Election 41: recap

May 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm (Election 2011, Politics) (, , , , , , )

I promise that sometime soon, I will write about something other than the election. But it has taken over my life for the last couple of weeks, so it’s only fair that it takes over my blog as well.

What a night. Here’s a quick recap.

I watched Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s victory speech last night … he was handed a majority government and the chance to get things done for the next four years – no opposition parties to blame for inaction now. The NDP have vaulted into second place with more than a hundred seats. Though this is a huge success for them, they actually have less power than before since they’re now up against a solid Conservative majority. The Liberals were decimated, with several high-profile members losing their seats; Michael Ignatieff has resigned as leader. The Bloc Quebecois have lost their “official party” status (which requires 12 seats in the House, and provides Question Period talk time and funding), and Gilles Duceppe stepped down after losing his riding. Elizabeth May won against cabinet minister Gary Lunn, so she’ll be bringing her Green Party agenda to Parliament Hill.

This map of Canada shows the incredible gains of both the Conservative and NDP. It blows my mind a little.

My predictions were so ridiculously far off, it’s like I was talking about a different election. My already-terrible math got progressively worse as the night went on … I had a hard time figuring out voter turnout comparisons and the difference in votes between candidates. I was tired, okay?

Locally, Liberal Bernadette Clement managed to snag second place by less than 200 votes. I’m pretty sure the orange wave had quite a bit to do with Mario Leclerc’s finish – I saw next to nothing that impressed me about his campaign. We’re all working on follow up stories here in the Standard-Freeholder office, gathering reaction and looking ahead to the future of the riding associations in Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry.

The electorate is a very unpredictable group, even for the professional pundits and pollsters. I do wish that more than 61% of voters had participated in the process. But I still love it. Democracy is alive and well in Canada.

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