While the polls slowly shifted towards the Liberals in the lead up to the election, it was still pretty much agreed that no party would hold enough seats after the votes were tallied to form a majority government in Ottawa.
The discussion had become, “will the parties be able to work together and actually govern?” instead of, “whose policies are we going to be following next?”
But when the numbers started coming in, the Maritimes turned red, and that trend continued into (at least southern) Quebec – over 50 per cent of voters in that province voted Liberal – the sea change was well and truly upon us as a nation.
By the time the polls closed in B.C., the Liberals already knew they’d be forming the next government.
Many were surprised the tide had swung so far to the left so quickly in our great nation.
Personally, I’m kind of surprised that people are surprised.
Is it so strange to think that after a decade of our government not spending money on us, we’d like them to look at maybe doing that, since not doing that didn’t seem to be working for the majority of us?
Is it so strange that when so many are working hard to get ahead, but just can’t because their wages aren’t high enough to save towards a down-payment on a house because of the amount they pay in rent paying off someone else’s mortgage, they wish there was some other way for things to work?
Is it so strange that people want our government to offer us more or better services rather than take away the ones we have because they cost money?
Is it so strange that the citizenry wants businesses who are receiving tax cuts from Canadians to reinvest that money in Canadians?
Businesses receiving tax incentives (paid for by the rest of us) are sitting on some $680-billion in cash right now, using it to gain more wealth for themselves instead of putting it back into the economy, according to a recent article by The Economist, and in doing so have been stagnating that economy by producing year-over-year growth in the range of a whopping two per cent per year over the last decade.
And is it so strange that Canadians don’t want to hate each other?
I think that was probably what turned the tide, more than anything else.
When Stephen Harper and his fellow Conservatives started encouraging Canadians to be skeptical of each others’ motives, when they promoted mistrust, when they advocated xenophobia, it turned people off.
Imagine that. We don’t want to hate each other? We don’t want to be told that we should?
Now we see, though.
Now we see if the Liberals will stand by what they said they stand for.
Now we see if they were for real about infrastructure spending, electoral reform and strengthening the middle class.
They have no reason to keep those promises, now that they have a majority, unless they really meant them. They could just force through their ideas without enough people around to override them – like the Conservatives did.
Let’s say I’m “cautiously optimistic” about what just happened.
Or maybe, “hopeful,” is a better word.