Like any good blogger, I like to make predictions that demonstrate my deep understanding of the world and when (if) they come to pass I like to boast of my prescience. Yesterday Canada's federal election took place, and just like I predicted we have another fragile minority government. I am a pundit! Only it's a Conservative minority government, not a Liberal one... Although I didn't blog about it (I'm not actually a pundit you know), this result started looking pretty likely as the election progressed and the polls showed a steady decline in Liberal support in spite of starting with a significant lead. There were even hints of the Conservatives winning a majority toward the end.
There was a real sense restlessness amongst voters. Some people attributed it to outrage over recent financial scandals, but I thought it was really more about skepticism. The Liberals have been in power for 12 years and have many unkept promises. Plenty of them were simply repeated during the campaign. Hard to get traction when all you can say is "this time we'll do it." Here is the overall election result:
PartySeatsPercentConservatives124 seats (+25)36% (+6%)Liberals103 seats (-32)30% (-7%)Bloc51 seats (-3)11% (-1%)NDP29 seats (+12)18% (+2%)Green
No question that the movement of votes was largely from the Liberals to the Conservatives. I think this movement was largely a vote "against" the Liberals, with most of the movement in Quebec. The surprising story nationally is how a tiny 2% increase in support for the NDP translated into a near doubling of their seats. That's the way it can be in multi-party elections.
So how did I vote? Liberal. The "scandals" to my mind were trivial. The fact is that the Liberal government managed 12 years of economic growth and social progress. I have also never felt any alignment with the Conservative party's moral philosophies. It always feels to me like they are fundamentally saying "here's your money back (tax cuts), now fend for yourself." It may not be expressed this parliment though, as the Conservatives won't have the votes to push through legislation that the other parties don't support...
Listening to: Hello Tomorrow (adidas Version) by Karen O. and Squeak E. Clean.