Monday, January 23, 2006

Not Exactly A Mandate...

...but we have a new government. A CPC minority. As of this writing, with possibly a couple of re-counts, there are twenty or twenty-one seats between the CPC and the Liberals.

All that has happened is that Harper and Martin have switched places. For awhile.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. We, as a country, are taking Stephen Harper for a "test drive." Kick the tires, blow the horn, test the throttle response. But we, as a country, also made sure that the brakes are in good working order.

That Alberta went solid CPC does not surprise me. That the CPC lost ground in BC also does not surprise me. That an Independent won in Quebec -- that surprised me. Apparently, a former radio "shock-jock." I'll have to check into this more later... Maybe the Rhinocerous party didn't completely disappear, after all.

I was listening to John McComb and Norman Spector, on the radio, talking about the results, and Norm made a comment that makes perfect sense, once you think about it...

Canada is a fragmented country. We are a country full of opposites. And the opposites don't trust each other to govern evenly. Tonight, the two fragments that split the vote were the Rural, who went for the CPC (and yes -- Calgary and Edmonton may be cities, but they are definitely Rural), and the Urban, who went for everyone else. Urbanites clearly do not want the CPC to perform any right-wing social engineering on them. Rural folk don't want anyone else to tell them who they have to allow to live next door.

So, it's over for -- what? -- a year? Eighteen months? Time to wind down, catch our collective breaths, and then start gearing up again for another election. Because there's always gonna be another election.

That's the interesting thing about living in a country that calls itself a democracy.

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