Canadians voted for change this past Monday and the Stephen Harper era has come to an end.
The Liberals won a majority government while the Conservatives held onto a solid opposition and the NDP plunged in popularity with catastrophic losses in Quebec – what many are calling an ‘Orange Crash’. What a heartbreaking blow for the NDP and leader Thomas Mulcair in particular.
As of press time, there was still no word regarding whether or not Mulcair would step down as leader, but we don’t understand how he couldn’t. It’s clear his leadership did not carry the party to success. The Greens may also want to take another look at who leads their party as well. Elizabeth May hung onto her seat, but that was literally it. If this party is serious about getting any traction in this country, maybe they have to look at how May connects with Canadians. It would certainly help if she visited more ridings throughout the country instead of bouncing back and forth between the west coast and Ottawa almost exclusively.
The Liberals won the majority with 184 seats (54.5%), the Conservatives with 99 seats (29.2%), NDP with 44 seats (13%) the Bloc Quebecois with 10 seats (2.9%) and the Greens with one seat (0.3%).
Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau made history Monday night as he followed in his late father’s footsteps. They have been referred to as the first Canadian political dynasty. It will be interesting to see how he differentiates from his father’s legacy and makes a name for himself over the next four years.
Much has been made of Trudeau’s relatively young age, he is 43-years-old, but he is only three years younger than Harper was when he first became prime minister nine and a half years ago.
We think we are all relieved that the anti-Harper/stop Harper campaign has finally come to an end. It was really getting tiresome no matter how you felt about his leadership or the party as a whole. There was so much bashing on social media regarding Harper that we are glad to see the campaign finish and now Canadians can just move on. That type of negativity is not good for anyone.
Meanwhile, citizens were clearly engaged in this election. Voter turnout in Monday’s election was the highest it has been since 1993 and that is something that Canadians can be proud of. Across the country, 68.5% of eligible Canadians cast their ballots in the federal election and locally about 72% of eligible voters in both the Red Deer-Mountain View riding and the Red Deer-Lacombe riding voted as well. Long lines proved to be the theme even starting at the advanced polling.
The voter turnout numbers really say something about how relevant the issues of this campaign were to people and how strong people felt that there needed to be a change. People don’t generally take the time to vote in such high numbers when they don’t feel like their vote matters.
In Central Alberta, voters chose to stick with the status-quo. MPs Blaine Calkins for Red Deer-Lacombe and Earl Dreeshen for Red Deer-Mountain View swept both ridings. It was an easy win for both men.
Alberta remained Tory Blue for the most part and you have to wonder if the current NDP government gets that message. Yes, Albertans voted for change in this past spring’s provincial election, but it was quite telling when the vast majority of the province remained pro-conservative federally.
The next four years will certainly prove to be interesting – Trudeau made many campaign promises along the way so we’ll see what he sticks to and what he doesn’t. Either way, he has his work cut out for him.