Instead of giving Harper a majority mandate, Canadians chose to go to the left (completely overlooking the center, so it seems). A LOT LESS CANADIANS VOTED FOR HARPER. Keep in mind, however, that a lot less Canadians voted for us too... Actually, a lot less Canadians voted, period. Someone (a'la Obama) needs to find a way to entrance the youth of this land. Maybe youthful leadership? Just a thought.
While Liberals did not benefit from Harper's lack of strength, the NDP very decisively captured votes. The Greens did what they were expected to do. Certainly the abstentions hurt us. Layton ripped into us in the last few weeks about the abstentions. It was his whole base for his campaign: vote for me, I'm a leader, while Mr. Dion sat on his hands.
Canadians didn't give up on us. We held our urban vote in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver (for the most part, and only losing by small numbers where we lost), and parts of Eastern Canada. Don't forget the Ralph Goodale victory - by a huge margin - in Regina. Considering that we had a 2 year attack campaign aimed at our leader, and an untimely faux pas at the end (c'mon, like CTV or not, it was a blunder - any politician would have quickly cobbled together a platform-esque answer). We had momentum in the week running up to the election, then had that bomb dropped on the campaign.
Harper, meanwhile, has to be a little antsy. He DID NOT GET THE MAJORITY he was hoping for. Hoping for so much that he stopped talking about it in hopes that he wouldn't scare Canadians.
If you are a Reformer today, I laugh at you with glee... Your party will not be able to implement the frightening changes you all hope for. We know that your candidates were talking about killing a woman's right to choose... Not gonna happen. But, please, by all means, do try it. Go ahead, we dare you... Nothing will galvanize Canadians more than such a wedge issue. One of my Reformer friends told me in an email last night (he was managing a campaign in Alberta) that no-one will mess with their government for "at least" 3 years... Well, to be honest, there are a couple of things that may change that:
1) There is a law in the land that requires an election next Fall... lol... Let's see how we all handle that one. Someone needs to follow the law...
2) Start letting your MPs "un-muzzle" (good luck with holding them back another 3 years), and talking "conservative" (abortion, capital pun, etc.), and your sunk.
The biggest winners in this election were the people of Canada - another minority.
The biggest losers in this election were the Conservative base. The hardcore Reformers who - all across Canada (not just in Alberta) want to start another "religious revival Bush-lite" government up here... Sorry suckers... Canadians don't care for your line of right-wing-ism...