...well mostly, anyway.
The Liberals had to go. That much is clear. I was surprised at how well they did - 103 seats as it stands now. I had to wonder last night, just what kind of hold does the Liberal Party have on this country, to very nearly pull off yet another upset despite the state that it's in. But this time even they couldn't find a miracle.
Anyone (I'm speaking to you, right-wing Americans) who thinks Canada is moving to the right, is just wrong. It may look that way on the surface, and it's probably being spun that way in certain media (sadly, I don't get Fox News. Or maybe that's not so sad) but the thin minority that Harper won is hardly a vote for neocon policies.
It was personal. Harper is the man we want at the top right now, among the ones we had to choose from. We gave him the job but constrained his power. I'm sure he gets it and will work towards greater political accountability, a continuing strong economy, and, if he can, a stronger military, NOT for war-mongering but for peace-mongering. (If there isn't such a thing, then there should be.)
In Quebec, where I live, the results were staggering. The Liberal candidate won in my riding, which surprised me because I was sure the Federalist vote would be split to allow the Bloc to come through. I'm okay with it because I would rather see a Liberal than a Bloc MP representing my riding as long as the Liberals are in minority until they reorganize.
If anyone would have told me, two months ago, that the Bloc would lose both in number of seats and popular vote and that the Tories would take ten seats, I'd have asked them what they were smoking. I interpret the result to mean that the idea of *separation* is not as popular as it appeared, and that much of the move away from the Liberals was just that - a move away from the Liberals, not towards the Bloc. Now we just need to get past the hurdle of the next Provincial Election, probably in 2008.
I was encouraged to see the Canadian election prominently featured on the websites of the major US news channels (CNN, MSNBC and Fox) early this morning especially since it's a big news day there with the Alito vote. Had the Liberals won, perhaps the coverage would not be there - but if the Liberals had won, would it even be news, from their perspective?
The Washington Post, which I like to reference because they link back to blogs that link their stories, had two Canadian election features on their website this morning. One of them is rather confusing: It begins like this:
Returns in the national election gave a strong victory to Conservative leader Stephen Harper...
Uh, not? ...however it continues,
But Harper fell short of winning a clear majority in the 308-seat House of Commons. He will need to compromise with opponents to form a government
Rather contradictory, no?
The other report, from the AP, was clearer and more or less to the point.
As for Paul Martin, he did the right thing by announcing he's relinquishing the leadership. That ends the speculation about whether he would quit and if so when, or would he need to be pushed out. He showed some class in his concession speech. It remains to be seen whether an honourable exit was his only motive, or whether he's quitting ahead of the revelation of more scandalous doings, if there are any of course.
So, it's all good and I do look forward to watching Belinda sit in opposition again when Parliament resumes.
Cross posted to the CTV Election Weblog