We may even have a nation that will need a coalition government, because Canadians do not want to go to the polls again any time soon.
Canadians want a government that will try to accomplish something. Canadians have a list of issues they want resolved, or at least addressed. Canadians want opposition parties to look past their partisan wants and needs, and get something done for the good of this country.
What we have right now is the potential for honesty. The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau, will not be able to apply pressure and push its ideologies through the House of Commons. To pass any legislation or introduce much-needed programs, the government it will have to cooperate, seek support and opinion (perhaps even at the committee level) from the other political parties in the mix.
That’s a good thing, as far as I can see it. This system, for the foreseeable future, should allow members of parliament to vote with conscience and represent the constituents who put them into office. That very thing has not happened a lot lately; certainly not with the last government, or several before.
For too long, too many elected representatives have been silenced and forced to tow the party line. Now, or for the foreseeable future, there is no room for an ego-driven party leader. In fact, it might be, or can be, or should be, the preferred method of operation in these fractured times.
There is no one party who can control the vote, the legislation, or the way of life in this country.
That’s a good thing. Let’s hope we get what we deserve.