election 2015. But I'm back online and ready to give my thoughts on Monday's election results.
Fundy Royal Goes Liberal
happy about it. I took the time to contact each MP during the campaign (and met many of them in person) and it was
Liberal candidate Alaina Lockhart who impressed me the most. Accessible, willing to listen, and pleasant to talk to she
passed the fundamental first test of any candidate: do they listen. This is especially important considering I have never
found former MP Rob Moore to be all that communicative. Numerous emails (both mine and others) were left
unanswered. And he was the only candidate not to get back to me with answers to my policy inquires. Both the NDP and
Green candidates were pretty good at getting back to me but both held opinions I found troublesome. I look forward to
seeing what Alaina does with the opportunity that has been given to her.
The 'Change' Election That Really Wasn't
New Democratic Party returned to its natural place in third, and a bit of random detritus rounding out the final few seats.
While those with short memories will find this a novel change it actually looks like a return to the Third Party System. Is
this return to two national parties duking it out while a strong third party challenges both a permanent change? Who
knows, ask me again after the next election. The fact is that the last ten+ years have been confusing for political scientists.
Was it a continuation of the fourth party system or a realignment in how parties relate to each other and the electorate?
We just don't know. Canada has traditionally had predictable elections punctuated by realignments that fundamentally
changed the system. It may well be that you could count the last few elections as a slow motion realignment. Or maybe
the framework of how the Canadian Party Systems have been classified is no longer useful.
Oh sure, the policy platforms are different but at a structural level this election is a return to the past.
Peter Stoffer & Pat Martin Defeated
Of the two I consider Peter Stoffer to be the greater lose. Peter was a dedicated, hardworking MP who was a consistent
voice on the left in favour of the monarchy. Peter Stoffer, you will be missed. On the other hand we have Pat Martin
who's foul-mouthed outbursts are well known. He is also a republican of the worse sort and I shed no tears over his
The Tories Remain In A Good Position
Previous Conservative defeats have left the party broken (and broke). Neither is the case this time around. The Tories
have a pretty good lineup of potential leadership candidates. If I have a concern it is this: the PC wing of the party took the most damage in this fight. And while it will most likely be rebuilt after the next election I fear it being rebuilt in the
image of western discontent. We'll see.
On a more meta level the Conservative defeat has buried talk of the left uniting. While the Conservatives might like to
believe they would hold power more often under a two-party, left-right system I am less convinced. A situation where the
left splits every third or fourth election is a recipe for governing more often, not less.
And then there are economic considerations. Canada has a housing bubble, China's economy is slowing, and Europe has
not fixed its structural issues that led to the Greece Default Crisis. In short, the next four years are not likely to be clear
sailing on the economic front. And if the Liberals falter the Conservatives will be returning to power real quick.
Much like the Liberals in the 1930s, the Conservatives may find themselves glad to have lost this one.
The Pirate Party Needs To Reflect
900 votes (down from 3000 in 2011). While this may well be a national trend (most other minor parties lost votes) the
Pirate Party needs to reflect on its role going forward. As a former leader of the party I can say with some authority that
party organization and volunteer retention is lackluster at its best. It needs to improve.
It is also true that if some of the minor parties joined together they would at least have a shot at relevancy. Perhaps a
thought for the future?