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Canada’s federal election results are in and it looks like the Liberals have made it to a minority government. The big upset seems to be Ontario, where the polls had shown a 50/50 split between the conservatives and the liberals, but the liberals took 3/4 of the province, pretty much sealing the deal.
Since I live in the US, I hadn’t paid too close attention to this election. All I really cared about was that the conservatives didn’t get into power. I probably align most closely with the NDP, idealogically, but the Liberals aren’t too far off. Had I been able to vote, I don’t know which way I would have gone. I would have been tempted to vote Liberal to try to ensure victory over the conservatives. However, assuming I liked the NDP platform better, I don’t know if I agree with voting for a party that’s not your first choice.
Also, I’m being a bit extreme when I say that Canada “saved itself” by not electing the conservatives. They’re nowhere near the American conservatives – they’re closer to the Democrats. Part of me likes to think that had they won, at least I wouldn’t be scared – like most of the Republicans scare the crap out of me (McCain’s the only example I can think of that isn’t terrifying.) However, the other part of me wants to shout that it’s too complacent of an attitude. I don’t want my country turning into “America Light.” I’m proud of the ideals that we (usually) stand for, and don’t think we should try to emulate someone because they’re our big neighbour. If we had to look to another country’s ideology for a guide, most of the western European countries would serve well.
I don’t understand why some Canadians want to move towards the American-style system. Are we trying to import the skyrocketing divorce rates, outrageous violent crime rates, low voter turnouts, low percentage of people who receive good health care, or bad world-wide image? Most of the advantages people cite are related to being wealthy. Yes, some things in the US might be better, on average, if you are wealthy. But I have news for the 99% of Canadians who aren’t wealthy – we’re going to be added to the bottom of the list, not the top.