Wow. Just wow.
Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway.
I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority.
The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as the leader of the party — the only leader the party in its current form has ever had. A long decade of darkness in Canada is drawing to a close.
The NDP dropped back to third place, its Quebec bubble having burst. One of the ridings it hung onto was my own of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where Gilles Duceppe was defeated by Helene Laverdiere. I’m happy about that and proud to have played my part.
Overall, though, the NDP simply couldn’t compete with the Liberal surge as undecided progressive voters looked for a bandwagon to jump onto. Our broken First Past The Post system simply left no room for vote-splitting on the left, and Mulcair was unfortunately the loser on that front. I still respect him and think he ran a solid campaign. And I hope he will stay on as party leader and MP for Outremont, and participate actively in government. He and Trudeau agreed on quite a few issues, and the NDP could certainly make their mark in this next parliament.
The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats, but got a lower proportion of the popular vote than they did back in 2011. Duceppe lost his riding and will probably retire again — for real this time.
Justin Trudeau will have his work cut out for him. A majority means he can get things done. It also means he has no excuses.
The real work begins tomorrow. And don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of it. Canada has suffered greatly under Harper, and a lot of work will be needed simply to stop the bleeding and start reversing the damage. Restoring funding to gutted federal programs, improving the status of women, minorities, immigrants, First Nations, restoring human rights and equal citizenship for all. Fulfilling his promise to amend Bill C-51. Dealing with the fallout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as details emerge. Healing the wounds caused by wedge politics driven by racism. Bringing back openness, transparency, science and information to Parliament. Healing the wide chasm between Conservative and Progressive voters. The list seems never-ending and the work is surely daunting.
But that’s all for tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate.