Here in Canada, national political campaigns are brief: We begin by pretty much ignoring the whole thing for a few weeks – then there’s a debate, a little yelling, maybe some pointing, every leader buys a bunch of Timbits and, boom, suddenly it’s election day.
But in the United States, presidential campaigns last longer than all pregnancies and most wars.
– Scott Feschuk, MACLEAN’S Magazine, September 3, 2012 –
The Car Guy and I were NOT watching the television as the Canadian election results rolled in. We were, instead, watching local politics in action. We attended a Municipal Council Meeting of the now nearby city that will be annexing our rural area within the next year. We didn’t have any say in the ultimate decision of being annexed. What a city wants, it usually gets. Our only hope is that we will have more say in the future development of this newly annexed area by being inside the city instead of being just outside of it.
Our neighbours to the west of us border the city, but aren’t part of the city and they now have very large, ugly warehouses right next door. We don’t want to suffer the same fate.
The Canadian Federal Election last night saw about 61% of eligible Canadian voters turn out to elect 308 Members of Parliament.
– The Progressive Conservative Party (dark blue on the map) got about 40% of the popular vote – 167 seats (up from 143 seats)
– The NDP (orange on the map) got about 31% of the vote – 102 seats – (up from 36 seats)
– The Liberals got about 19% of the vote – 34 seats – (down from 77 seats)
– The Bloc Quebecois got about 6% of the vote – 4 seats (down from 47 seats)
– The Green Party got about 4% of the vote – 1 seat (up from 0 seats)
The unhappy losers were quick to point out that the governing party did not have the clear majority of votes cast. Which is, of course, often the case when there are more than two parties in the election. The Parliament of Canada has listed the results of all the Federal Elections in Canada since 1867, and there has been at least one instance where the party with the largest number of votes actually got fewer seats than the party that won!
You can see on the map that the Dark Blue Conservatives are primarily in the west of the country, and the Orange NDP are in the East, but each party has some presence right across the country. The Bloc Quebecois, which only ever ran candidates in Quebec, has been vastly reduced in size. The Liberals, who formed the official opposition in the previous government has also been severely downsized.
And the biggest winner of all is the little Green Party. Their leader, Elizabeth May, won her riding, and will be the sole representative of her party in Ottawa! And is she ever excited! It was hard not to be drawn into her enthusiasm during her acceptance speech last night.