Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wave as they go on stage at Liberal election headquarters in Montreal, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

The more things change, the more they stay the same following federal election

The way people voted this year shows how diverse our opinions on politics really are

So the campaign is done, the ballots have been cast and the winners declared. Where are we now?

Certainly, there was a lot to be proud of or disappointed by in equal measures, regardless of your political affiliation, Monday night as winners emerged across the country.

The big winner of the night surprising many was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government who maintained their hold on Parliament for another mandate as a minority government of 157 seats. Even after a year filled with scandals and mudslinging, it seems the Trudeau charm or, perhaps, party policy remains unblemished for many Canadians.

While it was not the overwhelming return to power Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party hoped for, this election has gone a long way to repairing the damage the Conservatives suffered from the routing of the Harper government in 2015. Scheer’s focus on confronting Trudeau at every opportunity echoed the current discourse surrounding American politics and may well have cost him many moderate voters, yet ultimately won his party the popular vote.

Read More: UPDATED: Conservative Todd Doherty to serve second term as MP for Cariboo-Prince George

A surprising victor for those of us in B.C. Monday night was the Bloc Québécois under Yves-François Blanchet. From just four seats in 2011, this sovereigntist party many had thought a relic has become resurgent in the last eight years and wrestled most of the province’s seats from both the Liberals and the NDP for a total of 32.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was not able to completely staunch the hemorrhaging of seats first begun under former leader Thomas Mulcair but did far better than many had hoped, securing 24 of the 44 seats his party had following the 2015 election. The expected Singh Surge has been renamed the Singh Save and, following his lengthy conciliatory speech, one can see why as he still talked about the bright future he hopes to, one day surely, lead Canadians to.

The Green Party, meanwhile, saw a 300 per cent increase to its caucus from one to three as leader Elizabeth May was joined by Nanaimo-Ladysmith Candidate Paul Manly and surprisingly enough Fredericton’s Jenica Atwin. In a campaign dominated by talk of climate change and the climate crisis, including a visit by Greta Thunberg just a week ago, one wonders why the Green Party couldn’t capitalize off this momentum.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hopes of Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada have seemingly been smothered in their party’s cradle. Bernier hoped to split the conservative vote in his favour, yet his populist rhetoric, denial of climate change and hardline stance on immigration may have doomed him from the start.

As a new parliament prepares to return to Ottawa, everything has changed yet, nothing has changed. While Trudeau said the election showed national unity, Scheer pointed out it only highlighted the divisions within our country.

Read More: Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

As in the days of the elder Trudeau, the west once more feels it is being ignored and marginalized to the point the ‘Wexit’ movement is actually gaining traction while in Quebec the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois once more dominates the province.

One hopes that this new parliament will be able to, as the people seem to wish, work together in a meaningful way to guide Canada in a positive direction. In Canada, we are not a two-party country and, if nothing else, Monday night confirmed that fact remains true.

– Williams Lake Tribune

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