Canada’s got a new Prime Minister. I have many thoughts about the election and the results. In no particular order:
I’m not sure how comfortable I am with Justin Trudeau, but the thing I wanted the most from this election is someone other than the Conservatives in power so we’ll see what happens.
The debates were interesting. Stephen Harper reminded me of George Bush senior with his “stay the course” mantra. Otherwise, he was the same emotionless robot with lasers in his eyes. Justin Trudeau looked like he was trying to work the electorate, and not in a good way. He seemed to search endlessly for a platform plank that he could point to and say, “See? I’m your guy!” Thomas Mulcair came across as principled, but somewhat lost amongst the other two.
Who was I hoping would win? I’m still not sure. Of course I voted, but I couldn’t cleave to any of the candidates, wholeheartedly. They all have deal breaker policies, to me.
The race in my riding was a disaster. Rob Nicholson, the conservative candidate, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, managed to retain his seat, to my great disappointment. I’m interested to see how his behaviour toward his constituents will change given that he no longer has a ‘second job’ in the form of a portfolio, and now a member of the opposition. When I became more interested in politics, David McGuinty was my MP and I was no-end of impressed with his interaction with me. I have no doubt that part of the reason was he was a member of the opposition at the time. Even though Nicholson is now in the same position, I can’t imagine that he has it in him. He’s always come across as Stephen Harper’s perfect MP…does as he’s told, doesn’t smile too much, and otherwise keeps quiet. That’s not the best combination for your MP if you’re the least bit interested in politics, which tells you how interested in politics the inhabitants of his riding are.
Mulcair scored when he called the niqāb the Conservative weapon of mass distraction. Harper needed more votes and tried to double-down on the bigot vote. His desperation was even more obvious when he posed for a photo with the Ford family hoping to tap the votes of Ford Nation. Just a week before he wouldn’t even use Ford’s name when referring to him. Desperate is as desperate does, I suppose.
My biggest concern is Trudeau’s willingness to flip-flop to make sure he maintains approval. He said that he didn’t think Canada should have armed forces in the Middle-East, and after Harper, Mulcair, and the media jumped him about it, he was too afraid to go against bill C-51 because it’s labelled an anti-terrorist measure. Never mind that it really has very little to do with terrorism. Now that he finds himself with a majority government, I desperately home he’s not so easily manipulated.
I’m disappointed the Green Party didn’t gain any seats. Elizabeth May is a class-act.
I’m hoping Trudeau isn’t the same control-freak that Harper was. Indeed, under Harper, every government employed scientist had to check with the Prime Minister’s office before making any comment to the press. Interviews were worse with all the questions and answers requiring approval. Sharing information is a force multiplier with science, and Harper clearly found that the message was more important than the facts. I’m skittishly optimistic as Justin Trudeau said that the consolidation of power in the Prime Minister’s Office started with his father, and he didn’t like where the process ended up.
The Conservatives went negative early in their ads, and almost exclusively. Even for that reason alone, I’m glad they lost.
Both Harper and Trudeau took to calling voters ‘friends’ again and again in their later speeches. It’s creepy and off-putting. They don’t know me. They’re not my friends.
The geniuses of Disney marketing managed to shoe-horn Star Wars into things. When the CBC tweeted:
It took Disney barely more than a half-hour to reply…
And for the record, I sincerely doubt they were watching the Star Wars trailer.