The election is over and now we are faced with a Harper majority and 4 years for him to chip away at all the things I love about Canada! I’m not going to say too much about this because it’s all pretty obvious: relaxed gun control, privatization of health care, a possible erosion of abortion rights, the promotion of “traditional” family structures, taking away the funding of political parties based on votes (which I think should be the only funding source for political parties), the erosion of the CBC, relaxed environmental laws, a focus on Oil Sands production, corporate tax cuts, and an autocratic disdain for democracy… pretty much everything you would expect from a very right of center party who are no better than the Republicans in the US. It really is a shameful that 40% of the voting public could and would give him the majority of seats…
Things I’m happy about:
- I’m very happy about the NDP sweeping Quebec! It’s true that some pretty strange people won a couple of the ridings (I’m thinking of the students), but if they don’t mess things up it will give the NDP a chance to build a strong Quebec presence with strong candidates in the future.
- I’m happy about the demise of the Bloc, but I’ve always kind of liked Gilles Duceppe and feel bad about the blow to his ego.
- I’m very happy the Elizabeth May won her seat for the Green Party and that we will be able to hear her in the House of Commons (it’s a shame that Harper never listens to anybody else).
Things I’m worried about:
- I’m worried about the Liberal Party! We badly need a strong centrist party in Canada. I think that having a 2 party system is probably the worst thing that could happen to us politically. If the Liberals don’t rebuild then we will have a right wing party and a left wing party and nothing in between. I support the NDP and not the Liberals (unless I’m doing so strategically) because I have left wing beliefs, but I think we need a political system that can support people who are neither left nor right. I would love to see a multi-party system (as in more than 3-4 major players) in Canada that rules by an honest majority vote (screw the party whips) and reflects the beliefs of its population. A majority government held by either the Conservatives or the NDP does not have the ability to reflect the constituents of this country.
- I’m worried about Quebec Independence: Contrary to popular belief I don’t think that the defeat of the Bloc represents a defeat of the sovereignty movement, and I think that this election may do a lot to highlight the differences between the values of Quebec and the values of most of the rest of Canada. I’m scared that this will give the separatists fodder beyond language politics.
I’m kind of tired of this political stuff now, so I probably won’t write much about it for a while.