We sure blew out the doughnut. We are officially CONSERVATIVE. No surprise here that ‘English’ Canadians value entrepreneurial spirit, the opportunity to create wealth and personal security over environmentalism and academic discussions about democratic practice in a parliamentary system. Harper gets it. Big time. While Grits and left-libs grind their teeth, one must recognize that Harper built a multi-ethnic, bilingual coalition from coast to coast to coast. He had a plan and he stuck to it.
Harper’s victory means Canada will take on an increasingly American Republican character. Once again, this is no surprise. The vast majority of Canadians live along a 50 kilometer wide strip along the American border. They buy American products, consume American culture and ape American values. Colonies are like that. And, if any of my Torontonian friends are still feeling smug, don’t forget that Steve won his majority in Ontario.
Harper is smart enough to burnish the matters Canadians feel separate them from the USA – hockey, doughnuts, ‘universal’ health care and a significantly greater measure of gun control. Harper respects, and evidently enjoys, the French fact of Canada in a way that many of his left and centrist opponents do not, many being simply incapable of doing so because of their inexplicable uni-lingualism.
The good news? Canada has its first Green member of Parliament. Kudos to Elizabeth May. The New Democratic Party’s breakthrough was achieved largely in Quebec. It is a most welcome development in our politics. The mainstream media will chew on its Gainseburger over youthful, inexperienced sometimes maladroit NDP M.P.s. When that passes, Jack Layton, Thomas Mulcair and other experienced NDP members may well rise to the challenge of forming an effective opposition. But make no mistake, it’s Steve’s show for the next four years plus. Finally on the positive ledger, if nothing else, the election shattered the illusion that the Liberal Party was a legitimate, electorally ready progressive remedy to Conservative rule. Michael Ignatieff’s massive failure is one of the greatest in the history of Canadian politics. Let some new flowers bloom!
The day after in Toronto Danforth
For the record, this was my predication on the morning of the election:
OTH 1 (I assumed independent Andre Arthur would be re-elected in Quebec.)
So…I, like everyone else, failed to grasp the entirety of the Bloc collapse, which of course moved en masse to the NDP.