The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The election nobody wanted

The election that nobody wanted has ended up transforming Parliament and possibly Canadian politics.
- Cross Country Checkup, Sunday May 8, 2011

5,832,401 voters voted for the Conservatives. A large majority of them had been long frustrated by the limitations of a minority government and wanted a Conservative majority.

4,508,474 voters voted for the New Democrats, the majority of them in Québec. Whether they were voting for Jack Layton or against the Bloc/Liberals/Conservatives, that Québec majority were seeking change in the status quo.

31,900 voters specifically voted for Elizabeth May in her own riding. They definitely wanted to bring in someone new.

Possibly even more Canadians wanted change, but we cannot say for certain. Even where the vote may have been against Harper rather than for a different party, was it a vote for change or simply a vote against a Conservative majority?

But even setting these uncertainties aside, it seems that out of some 14,720,580 votes: over 10 million Canadian voters clearly wanted change in Parliament.

In a democracy, by definition, change comes through elections. Can we please stop calling this election the election that nobody wanted?

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