And so last night Canada elected a Conservative minority government. Voter turnout was up over the 2004 election, but it would be hard not to (that election brought out just over 60% of the electorate and a dismal 25% of the 18-24 year-old market). CBC: Voter Turnout up.
CBC: Election Quickfacts: Interesting facts and figures about the campaign
Although the NDP didn’t win in the riding I voted for them in (Saanich-Gulf Islands), they came in second, and, overall, the party has a lot to be proud of in British Columbia, gaining 5 new seats. What I find strange is, these seats were previously Conservative, or, in one case, unoccupied. That means the NDP must have somehow become appealing to Conservatives, but the entire NDP campaign was focused on the Liberals. Weird. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this? CBC: Three-way battles give NDP big gains in B.C.
Anyway, I’m thankful the Conservatives only have a minority government. (Though, if you live in Alberta, don’t bother having a different opinion: CBC: Tories sweep Alberta, tightening grip on Prairies). I’m having troubles figuring out what, exactly, the NDP and Conservatives are going to work together on. Mind you, to be precise, I suppose Layton said the NDP will be “looking for ways to co-operate”, not “co-operating”. We’ll see though — perhaps there are ways to work together I just haven’t though of.
I’m also quite amazed, given the amount of crap that’s gone on in the election, with the amount of grace the now-former Liberal leader and Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin stepped down with. He gets my respect for that. CBC: Martin to quit as Liberal leader, describes ‘privilege to serve’.
It’s going to be an interesting next few years in Canada. We’ll see if Harper sticks to the more moderate image portrayed in the campaign, or if it was a front in order to avoid disturbing the electorate. The Tyee: Has Harper Really ‘Evolved’?