Last night, Canada’s federal election results rolled in and stunned the nation: 184 seats for the Liberals, a landslide majority win.
With only 34 seats in the 2011 election, the Liberals were not expected to even acquire the 170 needed for a majority. This was followed by 99 for the Conservatives, 44 for the New Democratic Party, 10 for the Bloc Quebecois and one for the Green Party (we love you Elizabeth May!).
And—yay Canada—there’s now a record number of 10 Indigenous members in the house of commons.
At the 2011 election, the Liberals held only 34 seats. The last time the Liberals held a majority government was in the year 2000.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Canada’s 15th Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin returns to his childhood home at 24 Sussex drive after a gruelling 79 day campaign race, which included Conservative slogans bashing Justin for being “just not ready.”
Apparently Canada is done with Conservative bullsh*t, and is ready to try something new. Or maybe we’re ready to just try anything else.
We can’t help but poke fun a little at Justin’s charm and sheen: bright-eyed and astute—with thick dark wavy hair and those bedroom eyes—he’s looking like a pretty good bet right now (but then, probably anyone would after Harper).
But as he proclaimed (repeatedly) in his victory speech last night, it’s really not all about him; it’s about all of us, and how much strength exists in our culture of diversity.
Albeit a little cliché, there’s nothing bad about refuelling the political climate with a little optimism.
He had me at hello when he Tweeted this about a year ago:
“The days when old men get to decide what a woman does with her body are long gone. Times have changed for the better.
#LPC defends rights.”
And ears perked up when the public found out about his unapologetic pro-pot stance.
Clearly his progressive outlook and outright rejection of our old boy’s club government appeals to many left-ish folks of our generation.
What’s more important is that, having grown up in the thick of Canadian politics, he has demonstrated a certain depth of understanding of how politics today (his party) is going to have to work differently than that of his father’s generation to be effective. This starts with reforming the voting system from our ancient first past the post system to (most likely) a proportional representation system, which, in many people’s eyes, is long-overdue.
Now that he’s in power, Canadians wait to see when and how this promised change will happen.
Liberal agenda priorities include:
- The Paris climate change conference on Nov. 30
- Raising taxes on the wealthy
- A promise to bring in 25 000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year
- A (long-overdue) federal inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women
- Stopping increases to First Nations education funding
I’m not going to lie: despite his cheesiness, I felt a flush of hope and relief last night—as I’m sure much of Canada did—as the Liberals stole the show.
But, we’ll still have fun poking fun.
Watch Justin literally get in the Ring (a 2012 clip from This Hour Has 22 Minutes):
And here’s John Oliver’s crash course on Canadian politics, with a little Mike Meyers on the side for good measure:
Author: Renée Picard