Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The world has not stopped spinning

At least not yet…

At 7:01 last night I turned on the tv to see who the rest of Canada had voted for. I figured I’d check, turn the tv off and get on with my evening. And then I’d check again in an hour or so. Nope. The election had other plans. My stomach took up residence in my throat. I felt sick.

I hadn’t expected anything other than a Conservative government. I hadn’t expected the Liberals to gain seats. I had expected the Liberals to lose some seats. I had expected the NDP to gain seats. I had expected the Bloc to lose some seats. I was hoping for a Conservative minority. Hoping.

But no. I turned the tv on and the Conservatives had 140-something seats. They only needed 155 seats and they hadn’t even started counting the votes from British Columbia. And BC has 30-something ridings. Not good. Especially since the Conservatives are strong in BC.

And the NDP? Where did that come from? They ended up with over 100 seats. Well, it came from them annihilating the Bloc. It seemed obvious they were going to steal a few seats from the Bloc, but the Bloc lost over 40 seats.

Yup. Shock. And a bit of fear. This government is going to be different. The Conservatives have won the last two elections, but they were minorities. So they didn’t do anything crazy. But now they could. Because the government isn’t going to fall. Because they won 166 seats or something.

And social media. It changes things. I watched tweets and facebook statuses tell me what was happening and how people were feeling. I watched more than one person question HOW the Conservatives had won. Everyone they knew had voted and had not voted Conservative. What this election reinforced in my mind was that we tend to spend time with (and friend on Facebook) people who have similar values and political leanings to our own…I’m not surprised, but it seems to have shocked a number of people…

But I woke up this morning and life was going on. I guess it’s just one of those things where we’ll just have to see what happens. I voted. I did my part. Now I can complain as much as I want if I don’t like what the Conservatives do….


  1. One of the comments floating around the internet today:
    Your car has more seats then the Bloc.

    Two reasons why this happened:
    1) We again struggled with voter turn out. I'm not saying that higher voter turn out would have meant a Conservative minority, but in 14 of the ridings that the Cons took, they won by less than 600 votes. Who can honestly say "my vote doesn't matter"? Mine honestly doesn't--my candidate got in with 51% of the votes in our riding (her closest competitor had 24%) as was predicted--but I still voted.
    2) The left split the vote. The right (Cons and Reform) united when they realised they were their own worst enemies when it came to losing ridings. In more than half the ridings, NDP + Liberal votes combined would have meant a Conservative defeat. I hate the idea of a two party system and would never suggest a permanent alliance of the 'leftist' parties, but I think the NDP and the Liberals should have been willing to work together in some of the closer ridings to throw their support behind the stronger of the two candidates.

    I'm really, really hoping for the best but when even Yoko Ono thinks you're a douche... well, you're probably a douche.

  2. Low voter turnout is a big problem...The City of Vancouver is hoping to do online voting (maybe just for advance polls) for municipals elections this fall...but I heard on CBC online only increases turnout by 2-4%...seems low!

    I think the municipal elections are going to have a dismal turnout. With the HST referendum in June and potentially a provincial election in the early fall no one is going to want to vote AGAIN in November...

  3. oh yeah, and the left does need to align itself. But I don't think we'll ever be a two party country, there's always someone begging to be party number three...and I'm not convinced the Conservative party might not splinter one day. The PCs and the Reform/Alliance parties were both right of centre, but had some fundamental differences too...

  4. If Harper pushes his more extremist ideals through, I think we could see a split in the right come next election time. Of course, if he's smart (and not the egotistical, arrogant jackanape we all know him as) he'll walk the middle ground between the two groups. (I'm hoping he goes with the 'just shy of dictator' option we all know he secretly covets.)