The Election Canadians Didn’t Want | Remark
By Dave Wilkin
In the end, it was a totally unnecessary and unnecessary election. There were no winners. Here are some highlights:
The Liberal vote share edged down to 33 percent, one percent lower than that of the Conservatives, winning a seat. Prime Minister Trudeau’s personal credibility took a hit for calling an election no one wanted just because he believed he could win the majority they wanted.
The Conservatives won the popular vote and maintained their share of pre-election seats. They failed to deliver in the must-see region of GTA / 905 and did not break through in Quebec. It appears that a dozen Conservative seats were lost due to the division of votes with the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), mainly to the benefit of the Liberal candidates.
The NDP managed to increase its share of the vote by a few percent, benefiting some from the trend in green votes, but it remained below 18 percent. They won one seat, but fell again in Ontario, winning just five seats.
The Bloc won a seat, but its share of the vote did not change.
The Green Party suffered an approximately 30 percent drop in vote share and lost a seat.
The PPC failed to win a seat, but managed to attract five percent of the vote. Most of the supporters were outside major urban areas and in the West. Interestingly, a few ridings in Ontario registered as high as 13 per cent share of the vote. It is not known whether their support will continue beyond the pandemic. They resemble the party of disenfranchised, angry and protesting voters, and may present an ongoing risk that goes beyond the Conservative Party.
Canadians were the big losers in this election. Justin Trudeau squandered over $ 600 million, shut down Parliament during a pandemic, and put Canadians at additional risk of COVID – all for an election we neither needed nor wanted. He left the electoral map essentially the same and the major cleavages remain: East-West, urban-rural.
So what could the new session of Parliament bring? We could hope for more cooperation, more MPs’ voices heard, less divisions and in fact more meaningful results. But it will require Justin Trudeau to learn from his past mistakes, recognize his shortcomings, and become more trustworthy. Empty campaign slogans like ‘Rebuild better‘ and ‘Big resets‘must stop. It would also require a return of the Liberal Party to the political center. Don’t hold your breath though.
The NDP’s continued support for progressive liberal policies means that Conservative influence on the tax front is ruled out. Here’s why it’s such a big deal. Since the 2008 stock market crash, high levels of quantitative easing, real interest rates close to zero and high spending at all levels of the economy have created record debt and real estate and stock bubbles. With Justin Trudeau “not thinking about monetary policy,” our economy and our future prosperity are increasingly threatened. When big bubbles deflate, as they inevitably do, history shows deep recessions or, worse, ensue. They can come from global events, like the Great Depression, the international debt crisis of the 1980s or the financial crisis of 2008. They can also come from domestic policy failures, as was the case at the end of the years. 70s and 80s under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. It took decades to fully recover.
Politicians too often fail to focus on the fundamental issues behind the big challenges, instead focusing on actions that seem attractive to win votes but which in reality do little to accomplish. Sometimes they make things worse. Excessively high housing costs are just one clear example.
COVID-19 has left Canada and the world weakened, divided and more in debt than ever. Canadians must pay more attention to what is happening in Ottawa, speak out and hold politicians to account to work together to achieve concrete and meaningful results that address the greatest challenges we face as that country. No leader or party has all the answers.
Dave Wilkin, Huntsville resident
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