21 October 2015

Congratulations Canada!

The big news of the week comes from up north, where the Liberal party won a national landslide, ending nine years of Conservative party rule and taking 184 (up from just 36 before the election!) of the Canadian Parliament's 338 seats.

The key to the victory was the same as that for Democratic wins in our own country -- voter turnout, which reached 68.5%, much higher than in either of the two previous elections which the Conservatives had won.  The more people vote, the better the left does.  The Liberals came first in every province except Alberta and Saskatchewan.  In the four Atlantic provinces and the far north, the Conservatives were totally wiped out (note that, as in most of the world, red means the left and blue means the right):
In rejecting the Conservatives, Canadians were rejecting the toxic dogmas of austerity economics which have crippled Europe for years and which are advocated by the Republicans in the US.  Canada's Liberals stuck to their guns, refused to move to the center economically, and won.

The Liberals' platform also calls for immediate legalization of marijuana, which the Conservatives fiercely opposed.  Given the length and openness of the border, this will make the insane prohibitionism still prevailing in most US states even harder to enforce than it already is, and hopefully spur more states here to reform.  The outcome was also a vote to speed the shift to renewable energy and away from the destructive fossil-fuel development favored by the Conservatives.

With our Bible Belt, teabaggers, and other wearying forces of reaction, we cannot hope to do so well on a national scale -- but let's try to get as close as we can next year.


Blogger jenny_o said...

With all due respect, the overwhelming conclusion drawn by pundits, analysts and the voter-on-the-street in Canada is not that the Conservatives' economic policies were rejected but that the leader of the party was rejected. I don't think the Guardian got it right. Try the Toronto Star or anything on CBC. It is nearly impossible to overstate how disliked Harper was. His policies weren't bad; they aren't that far from Liberal policies. But the man was a tone-deaf control freak, and Canadians were fed up.

21 October, 2015 17:17  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

From the descriptions I've seen, the differences in policy were considerable. And if the result was a repudiation of Harper personally rather than an endorsement of the Liberals, one would expect the New Democrats to have gained some seats as well, or at least held more or less steady. Instead, they lost nearly half their seats.

22 October, 2015 06:02  
Blogger jenny_o said...

NDP and Green voters voted strategically; better to vote Liberal and be assured of Harper being gone than to split the vote and have him get back in. That's our parliamentary system for you. There are some policy differences between Liberals and Conservatives but they are far closer than they historically were.

22 October, 2015 09:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Well, possibly so. It's the practical effects that matter. Even the differences on climate change and marijuana alone are quite significant.

22 October, 2015 17:58  

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