When I read the results of the election online this morning, I thought back to 1993 when Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest were the only two tories elected to the House of Commons. Yesterday, 167 tories were elected to the House, giving Stephen Harper the majority government he appeared prepared to do just about anything to achieve. Harper’s victory worries me because the nastiness which he approved in the election campaign tells me more about the man than anything he says from a teleprompter. I don’t trust him and never will. I don't think that will cause him too many sleepless nights.
I’m happy to see the bloc quebecois nearly gone and I can only hope by the next election, they will be gone completely. I found it repulsive that a group of politicians committed to the break-up of Canada could be getting federal pay cheques and qualifying for those wonderful gold pension plans that our federal politicians enjoy. Good riddance to the former communist Gilles Duceppe.
Elizabeth May finally won her trophy seat in Ottawa. I talked earlier about May being the best example I could think of in terms of a political opportunist – prepared to contest an election anywhere as long as it got her elected. I still believe her goal is personal glory and she cares little for the electorate. She talks a good line as long as you don’t disagree with her.
Ignatieff got what he deserved. His attempt to portray himself as the common man reeked of political opportunism as well. I don’t know if his handlers were hoping for a reincarnation of Pierre Trudeau, but that’s not what they got. Justin Trudeau was re-elected in Quebec. Maybe the grits will crown him as the next grit prince or something. Something about style and substance comes to mind.
Finally, the new ndp official opposition is a rag tag band of experienced parliamentarians and some new ones who got there simply as default candidates. The best example is ndp candidate Ruth Ellen Brosseau who won the Quebec riding of Berthier-Maskinongé despite her well-publicized vacation trip to Las Vegas. So she now will get an annual salary of $157,731.00 just for putting her name on the ballot. From her place on the ndp website, her claim to fame is rescuing stray animals. That should come in handy as a member of the official opposition.
Congratulations to Ryan Cleary and Peter Penashue for winning their seats in St. John’s and Labrador. Both appear to be well-meaning guys who appear to have important constituent issues on their agendas. It will be interesting to see if Harper gives Penashue any role in government. Cleary would seem to be a natural choice for fisheries critic for the ndp although I wouldn’t expect to see any movement on his call for an inquiry. Harper can do what he wants now he has his majority and Newfoundland is not likely to benefit from much.
There are bound to be some questions about Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s effectiveness as a vote-getter for the federal tories. The provincial and federal tory parties are different creatures, even with different names. Dunderdale can’t help but be wondering this morning what the results of yesterday’s election might mean when she goes to the polls on October 11, 2011.
And, for anyone who missed it in the high stakes drama of election night, American actor Will Ferrell shaved off American comedian Conan O’Brien’s beard on television last night. It sort of puts things in perspective.