What went right?
It’s puzzling why most media report the election just past as a failure, a political car-crash. Apart from specific contests, and certainly for the NDP and Greens, and Liberals on the prairies, apart from them, what went wrong?
A minority government? Why a problem? Past minorities and multi-party cooperation have given us our best legislation, health care to social security. That a minority government can fall at any time and we’re forced into another election? Yes, but since when are elections such a punishment that we’re “forced” into anything? It takes 20 minutes to vote. Such alarmist reporting is tiresome.
No, comrade newscasters, elections are not punishments. (Although the pomposity and verbosity that comes with them is punishing.) Minority governments are governments on a short lead – not necessarily bad.
What else went wrong? A third of citizens didn’t vote? Yes, that’s a shame, but it’s close to the usual. Besides, a third of Canadians will object to anything – and a third will buy into almost anything, no matter how ridiculous.
How about asking what went right?
Two-thirds of Canadians did participate. Elections Canada, apart from dismal public information, ran the process across this huge, diverse country very well. Better than, say, our cousins to the south. Apart from a too-short campaign period (compared to our cousins), the issues were fairly well aired (minus a few glaring examples) and not drowned out by social-media swamp denizens. The so-called dirty tricks that so many newscasters report, over and over, were nothing special – no sexual accusations, corruption and bribery charges (despite SNC’s partnerships with both major parties) – not the dirt we see south of us.
What happened was that two-thirds of Canadians voted for action in response to climate change, and voters spread this support out across three parties, to guarantee action even in a minority government.
If Canadians had voted directly for climate action, with the Greens or NDP, either government would have been sunk by a corporate-media crusade similar to what sunk voter reform in BC.
Multi-party support, rather than a majority government, demonstrates a broad support from Canadians; it deflects blame for mixups or disasters, so no one party takes the hit for mistakes. Likewise, it disperses the targets for Big Oil’s forces. Who can the Fraser Institute blame when a measure is passed by members from every party in the House?
Lastly, by bringing all parties into the climate-change tent, even Alberta and Saskatchewan gain representation, gain a voice, which they had cut off from themselves
Given the problems facing us all, given their seriousness, 2019 was a very positive election, and it’s quite mistaken to see it all only in terms of party politics or as business-as-usual. Shaking up our first-past-the-post majorities? That’s very positive.