Sunday, 1 November 2015

Election Postscript

Well, almost two weeks have passed since election day but the airwaves are still filled with post election talk and cabinet predictions. Around Ottawa, anyone you talk to, who works in the federal civil service, is talking about the difference in atmosphere, already evident in their offices. After that climactic election night,  political junkies like me have been savouring the discussions and analysis of the campaign. There was an entertaining discussion on CBC radio's Sunday Morning last week, comparing Justin to Pierre. Macleans had a great recap of the entire campaign.  In it, writer Scott Feschuk comments on Harper's decision not to mention he was stepping down as leader, during his concession speech. "Did Steve deign to mention this minor factoid during his final high-profile speech to the people he served for a decade? He did not. It seems logical to conclude he wanted to deny the media the clip they desired - one last, little spiteful gesture. Classic him.
A Conservative spokesperson saw it differently. He said Harper simply "chose to speak about other things". Makes sense. It's reminiscent of when Neil Armstrong placed a boot on the surface of the moon and announced to the world, "Can someone please check if I left my car lights on?"

Anyhow, for what it's worth, here are my final (I promise) thoughts on this election. Everyone is talking about how long and how hard the Liberal party worked on this campaign and that is true. What is also true is that there were so many organizations involved in getting out the vote. Feelings against Harper were so strong that various groups worked for years sending out emails, gathering supporters, raising money, identifying and targeting swing ridings, encouraging supporters to work and to get out there and vote. A lot of the credit for the high voter turnout rate must go to Rick Mercer's first show of the season and groups like leadnow, avaaz, Friends of CBC,  native activists, environmental activists and so many others.

I find the increase in voter turnout and of, course the election results themselves, very hopeful. Sometimes hard work does pay off. It is also heartening to realize that even though the Conservative Party spent so much of our money on ads to promote themselves during non-election times (think Economic Action Plan) and then spent millions of their money on attack ads during the campaign, that the little guys still won. The Conservative money and their tactics (the wrap around newspaper ballot-like ads, the ka-ching ka-ching money demos, the rallies with the Ford family, were no match for ordinary hard-working Canadians working together for a common cause.

One last word about the losers. There was a touching interview on CBC Radios' Ottawa Morning with Paul Dewar. Paul was our MP for the past nine years. As the interview demonstrates, he is simply a fine, classy person and will be missed on Parliament Hill.

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