The pollsters said that Justin Trudeau could not win a majority. Eric Grenier of threehundredeight.com said that Trudeau would win between 124 and 161 of the 185 seats where the Grits stood a chance. Boy, was he wrong. The Grits won 184 seats.
This was because of seats like Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, two ridings where the Liberals were said to have little to no chance. It looked to be that the Conservative candidates Douglas Horne and Mike Murray were in the lead, followed closely by Sara Norman and Bob D’Eith of the NDP, with Grits Ron McKinnon and Dan Ruimy well behind. A late surge in the polls, however, rocketed the two Liberals to victory in these two formerly safe Conservative ridings where the Liberals received only 8.27% and 5.38% in the 2011 election.
Most of the ridings in Metro Vancouver were not close at all. More than ten ridings in Metro Vancouver were safely taken by Liberals, while Vancouver East, and Vancouver Kingsway were comfortably taken by the NDP, as well as the seat of Opposition House Leader Peter Julian, who took New Westminster-Burnaby.
There were a few close ridings in British Columbia. Like the riding next to Peter Julian’s, Burnaby South. Though Burnaby South had been a safe NDP riding, the same last minute surge experienced by McKinnon and Ruimy put the riding in jeopardy of being won by Liberal candidate Adam Pankratz. Kennedy Stewart, the incumbent MP from Burnaby-Douglas, ultimately won the seat by 547 votes.
In the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam, incumbent Fin Donnelly managed to defeat Jessie Adcock of the Liberal Party and Tim Laidler of the Conservative Party. A late surge in popularity for Adcock made it close between Donnelly and Adcock. Donnelly strolled into his Election Day event at Pasta Polo late Monday evening in his orange sneakers to cheers and applause, and held a press conference to thank his volunteers and supporters.
The mood in the room was mixed with both joy and disappointment, as the NDP had lost most of its seats by then. “I know that this wasn’t quite the national result that we were looking for. I know I lost a few great colleagues,” said Donnelly.
Such was the mood across the nation of Conservatives and New Democrats. The Conservatives had their ten-year reign on the Canadian political throne ended abruptly, and the New Democrats lost their first opposition status. The biggest losers of the election were by far the New Democrats.
After ten years of Stephen Harper, there was a sentiment that the country needed change, change that Canadians found not in Tom Mulcair, but in Justin Trudeau. The downfall of the Conservatives was that of anti-Harper sentiment. That after ten years of Conservative rule, people had had enough. Similar to the anti-status quo sentiment that had brought Mulroney, Chretien, and Harper into power.
The sudden downfall of the NDP was much more complicated. In Quebec, the NDP’s strong stance on the niqab lost them votes. Across Canada, the promise of a balanced budget seemed to mirror that of Harper’s plan, which turned anti-Harper voters towards the Grits. But their true downfall came in the form of a 78-day campaign. Unlike the Grits and the Tories, the NDP did not have the experience, the funding, or any capability of running such a long campaign.
The biggest winners, of course, were the Liberals. They have a majority in the House of Commons, meaning that for the next four years, the Liberal Party will have virtually unlimited power to pass and block legislation. This victory seemed stunning, even for the most optimistic Liberal supporters, as a majority was not predicted.
So over thirty years after the last Trudeau left office, the new Trudeau enters. Like father, like son, as Trudeaumania 2.0 ushers in a second Trudeau, who, according to social media, is even more handsome that the first one. And there’s nothing wrong with a political dynasty. After all, when has electing the son of a former head of state ever gone wrong? Queue George W. Bush please.
What does it all mean?
The Liberals have promised lower taxes on the middle class and to run deficits, possibly until 2019, in order to stimulate the economy and invest in economic job growth in the midst of a recession. It has also pledged to raise taxes for the richest Canadians.
For high school students, the Liberals have promised $2500 more in benefits for families with children. In addition, people will not pay a dime in student loans until we begin to make $25,000 per year. With the interest on those student loans being paid by the government. Liberals will also legalize marijuana, but people will have to wait until they’re 19.
On national security, Trudeau’s Liberals have also promised to cease bombing missions on ISIS. It is clear that this new government will be much less interventionist than the Harper government. They have promised to repeal the controversial aspects of C-51, that allow spying on citizens only with a warrant. The Liberals have also promised to scrap the expensive F-35 program in favor of a cheaper program.
On other issues, Liberals have said they will allow entry to 10,000 Syrian refugees by next September, and 25,000 in total. The promised to launch an investigation into murdered and missing Aboriginal women, for which everyone can celebrate.