A red tide washes over Canada

I can once again say I am proud to be Canadian. The country spoke, and our collective voice was heard.

After nearly a decade in power, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was defeated.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won a majority government, earning 184 of the possible 338 seats in Parliament.


While Trudeau won 54 per cent of the seats, he actually only received 39.5 per cent of the popular vote. And if I learned anything about math in school, that’s not isn’t a passing grade, nor is it a majority. However, because of our first-past-the-post electoral system, his party formed just that.

I had to go to the voting station more than once to cast my ballot this election, because I had to have someone vouch for me. It took a bit of work, but in the end I was finally able to exercise my right and cast my vote for the candidate I felt best reflected my views. Ok, that’s not really how it went down. The truth is, I voted for the candidate that would remove the Conservative incumbent, thus giving the Harper camp one less seat at the table. Strategic voting; that’s where it was at this election. Hopefully our new prime minister will keep his word and reform our electoral process so that next time you can vote for the person you think will best serve your district, and have that vote represented in Ottawa.

But I digress.

What I found interesting during the election results was in the district I currently reside. It came down to the wire, but the NDP candidate defeated the Conservative incumbent by a mere 285 votes. And considering this district of Kootenay-Columbia spans a whopping 64,000 kilometres, that’s a pretty small margin. This riding showed me that every single vote counted. I’m glad I made the extra effort to have my say.

It’s hard to know what the next four years will bring. If our new leader stands by what he’s promised, then I’m kind of excited to see where we end up. We said we wanted change, and we got it, right?

Or did we?

Maybe we just flip-flopped back to the “other” party once again. I mean, it’s been a Liberal or a Conservative government since the beginning of Canada’s story, and defeating a party after a decade is sort of how it goes here in “the true north strong and free”. The Conservatives have been in power since 2006, but the Liberals were in power for more than a decade before that.

What will Trudeau do about our electoral process? What about implementing the recommendations made by the TRC and the inquiry into the murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls? How is he going to handle the recent and highly-secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement? Will any of his campaign promises come true?

The question remains, is Justin Trudeau the change we craved, the change we think we need. Or was he just our best chance at ousting Harper?

I guess only time will tell, but for now I’m going to ride this wave of hope, for however long it lasts.

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