Canada's progressive parties (ie the Greens, Liberals and the NDP) owe the progressive majority in Canada a very big apology. They (together with the country's electoral system) are primarily to blame for the fact that a 39% share of the vote translated into a majority conservative government. It's a silly system where such a minority of the vote (a significant minority of the vote against a 58% share on the progressive side of things) can attain majority power. I for one hope that the NDP and Liberals will stop slaughtering each other, get their heads together and create a social-liberal party along European lines to stand against the conservative minority in the country that otherwise will keep on running this place in perpetuity.
Part of the Liberal Party of Canada's problem is that it is not so clear any longer what it is that it stands for, ideologically. The liberal matters (privacy, abortion, gay rights, name it) have by and large been decided in Canada in support of liberal core values. It's not clear what else the party would have to offer to its electorate unless the conservatives decide to undermine those rights. Incidentally, how little the party has left in terms of ideological conviction is best displayed by the election of its Kingston and the Islands candidate, Ted Hsu. Hsu, a self-proclaimed pro-lifer, ran on a platform that was decidedly incoherent. He droned on about liking the Cuban health care system yet wanted to contract out government services. His campaign within the Liberal Party's for selection for the local candidacy for parliament was - in my judgment - decidedly homophobic in its implicit attacks on the only openly gay candidate who was also competing in that race. All of this - these days - is fair game in the so-called Liberal Party of Canada. You might want to study Hsu's supporters attacks on me on this blog. They truly speak volumes. It is no big surprise then, to my mind, that the Liberal Party of Canada has been reduced to what it is today. Political liberalism would show itself to be decidedly intolerant toward such behaviours and views. Hsu, by the way, won the local race. His main competitor on the conservative side of things was a candidate whose main claim to fame was that she doesn't like paying taxes. The choices the local ridings were given by the two mainstream parties (well, as far as the Liberals are concerned, formerly mainstream) were painful to watch in action.
One of the few bright sights in this election was that of the Green Party leader Elisabeth May getting elected to a seat - incidentally unseating a conservative government minister. Having been a Green politician in another life I am naturally thrilled that she made it, alas even the Green contribution to the vote splitting will undoubtedly have helped the conservatives attaining majority power.
Well, there we go, alea iacta est...