A brief synopsis of Canada’s 42nd election
October 21, 2015 Leave a comment
So on Monday, Canada went and voted in a general election, the 42nd one in the history of the country.
This was the longest campaign in over 100 years lasting 78 days. The then governing Conservative Party took a [slight] gamble because they had way more money in their coffers than the two other major parties, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party [NDP].
Since the beginning, the Conservative Party was aiming their attack ads at the Liberal Party’s inexperienced party leader Justin Trudeau [son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau]. Trudeau is in his early 40s and had little political or business professional experience prior to going into politics 7 years ago.
Meanwhile, they weren’t attacking the New Democrats who during the first half of the campaign was gaining steam. For a huge part of the campaign there was just a few percentage points difference between them. Everything was pointing towards a minority government.
Then the debates started. The conservatives forced the other parties not to use Canada wide media for the debates but media that wasn’t available in many areas.
While doing this didn’t backfire, Trudeau showed he can play with the “bigger [older?] boys” and he did very well in each debate while the others didn’t shine.
Trudeau’s election policies were honest. He did not use attack ads but if he did attack, they were sparingly. He announced a deficit will be expected in the first 3 years while the other two claimed a balanced budget would be obtainable. For the NDP, it would probably be impossible with the spending announcements they would do while running the government.
The Conservatives kept on going after Trudeau for a deficit, which economists determined to be laughable because it was so small compared to the actual budget. They also claimed to roll back or remove various benefits such as income splitting [again economists claimed under 17% of the population would use it].
Various other issues cropped up during the campaign such as using the Niqab for official issues [such as voting or citizen swearing in ceremonies], ISIs and Syria, the economy, and the various political scandals.
As the election went into the final week, the Liberals began to go ahead of the pack, just short of the majority number of seats needed with the NDP dropping into third.
Came Election Day, it didn’t look good for the governing Conservatives. As the polls slowly came in from the Atlantic Provinces, it started to look grim for the Conservatives. A clean sweep of all 32 seats [where the Conservatives had 12 seats in 2011].
Then came Quebec. In 2011, the NDP came out of nowhere to take 59 seats out of 75. It wasn’t going to be the same as the Conservatives picked up a few seats, the separatist Bloc Quebecois got 10 and the Liberals took a huge chunk of seats.
In “Battleground Ontario” it was the same with the Liberals taking a big chunk with smaller chunks for the other two. Already, they probably had enough for a majority.
Next came the Prairie Provinces which the Liberals never did well. But they picked up a bunch of seats there including their first in Alberta in 50 years. The Conservatives dominated the Prairie Provinces but it wouldn’t be enough.
By the time voting was counted in British Columbia, it was all over.
In the end, with 338 seats [up from 308 in 2011], the Liberals grabbed 184 of them, the Conservatives dropped from a majority to 99 seats. The NDP went from official opposition to third place with 44 seats.
Very few expected a majority government but winning seats in specific riding helped even with about 38% of the popular vote. The voting turnout was about 68% – the most since 1993.