A clear winner.
The federal election is done and dusted and watching it on election night it looked pretty much a done deal almost from the get go when Atlantic Canada rejected the Conservatives. Ultimately a very large part of Canada rejected the Conservatives and NDP both and in what I thought was a very short time indeed. Very soon news pundits were declaring Justin Trudeau the winner.
The campaign was one of the longest on record yet what should have proved an advantage to the Conservatives with deeper pockets never seemed to get going. To me anyway, as an impartial and unfranchised observer, the Conservatives seemed to adopt a take me or leave me stance and appeared uninterested in winning others to their cause. Maybe the idea was that the Liberals and NDP would knock themselves out and the dependable Tory voters would carry the day. Not so.
I suppose there was a clue when the Liberals began to pull ahead in the polls close to voting day but the prediction seemed to be that it would still be a close race. In Alberta blue dominated the scene and locally Jim Eglinski easily retained his seat but must now sit on the opposition benches doing what he can for his riding.
I stayed up for the speeches and was mightily puzzled by two of them. First of all Tom Mulcair was amazingly upbeat for someone that had just been soundly beaten in the election. Stephen Harper’s speech was even more surprising, all pazazz and glitz. I was confused. I actually thought that Harper had won from the way he was speaking. I concede that he won his riding but that was not the speech of a man who had just been decisively beaten at the
As Harper was escorted away the CBC reported that a release coinciding with the speech confirmed that Harper had resigned as leader of the Conservative Party and here perhaps is a clue as to why he may have lost in the first place. When the leader loses an election the buck stops with them and them alone yet Harper did not admit any mistakes or mea culpa, quite the reverse in fact. It’s a character trait he seemed to have always displayed kind of my way or no way and I think this cost the party dear.
Never mind the media, people don’t like it when politicians dodge questions and in my opinion Harper did this too much and far too often. Couple that with attack ads, which many people don’t like either and you get the result we saw. I wonder if some of the ministers that resigned pre-election may now re-emerge as leadership hopefuls.
Looking at the campaigns I think the Liberal one was the only one with an upbeat “yes we can,” kind of message and I think this coupled with a high turnout resonated with a good deal of the electorate. I also think there was a strong degree of anti Harper sentiment too.
Finally, a word about sour grapes about losing of which I’ve seen a lot on the Internet. This was a free and fair election under the electoral system that we have and to be honest the incumbent government had plenty of opportunity to change it. The result is what it is. Get over it.