Election Aftermath

January 24, 2006

What will most likely happen:

Conservative majority (160+), Liberals (<90), BQ (30-40), NDP (18-25). Canada won’t be as progressive as it has been in recent years and risks backtracking on a lot of advances it had made. Hopefully, the Conservatives will be conservative and not try to change things too dramatically and respect that Canada only wants a change in power, and not lose anything they currently hold onto. A lot of things mentioned above will happen, with the exception being Canada’s increased military role in the world. We won’t be a super-power, but we’ll be in a better position to help nations with peace-keeping missions. We’ll be the UN’s personal army. And will most likely be in Iraq within five years, not to help the US Army, but to keep the peace like they have been doing in Haiti and Kosovo.

That’s what I wrote just over 72 hours ago. I underestimated one big thing: people did want change, but weren’t ready to take complete leaps of faith in the Conservatives. I thought that the Conservatives would sway more voters in Ontario than they did, and steal more from Quebec, too. Things seemed to be looking good for them in that province in the week leading up to the election. Harper is definitely not a Preston Manning or Kim Campbell- he spoke French and could appeal to the federalists still left in that province. I also thought the Bloc Quebecois would slip more than they did.

Here are the final numbers, just as a reminder:

Party # of Seats # of Seats 2004 +/- Change My Prediction
Conservatives 124 99 +25 160+
Liberals 103 135 -32 <90
BQ 51 54 -3 30-40
NDP 29 19 +10 18-25
Independent 1 1 0 0

Between my prediction and what I wanted ideally, I didn’t do too badly considering: a) I live in the Yukon and can’t fully judge how large urban centres will vote, and b) I don’t read poll numbers that are published. I estimated everything based upon how I felt the parties were doing during the campaign. I’m very glad my what I felt would have happened didn’t (Conservative Majority) and I’m glad that the results reflected more my ideals (Conservative Minority).

It’s amazing to see how the rest of the web is reacting to this news. There are many out there who believe Canada’s going to fall into being America 2.0 (eliminating same-sex rights, abortion rights, going to war, etc). It hasn’t even been 24 hours! Men can change, so we can’t judge what Harper may or may not do based upon his actions from his Reform days. And we certainly can’t believe all of what the Liberals ads said about the Conservatives. I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m a full Conservative supporter, but we couldn’t allow the Liberals back into power again. People don’t quite trust the NDP fully to be a good opposition or ruling party right now, but that may change in the future.

I want to keep this short, so I think Canada can be somewhat thankful that we did teach the Liberals a lesson, without fully abandoning our socially progressive ideals. We are putting this Parliament into a position where they have to work together, and they can work together. I’m sure the Conservatives won’t be able to pass a lot of new legislation that is dramatic for the country, but I do believe they will fix some things that the Liberals started or promised to fix. Who would have thought it would take a Conservative government to slowly eliminate their own tax program (GST)? And I’m sure they’ll clean up the gun registration laws that doesn’t make sense to a large portion of Canadians. They’ll have to wait for another election to really do some damage, however.

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