MUSINGS ON THE FEDERAL ELECTION

Election 2015

Well, the 2015 federal election is finally over and I have to congratulate Justin Trudeau on his win. He took it fair and square, as far as we know, and now comes time for him to deliver on his promises. He has no excuse if he doesn’t – he owns Parliament for the next four years.

Locally of course, we lost Malcolm Allen who was present at just about every community event, in Thorold at least, and his office was quick to help when possible. Congratulations to Vance Badawey who carried the Liberal banner to victory here. Now we’ll get to see what having an MP from the winning party is really worth to the riding.

But now that it’s over, just a few of observations:

CANADIANS CAN GET TIRED OF NEGATIVE ADS:

I was beginning to wonder, in light of the last few elections, whether Canadians had permanently bought into American dirt-slinging, no-substance election campaigning. The Conservatives managed to destroy the previous two Liberal candidates, who didn’t really make it much of a challenge, but this time was different.

A PRETTY FACE DOESN’T HURT

Policy aside, appearances do seem to matter. Even homophobes have to admit that Justin is a good-looking guy, as the Conservatives consistently pointed out in their attack(?) ads. There’s no doubt his youth and appearance couldn’t have hurt him.

THE CAMPAIGN WAS MUCH TOO LONG

All but those with the most politically obsessive-compulsive disorders enjoyed that interminable election campaign. I suspect Harper figured he could starve the others out with all that time, but the Liberals and NDP seemed to be content to let Harper blow through his campaign on repetitious ads. By the last few weeks, when the others started up their ads in earnest, I don’t think anyone was evening registering the Harper ads any more.

THE NDP AND CONSERVATIVES SELF-DESTRUCTED

A lot of parties fall to in-fighting when they can taste defeat after a long run in power. Now the former Conservative ministers seem to be coming out of the woodwork with their comments comparing Harper to Stalin, etc. It couldn’t have been more that they read the writing on the wall than that they were dissatisfied with licking Harper’s boots so they could move up the power ladder, could it? Nah. Anyways, now comes the always-dirty task of finding a new leader, the practice of destroying each other’s credibility before they have to come together behind the winner. Will the Conservatives split back along Conservative-Reform lines? It could be an amusing exercise to watch.

Then there’s the NDP. In a move that reeks of desperation, they sold out their party’s raison d’etre in the pursuit of power. Their gamble at moving to the political centre killed them and deservedly so. In the meantime, the Liberals did what they do best and swooped in to take whatever policy position was open. What now? If the NDP stay in the centre, something they likely won’t be able to do unless the Libs drop the ball, it’ll be finally time for them to merge with the Liberals, something I would have considered to be absolutely unthinkable not too long ago.

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