So, remember how I said Canada was going to end up with the same government as before?
I eat my words OM NOM NOM.
Watching the election was a bizarre mix of pure elation and rich horror for people on both sides of the fence.
Now, this is Canada’s government as of 2008:
This is how Canada was polling before election day in 2011:
So you can see why I didn’t think there would be any surprises. It should be noted that for the Conservatives to get a majority government, they would need 155 seats, so the projections were showing that they would be at least 10 short of their goal. The NDP were expected to make a big gain, because the leader was campaigning in Quebec and getting a lot of interest there. So the Bloc Quebecois were expected to give up some votes.
This is what happened:
Not only did the Conservatives win a majority somewhat unexpectedly, but the Bloc Québécois (the Quebec separatist party, which usually holds most of the seats in Quebec) has been virtually eradicated. Even the party leader, who has been in Parliament for 20 years, didn’t get voted into his seat. Technically, the Bloc is no longer an official political party.
The Green Party leader got a seat in Parliament for the first time, which I think is largely a success that can be attributed to vote swapping.
Embarrassingly for the Liberals (who have been either the Federal Government or the Official Opposition for 150 years), not only did they get booted into a dismal third place, but their own party leader didn’t get elected into Parliament. I feel bad for Ignatieff. I always thought he was a bad choise for Liberal leader, but he didn’t deserve that.
Anyway, basically, no one is happy with this government:
The left-wing voters are horrified by the Conservative majority. Now Mr “Harper Government” has the power to make changes against the advice of the left wing Members of Parliament, despite the fact that he only has 40% of the popular vote.
The right-wing voters are horrified by the NDP opposition. You have to understand, this is totally unprecedented. The New Democratic Party puts a strong emphasis on social programs and support for the poor, the blue-collar, and the elderly. They want to put caps on trade, increase taxes on large corporations while giving cuts to small businesses, and increase the old age pension and cut taxes for the old and the poor. They aren’t total socialists or anything – on a provincial government level, as I mentioned before, they actually have a fantastic track record when it comes to handling money responsibly. But you can’t convince the right-wing folks of that, who are sure that if the NDP get into power they would just run around naked in the streets throwing hundred-dollar bills to the homeless and then shredding the rest of the national coffers for confetti.
And now they are opposing our most right-wing faction. Interesting, no?
In a way, it’s a good thing that the Conservatives have a majority. The last few years the Conservatives have blamed everything that went wrong on the fact that they were hobbled by the left-wing Members of Parliament. Now they can’t use that excuse, and we have a strong spokesman for the Everyman keeping him honest.
I think once everyone gets over being horrified, they’ll realize that this government might actually work. And if it doesn’t, maybe it will convince people to go out and effing vote.
Or at least, do some electoral reform.
Meanwhile, in (to me) equally important and world-shattering news, Babby has started babbling again. I haven’t been posting about this because I know I’m a nervous nelly, and I could just see you guys rolling your eyes at me if I started going “So… Babby used to babble, but he hasn’t for a couple of months, now, and now I think he may be autistic because it runs in the family y’know etc etc etc.”
I knew that babies often put one skill aside for a while when they’re working on something else, and Babby has been very focused on learning how to move. He is now capable of dragging his body in counter-clockwise spirals as well as pushing himself backwards. He doesn’t move with great purpose or speed but he moves. We went out and bought a baby gate. Baby proofing is in the offing.
So now that he has started to work that through, he has returned to other skills, to my unspoken relief. In a matter of a day or two he want from NO babbling for weeks to yayaya, wawawa, babababa, dadadada, blah, blah, blah, and so on. He also gives high fives and has discovered clapping.
All in one weekend.
Oh, and he has two teeth.