It was Election Day in Canada yesterday, and people all across the country cast their ballots.
There is no electronic voting in Canada yet, so gymnasiums and halls everywhere set up the polling booths, and many thousands (I haven’t seen the final count of voters yet) marked their ‘X’ and deposited their ballot in a box just like this:
The results seen last night – were indeed a shock! A major party (we have at least 5 in Canada) got many less votes than anybody expected – and we have a majority government, for the first time in a while. This means, of course that the government has more freedom in passing laws, but also can mean a lot less control in which laws they decide to pass. The only reason we had this election was because the governing party was a minority, and were defeated in a non-confidence vote over the budget – just one of the hazards of a minority government.
One of the issues in voting in Canada is that casting a vote for a representative in a riding, is also casting a vote for that party’s leader. So a voter has to weigh the candidate with the leader to decide their vote. It makes it tough – if you like a candidate, but don’t like the leader (or the party lines), how do you vote?
The three major parties – Conservative (our new majority government), Liberal, and New Democrat - generally battle it out, and for the first time in history, I believe, the NDP are the official opposition in Parliament. In our riding, a new-comer to the political scene has won his seat with the Conservative party – should be interesting to see how well he represents the local issues.
There’s also the Green party – a very minor party in this country, that stands behind their name – always, only, and ever, for the ecology – but no apparent knowledge of, or interest in, the myriad other issues that a country faces every day. They actually won a seat!
And the Bloc Quebecois – only exists in Quebec, and only exists to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada (in name only, they still want the benefits of our social, financial, and military systems). I’m not sure how they think they could ever get a large enough following to accomplish their goals, when only the voters in one province can vote for them. But they have 6 seats.
I was surprised to see a Marxist candidate on my ballot – I’ve never heard of them before, and they certainly weren’t on any of the TV ads that I saw, or participated in the debates. Interesting!
I didn’t mean to rant on like this – I can only hope I haven’t said anything to upset anybody. I do wish our new government all the best for the next few years (and hopefully it will be a few years – we could use a break from elections and the expense that goes with it).
Happy day after elections! Blessings, Peg