Well it’s all over. Canada’s elected a minority Conservative government. Holy freaking God, it’s finally happened. And depending on your political viewpoint, the “holy freaking God” statement can either mean “it’s finally here, yippie!” or “it’s finally here, the end is nigh!”
Personally, I don’t think this outcome is bad. Not in the least. Sure, it kind of sucks that Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – the biggest cities in Canada – all voted against the Conservatives. My riding even went Liberal, and I don’t live in the most socially progressive region of Southern Ontario. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad here at all, but when you’ve got this guy to contend with, it makes it hard to believe we’d vote for the Grits again. Trust me man, we Ontario folks remember Mike Harris. We remember Ernie Eves (even if Ernie was a good guy who got put into a no-win situation). That should provide some clue as to why Ontario folks aren’t too keen on a government that’s both economically conservative and socially conservative.
And to be fair, the Tories aren’t going to enact a crazy, right-wing agenda in a minority parliament. Not going to happen. The Liberals will have to be on their best behaviour as they a) get a new leader, b) pay off insane party debt and c) rebuild the party’s badly beaten image in the West, much of Ontario and Quebec. That’s a tall order, so the Conservatives will probably get a lot of support from the Liberals on various issues (funny how fate truly does have a sense of irony, thank you Matrix).
I don’t think Canadians want another election anytime soon either. So for now, the Tories can count on the opposition to play nice, at least for awhile.
For Paul Martin, his deal to become PM was of almost Faustian-like proportions. Was it all worth it? Were all the years of battling Chretien really worth it? Only you will ever know the real answer.