Tuesday, May 03, 2011

41st Canadian General Election: Thoughts

May 2, 2011 has come and gone and Canada has elected a new government. This election held a lot of interest for me because of its timing and the people and parties involved, and it was made a lot more exciting by the fact that nobody really knew what was going to happen until the counting was finished.

First of all, congratulations to the Conservative party for forming a majority government, to Stephen Harper for being the central focus and leading the party to its first majority in over 15 years, and to our local candidate, Russ Hiebert. I have met Mr. Hiebert on at least one or two occasions and am happy to have a representative that I know more than just by name.

The Liberal party, while being a strong force in Canada's history, has made some very big mistakes in the last five years, especially in regards to leadership. This probably wasn't the deciding factor, but when things started to shift, they just didn't seem like a safe bet. They'll be back I'm sure, and they should use the next four years to get their act together.

NDP - wow! Honestly, I think this was a well deserved victory for the NDP who have spent so many years in third place. Jack Layton is a clever character who impressed me in the small amount of debate I saw. He really knows how to stick it to the man, and I'm sure question period will be a most interesting time.

Green Party - You've worked hard and deserve your one seat. Elizabeth May, welcome to Parliament. At least now you'll get invited to the debates. Hopefully Stephen and Jack will let you speak from time to time while in session.

And now a discussion about social media. I've been monitoring Facebook and Twitter for days and weeks, and was amazed by the almost exclusive support of the Liberal and NDP parties (and the bashing of the Conservative party) via those channels. I assume that it's because of a younger demographic using social media, but as it has usually been, Conservative supporters are the silent ones waiting in the background that just go out and vote. Yes, social media probably had an impact, but based on the outcome, not the one most people had intended. Until something changes, I don't think we should base predictions or get a feel for the political situation based on the volume of social media posts -- it just doesn't add up.

And to all my friends and family, whether you agree with my political views or not, I hope we can continue working together, having fun together, and getting back to life. It was a great campaign with lots of comments and counter-comments, and I do look forward to it again, but not until 2015.

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