Since I posted my useless blather just before the recent Canadian federal election, I feel like I should weigh in on the outcome. My thoughts are not trenchant or incisive, but then, neither are the thoughts of 95 percent of the pundits out there, whether employed by CBC or writing independently on their own blog.
The NDP. I'm sorry to see the party lose so many seats. We'll never know how much of that was attributable to racism, how much to the NDP's lack of preparation, and how much to Singh's weak performance in the House of Commons. Based on what I know of people and voting, I would say more of the first and second, and little of the third. But my completely nonscientific tiny-sample-size polling tells me many disaffected Dippers are going Green, and Jagmeet has to wear some of that.
I'm not into party politics, but I do want to have a strong choice on the left -- not just on climate change, but on all issues. I ask only two things of the NDP. One, be consistently and strongly in opposition to the Liberals and Conservatives, from a democratic socialist point of view. And two, invest resources in ridings other than the few enclaves already considered safe. This should not be an impossible dream. And yet.
Minority all the way. There was some good news in this election, for sure. I assumed we'd see a minority Liberal government, and I'm relieved that we did. I'm relieved to not have a majority government of any kind, and not a Conservative government of any kind.
Goodbye Mr. Bernier. The racist, xenophobic, radically regressive PPC did not win any seats, and Maxime Bernier is no longer an MP. Excellent news. I also support the party's right to exist and to speak freely. I'm disgusted by attempts from the left to shut the PPC out of the debate.
Hello Green voters. It's good to see the Greens gain ground, even though they are not my party of choice. I want to see more people vote for more parties that are not Liberal or Conservative.
Welcome back, Bloc. I also think the resurgence of the Bloc is healthy for democracy (although bad for the NDP). When I listen to the Bloc leader in translation -- not just now, but throughout my time in Canada -- I always admire them. With one important exception, of course: their racism and Islamophobia, hardly disguised by the label "secularism". I'd love to see the NDP represent democratic socialism as clearly and strongly as the Bloc Quebecois represents its constituents.
Electoral. Reform. Now. When I look at the colour chart and look at the popular vote, I have a renewed resolve to work on electoral reform in some way. I don't know what I can do, beyond supporting Fair Vote Canada, but there must be something.
We moved to BC in the middle of a referendum on election reform, and weren't eligible to vote in it. Now I've seen two referenda of this kind, one in Ontario and one in BC. Both were massive campaigns, and both failed. I believe we should keep trying. Huge electoral change won't happen overnight. We must keep working for this. But how?
Thank you, Vancouver Island. And finally, I am grateful for the good people of Vancouver Island, where we remain staunchly orange with a touch of green.