Monday, 2 May 2011

Where are we? In which direction are we heading?

Stephen Harper has won a majority as his party gains the most seats in the 2011 election. Our country has been shaken by the "winds of change" as the NDP now become the official opposition. A change that has come at the expense of both the Liberal party as opposition and the existence of the Bloc Quebecois.

What does this mean for Canada? Our country now has a government that has the ability to push all of it's policies without much trouble from other parties who may not agree with them. With the exception of Conservative seats that may sway to the left on certain subjects that is.

For the first time in the history of Canadian politics, the NDP have become the official opposition, a change that now bumps them from 4th place to 2nd and has opened the possibility that Canada as a whole may become a 2 party political system.

Where are we going?

It is impossible to predict where our country will go with a Conservative majority, but one can make speculations that many contested topics from before may be given the boost they required to become a reality. Our country will for sure become more compliant with the United States and as a result, our image of a peace keeping country may disappear as Canada becomes allied in more military actions on the international scene.

Trickle down policies will most likely continue, which will benefit the rich and mega corporations. However, now that the NDP have opposition, this may not be entirely true as the house will be greatly polarized. No longer will moderation exist, when we have two parties with very different philosophies, holding the majority of the seats in our government. Not to mention that many of these NDP winners did not even expect to have a chance at victory, greenhorns who will now need to take some quick lessons in order to keep up with many hardened parliament veterans under the Conservative party.

Sadly, voter turnout is expected to be even worse than it was in the last election. With so much optimism put forth with our young students, numbers fell to about 50% from 58% from 2008. Who did we mostly lose? Many Liberal voters have become disenfranchised due to leader issues and many have jump ship to the NDP or Conservatives.

In sum, I must openly say in my most free opinion that this election was not one of hope or good government, but one of fear and uncertainty. Mr. Harper was able to scare many voters into voting different through the main fear that change in party was change for the worse. Well, change has occurred and many new trends will arise from this election, but aside from Jack Layton's attempt to speak about change via hope, every other party did nothing but bash each other expecting to win with fear and this is where we must change.

I hope you all went out to vote and I urge you to continue asking questions, voicing your opinions, keeping little trust in those with the majority of power and looking forward to not only help yourself, but continue to help our country stay on the right path and be a positive and productive example for the international community.

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