It's been a couple of days and I still find myself thinking ahead to a bleak future. I share some ancestry with CBC pundit Rex Murphy, but I don't share his calm, as he dismissed anti-Stephen Harper zealots on Strombo the other night. He thinks people who think the worst of Harper and what he calls the Secret Agenda are working as fervently on their fiction as is Margaret Atwood. While I respect the heck out of Murphy, I still think he's wrong.
Abortion rights, net neutrality, a two-level medical system and the further attempt to turn Canada into a single-party political state are just some of the things I expect to be yapping about over the next four years. And like everybody else outside the Inner Circle, my yapping will mean diddly squat.
On the latter point, now in majority, expect the Conservatives to make gerrymandering an art. The next election will feature more seats, and not a single extra seat will be created that won't be set up to be a generational seat for the conservatives. The political map will see side-by-side leftist seats joined together to form a single seat and that extra seat will then be replaced (and then some) by the splitting into two of a single conservative seat. Some fancy border-making will be required. But the Conservatives will now have a few years and ALL taxpayers dollars to do exactly that. With no opposition. Despite NOT getting the majority of votes in the election Monday night. Again.
Fact: The majority of Canadians voted for the small L liberal side of the voting slate. That's because Canada is a liberal nation. Not a Liberal nation, but a liberal one. But we have a problem, two alternatives on the liberal side, versus the one united, coalesced conservative alternative. And, here in Ontario especially, the surging NDP candidates took votes away from incumbent Liberals (the reverse happened at least once, too) and Conservatives won a seat, despite getting, in some cases, less votes this time around than in losing two years ago.
Early in the election, news was made when one, maybe two, NDP candidates announced they wanted all their supporters to vote Liberal. The election was too important to allow Conservatives to enjoy their split-vote opportunity and win a seat without anything close to a majority of the votes. Had that act become province-wide, let alone nation-wide, today we would have a minority government led, in all likelyhood by either Jack Layton or Michael Ignatieff. The Harper Menace would be behind us.
There's little doubt that the NDP's success was also its own failure. A little less NDP surging in Ontario would almost assuredly have led to Jack Layton as Prime Minister before the summer was out. Instead, the NDP will be an opposition to a party that brooks no opposition. The impact that the NDP will have as the main opposition for the next four years is ZERO. The Conservatives will yawn through question period, obfuscate most of the time and say "none of your business" more than they should. They demonstrated that when all they held was power. Absolute power? Well, Rex, you are about to find the depths that can be plumbed. Sorry. You are wrong.
When last the conservative side of the aisle was similarly split, one of Canada's grand old political insitutions, the Progressive Conservatives, died to allow the Conservative party to emerge phoenix-like and represent the view of a sizable minority of Canadians. The lessons will now have to be applied to the liberal side. There is NO WAY, the Liberal Party, the so-called natural governing party of this country, will survive. Hat in hat, they MUST now go to the NDP and start the process of uniting the left. Free of the baggage of the old guard, the remaining Liberals must not allow the next election to be one of the right versus a fractured left. If they do, the conservatives might establish a control of the country that could last a generation. Or more.
Justin Trudeau will have to make the long walk with his colleagues to the offices of Layton. Behind the scenes, the melding of the two parties into, let's call them the Liberal Democrats, which sounds better on the tongue than Democratic Liberals, has to be in place this year. And for gawd sakes, no one should suggest Really New Democrat Party. I mean, when does New actually become OLD? Provincial allegiances will have to be re-examined to see if the national parties amalgamation seeps down to the provincial level or whether the current bifurcation continues. I have no idea how that goes. But it's gotta get done.
Otherwise, I REALLY will have to step up my lottery purchases to escape what I fear will be the very epitomy of the ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."
I'd rather be bored.