I thought I had posted this the day after the election, but it seems I did not. Better late than never!
In my previous political post, I wrote about how ideally I was hoping for a Liberal minority. I suppose in some ways my expectations were exceeded with a majority government. A true repudiation of the status quo, but one wonders about the result if voter turnout had been higher than 67%. I’d imagine the NDP and Liberals might have further eroded Conservatives in other ridings. Historical polling shows right wing parties tend to do better with lower voter turnout as their voter base is more active politically. I can certainly respect their devotion to their beliefs. Nevertheless, this election saw a rise of 6% more voting than the previous election which bodes well for the health of our democracy.
I must admit though, this is the first Canadian election I’ve actually felt overwhelmed by the result. Seeing Trudeau’s victory speech was very emotionally uplifting and I truly and sincerely hope actions will follow up on his rhetoric. With a pledge to pull out of the Middle Eastern bombing runs, it is off to a good start.
A major campaign pledge had been the restoration of transparency within the government. So far, Trudeau has taken great strides towards keeping that promise. It is certainly a breath of fresh air. My concern now is whether or not we’ll find out about many of the behind the scenes actions of the previous government and if any criminal or civil cases will result out of it. Hopefully, Trudeau doesn’t pull an Obama and choose not to prosecute the actions of his predecessors.
Of great concern is the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership. I hope the Liberals will make a concerted effort to reveal the details to the general public before eventually deciding not to ratify the treaty which is likely to hurt Canadian households while boosting the profits of multinational corporations.
Rumours are circulating already that Obama will punt if not veto on the pipeline which will be a victory for the environmentalists. Hopefully, this will also compel the Liberals to hold true to their campaign promises of recognizing global climate change and Canada to become a responsible actor in this fight. This also grants Trudeau cover as he can always play the “Thanks Obama” card with the conservatives out West and deflect responsibility. Although here, he has to be fairly adept at not crossing the line too far. One of the issues we had was a degrading US-Canada relationship. Something, Trudeau wishes to restore to the levels of Chrétien and Clinton. While the GOP has gone off the rails, it is more and more likely the democrats will control the Presidency for the foreseeable future. So best not to hit too hard as there will be some hold overs in the next administration.
Electoral reform on hold
With a majority government, I doubt Trudeau will make electoral reform a priority. We’re guaranteed a few years of stable government so I’m willing to wait. Trudeau has stated his first priority after selecting his cabinet ministers is to meet with the provincial premiers, long held in contempt by the outgoing prime minister, to prepare for the Paris climate convention. Although I didn’t explicitly state it, climate change was my #2 priority for this election. Trudeau and the Liberals (and the NDP, Green and Bloc) all recognize we must act. A sentiment echoed by democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
I reside in Trudeau’s riding of Papineau so although he didn’t need my vote to secure a win I nevertheless am proud to have done my civic duty and like many other fellow Canadians, gave our new Prime Minister a mandate to implement his party’s platform. Justin, we’re watching. Don’t let us down.