Some Random Thoughts on the Federal Election

  • The pollsters were more accurate than I thought. I’m used to the NDP getting a surge of support during a campaign, only to have it disappear on election night. However, the collapse of the BQ and the Liberals was so substantial that the NDP filled the vacuum. I guess somebody had to take the seats.
  • The hatchet job on Ignatieff that the Conservatives undertook since he assumed the Liberal mantle finally bore fruit last night. A more thorough effort of vilification and ad hominem attacks I cannot remember in federal politics. [Stéphane Dion was just a warm-up.] It’s been an appalling display by Harper’s Tories, but perfectly consistent, of course, with the anti-democratic spirit shown by a party that was held in contempt of Parliament.
  • There continues to be talk about a merger between the federal NDP and Liberals, though most Liberals are apparently against it. If I were a Liberal, I’d be against it too. After four years of an extremist Conservative majority and/or four years of an inexperienced NDP opposition, I think the Liberals will be in a good position to absorb disaffected voters… in spite of themselves, their arrogance and their debt. I predict a big Liberal comeback in 2015.
  • Much was made last night by the corporate media of a certain NDP candidate winning her seat while vacationing in Las Vegas, and ignoring the demands of an election campaign. Of course, much the same can be said of many Conservative candidates in BC who were largely absent from public meetings, debates and even media interviews. In a couple of ridings, the nomination process for the Conservative candidate appeared rigged. But that didn’t stop these Tories from winning large majorities last night. At the very least, it proves my “goat theory” about Fraser Valley ridings: the Conservatives can run a goat and still win. They did, and they did.
  • In the end, the only really important story was that the Conservatives won a majority. Time will tell if the hard-right social conservatives in the party have the power that many fear, and if Harper is part of that group.
Posted by Colin Welch at 6:05 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 7:57 PM


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