Well it’s been a busy week after the most contentious and sometimes-bitter election campaign in recent memory. And, to be honest, I’m kind of glad it is all over – at least, for now.
So, with this in mind, my blog is switching back to a wider set of topics now that Paul Martin is back in government. But before that, some quick thoughts on the election in general.
For one, Paul Martin’s minority government assures that, hopefully, we’re entering a new period in Parliamentary history where co-operation and consensus-building will finally take centre stage. The Liberals will need to do this, otherwise we’ll be heading back to the polls again in six months.
The NDP are the most natural of allies for the Liberals at this point. Some of the most productive and progressive governments in Canadian history have been via minority governments, given that they require a great deal of creativity and flexibility. A friend once told me that the NDP really are Liberals in a hurry. We’re going to test that theory in the next few months.
I’m excited that there are opportunities here to establish the national day care program, put new funding in place for cities and urban transit and potentially have a national referendum on proportional representation in government.
Some people may argue that this election – an affair that only deepened national divisions between regions and people alike – demonstrated how angry the public is with politicians. No doubt, we need to come together and do what we have to do to make the West less alienated and Quebec back into the federalist fold.
It won’t be easy, but we can do this in a minority government situation.
A thing to bear in mind: while we complain a lot in Canada about our country’s problems, it’s important, in lieu of Canada Day yesterday, to remember how good we have it here. We have a national health care system, quality education programs and a relatively clean environment. We’re doing a good job here, and we’ve also managed to avoid civil conflict in a way that few other nations can claim.
In short, let’s stay positive about the future. Canada’s moving forward, and with this bitter election behind us now, let’s get on with the business of running the country.