Taking It on the Chin (post election blog)

Canada's Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuszanna Zsohar leave the stage after addressing supporters following his defeat, at the Canadian federal election night headquarters in Toronto, May 2, 2011.

Well, on May 2, 2011 Canada decided (actually 40% of voters decided) and the Machiavellian maneuvered have won the Conservatives the majority they have  been salivating for.

(Yes, a majority even though 60% of voters did not vote for them).

And though this 60% majority proves that Canada did not suddenly become more conservative overnight (it didn’t), the Conservative win does allows for the continued move to the political right by the Conservative Party of Canada – and now with absolutely no checks and balances.  Just a blank cheque.

For some reason 40% of Canadians voters decided that election fraud, contempt of Parliament and influence peddling just wasn’t a big deal.

The final 2011 count  (with the total seat count from the 2008 election in brackets):

  • Conservative 167   (143)
  • NDP 102   (37)
  • Liberal 34   (77)
  • Bloc 4   (49)
  • Green 1

Over the next four years books will be written about the decimation of the Liberal party (the centrist party) and the historic seat count for the NDP (the left leaning/socialist party).

But I won’t get into it today.

As our Liberal leader said after the vote, the only thing worse than a loser is a sore loser.

I’ve actually lost worse than this.  Your humble blogger was a Progressive Conservative in ’93 when we went from holding a majority to just 2 seats.  Now that was a loss!

And I was devastated back in ’93.

But I’ve been playing with politics since I was 14 – you learn quickly that losing is a part of politics.  Though I have to admit it was sad to see the young Liberals (that really never had a huge defeat before) on election night.

They were devastated.

As a Liberal, I think we just have to take our time and rebuild from the bottom up.  There is no need for a merger with the NDP (good lord!) or a rush for a new leader.

Christ, we have four bloody years until the next election.

“In the wake of our defeat, we Liberals will have to reach out more broadly than we have in half a century to find a new generation of activists,” Liberal party national president Alfred Apps said this evening.  “This is not the time for making rash judgments or drawing speedy conclusions. This is not the time for Liberals to be seduced by political expediency or parliamentary convenience.”

In the meantime, App explained, one positive was a strong fundraising effort during the campaign that brought in about $4.5 million and surpassed previous efforts going back to the 2004 campaign, when the Liberals last formed a minority government under former prime minister Paul Martin.

It means that the Liberals will actually wind up having more money than they did at the start of the campaign.

“From a fundraising and budgetary perspective it was a successful campaign, which is wonderful, given the scope of our defeat, that we aren’t also going to be saddled with debt.”

See, there is a bright side.

And as we renew and rebuild this great Liberal party, I’ll be there.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom


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