Monday, 2 May 2011

It's Very Late

What does it mean?

The people have spoken. Very similarly to 1993 and 1997 a party is going to lead us for the next four years without any checks or balance. We know there won't be 12 seats to flip - so the Conservatives have the stable majority that they've been seeking.

I'm extremely curious to see the polling data over the coming days that outlines who moved where and when and why. I think just from looking at the numbers there were three different big jumps.
  1.  Bloc to NDP 
  2.  Liberal to Conservative
  3.  Liberal to NDP
The truth is, knowing what happened doesn't help us any if we don't know why.
  • Did the Bloc vote move NDP because they decided that their interests are best served by being a strong partner in Canada - or because they were tired of the Bloc being ineffective and gaining separatist demands?
  • Did centre Liberals get scared by the oncoming NDP wave and flip conservative for fear of the NDP - or did Conservatives effectly target and convince certain voters (yes, some of which are from visible minorities) that Conservative values most closely align with theirs? 
  • Did left leaning Liberals not feel represented by their party anymore and flip NDP - or were personality voters just not happy with Harper, out on Iggy, and went Jack.
"Why?" -- That is the important part because the "why" tells what should be next.
  • If the NDP are the new voice of Quebec, Liberal strongholds are getting picked off, and Liberals have lost touch with the left - isn't it time for a merge and an emergence of a (mostly) two party system? 
  • If the Bloc voters are just fed up, Liberal centrists fear the NDP, and personality voters went Layton - then we just wait for Harper to govern from the right now that he can - and everything swings back Liberal next time so long as they select someone people don't hate... right? 
Probably not. Most likely, it's a combination of all those things... which makes the water awfully muddy. So much will depend on who the Liberals select to lead them - and how Quebec plays out in the next four years. Anything is possible, but centre-left leaning voters need to have a good long think about combining these two parties because the split was in serious play today.

Do we really want to have this same result in four years? As of right now, about 60% of the nation is unhappy and by keeping things the way they are - we risk being no further ahead in four years time. People aren't going to get together on their own and vote strategically within their region. There needs to be a clear choice for the centre-left, and right now there's only a choice for the centre, and a choice for the left. We're probably heading into four years of governing from the right - and this country will never go all the way far left (NDP = Reform/Alliance just on the other side) so lets create another majority option. A party that centre voters still feel represented by but holds true to liberal ideals with social issues, workers rights, but champions education and health care. A party that finds the right way to care for seniors. However, a party that is not completely beholden to unions, and makes having balanced budgets a priority without hiking taxes on middle and low income individuals/business.

The top priority of this new party: Proportional representation.

Then when our parties re-fracture - we can have the government that we vote for.

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