It was an election that, we were told, nobody wanted. An election that was supposed to change nothing. But, in the end, it was an election that will go down in history for — as the cartoon to the right aptly depicts — turning Canadian politics on its head.
Despite nearly universal predictions that the 2011 federal election would change little if anything on the national political landscape, it ended up changing everything.
Every single national party underwent a monumental transformation when the ballots were counted on Monday night.
The Conservatives finally achieved their long-sought majority, thanks to a small increase in popular support and widespread vote-splitting on the left.
The NDP vaulted their way convincingly into the role of Official Opposition for the first time in history. The party also cracked the triple-digit mark in terms of seats, something even the most ardent of supporters didn’t dare to dream just a few days earlier, despite the favourable opinion polls.
The Liberals, meanwhile, were decimated. The one-time “natural governing party” of Canada went down to its worst defeat ever and even leader Michael Ignatieff couldn’t hold on to his own, Toronto-area riding.
The Bloc Quebecois, which not too long ago formed the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, now finds itself without even official party status.
And the Green Party saw its first member elected to Parliament as leader Elizabeth May handily won her B.C. riding.
It will take some time for the dust to settle and for us to find out exactly what this new political order in Canada will mean. But one thing is clear: What started out as a “boring” election ended up creating a sea change in our national political scene which will have major ramifications for decades to come.
— Rossland News