The federal election results demonstrated three things.
One is that this election, despite many predictions to the contrary at its start, energized many voters.
The second thing it clearly showed is that most Canadians see national issues from one of two major perspectives — the less government/ lower taxes/law and order perspective of the Conservatives, or the more activist government/expanding programs/‘soak the rich’ perspective of the NDP.
The Liberals, in trying to strike a balance between the two perspectives, found little traction. They will be less of a force in the next Parliament and leader Michael Ignatieff is finished.
The third and most positive thing is the rejection of the Bloc Quebecois by the vast majority of Quebecers, relegating the party to four seats. For the first time since 1988, most MPs elected in Quebec support their province being part of Canada. This is an enormous step forward.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now in power with a majority. He pledged to work with other parties and govern for all Canadians. That pledge will be tested many times.
NDP leader Jack Layton, who ran a positive and upbeat campaign, is now the leader of the opposition. As such, although he might speak with more clout, he’s not in a position of any greater power. Less, in fact, given the end to any coalition pressure.
In articulating his vision of Canada, Layton will have to be more realistic about how the economy works, and how jobs are created. However, his emphasis on preserving important social programs like health care and ensuring that average families get decent tax breaks is needed, at a time when many people are struggling.
The people of Canada, from many disparate regions of the country, have spoken. They want Parliament to get down to business, without any unnecessary drama or an election for at least four years.
– Black Press