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.
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.
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.
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