Step right up, come one come all, make time in your busy schedule during a pandemic to vote in an election that... solved absolutely nothing.
(Well, I guess the Liberals gained an additional seat, the Conservatives lost two seats, and the NDP also added a seat, so that’s something).
Other than the extremely minor shifts in seats, I cannot for the life of me understand why this happened.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first called a snap election over a month ago, it kind of made sense to me, as he was looking to secure a majority government and the Liberals were doing well in the polls. But as the campaign carried on, it became clear a majority government probably wasn’t in the cards for Trudeau, because this election became more of an annoyance than anything else.
I am no political scientist, but even after listening to Trudeau’s victory speech, I am still confused. I consider myself centrist in my political beliefs. I really do try and understand everyone’s point of view, and as a journalist, I genuinely do not try to pick sides.
But if this election did anything, it made people angry. Yes, Trudeau will be in power for two, three, or maybe even four more years, but I can’t help but think how much the political landscape will change in that time.
People are angry, and they want answers across the board. Be it the government’s pandemic response, health-care, jobs, or pipelines, there has emerged such a division across this country. During this election, we saw fringe parties like the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) headed by Max Bernier pick up steam, tripling the number of votes they received in 2019. No, they didn’t secure any seats, but the numbers are kind of astonishing when you look at the leaps parties like the PPC have made. In 2019, the PPC secured just 1.6 per cent of votes, or 292,661 total votes. This election, the PPC secured five per cent of the vote, and a total of more than 842,000 votes nationwide.
Parties like the PPC – and here in Alberta there is also the Maverick Party – will continue to gain a base because there are many Canadians who are not happy with the status quo. It shows in the numbers. If Trudeau doesn’t make impressive moves over the next few years, or if the Conservatives don’t find a better way to increase their support, parties like the PPC will continue to pick up steam.
When people turn against the politics they have always known, sometimes intense change happens. Look no further than the United States in 2016 with the election of Donald Trump.
If this election proved anything, it’s that toying with voters could lead to political demise if these next few years are handled incorrectly.