Well the Conservative Party has somehow, given the events of the past year, been able to win a majority in the House of Commons. Normally this wouldn't 'frighten' the other side of the spectrum, but it's not just the Commons that welcomes Conservative majority, the Senate does as well. So what exactly does this mean? The opposition under Jack Layton has little to no chance of effecting government legislations for the next 4 years.
It can't be all that bad can it? Well I hardly think I have to remind anyone of the last Conservative majority government and what that spelt for the country, but just incase...
In 1984 after the retirement of Trudeau Canadians voted in the largest majority government Canada has ever seen under the leadership of Sir Brian Mulroney. Fast forward eight years and the country was essentially sold to the highest bidder and facing a new threat in the Bloc Québécois. Is that where Canadians are going again? Are we going to be sold? Probably...
I suspect that we'll see a number of public sectors turn private including our health care. Now of course it won't go completely private, just the sections that cater to those who can afford better services. I'd also suspect that the military will undergo change, certainly there is nothing stopping the purchase of the F-35's that come so well equipped they don't even need engines! Education might also take a further hit given the decrease in funding that has occurred over the past four years. Its just going to be a glorious time to live in Canada.
Apart from what might happen, lets look at what did happen:
1. The Liberal Party has essentially found itself in the same position the Conservative party did after 1993. There will have to be reform or at least, they will have to elect leadership that will attract voters. Further, the Liberals need to stop striding the centre-left. Their success has come not from grabbing votes from those who aren't left or right, but from those who firmly believe in strong government with a leftist twist. Look at the NDP, yes they still represent the left, but they have begun to take over the position of the glory days of the Liberals. Just look at the Greens, they represent the far left, which is exactly where the NDP began. The spectrum has shifted and the last thing we need is Left-Centre-Right.
2. The Bloc have in all respect been demolished. I don't believe anyone had seen this coming, but given the shift in Québec (corruption out) it may not be that much of a surprise. Okay, the Bloc were not corrupt but does anyone believe that the position of Duceppe -- buy me off to support your government -- left Québec voters happy with their federal image? I highly doubt it. Will this spell the end of the Bloc, as much as I would hope it would, I don't believe it will.
3. The Greens. Well it had to happen, how I'm still unsure, but it did. I hardly believe in the position of the Green party, unlike many of my fellow university students. But I believe there position on the environment will hopefully push the other parties to adopt a similar stance, but again don't look to the Conservatives on this one. Wait 4 years to see exactly how much of an influence May has regarding environmental policies.
4. The youth. I must say, well done Québecers! You have shown that the youth of this country can get involved in federal politics and win seats. I know many people around me who felt as thought there wasn't a place for them, or should I say seats, but thankfully I think that will change. Look for more young men and women running in the next election, I guarantee this trend will continue.