I am feeling the sting of defeat more this morning than I did last night when I was in a state of denial–unable to believe what I was seeing.
Here are some of my initial reactions to the federal election results.
Worst case scenario
For me, the results are my worst case scenario. And I’m not talking about the low seat total for the Liberal Party. For me, the worst case scenario is to have Stephen Woodworth continue to represent Kitchener Cente as part of a Stephen Harper majority. Enough said.
I told you so
I’m not normally an “I told you so” kind of guy but I told you so. The failure of the centre/progressive vote to back the candidate with the best chance to stop Stephen Harper gave him a majority government with total control over our country for the next four years.
At the same time, I’m not sure if the increase in NDP support in Kitchener Centre cost Karen Redman the election. Had she gotten that support though she would have been more competitive and had a chance at winning. I regret that didn’t happen. I knew that the Liberal base vote would remain strong and that the NDP was coming from too far back to win. While I told you so, I think that it probably would not have changed the results. I think that what we saw is that Kitchener Centre lived up to its reputation as a bellweather riding that goes to the party that forms the government.
But there is no doubt that the rise in NDP support did cost the Liberals many seats in Ontario–seats that couldn’t afford to be lost if Harper was to be denied a majority. The defeat of Liberal incumbents is a definite sign that only Stephen Harper benefited from the vote split. The same can be said of many ridings that the Liberals narrowly lost in 2008. These ridings, just like Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo, had strong, long history of voting Liberal that made them strategically smart if the goal was to form a more progressive government or to at least keep Harper’s power in check.
Now we need to live with the consequences of our choice.
My personal highlight
My evening had two highlights.
I got a non-voter to the polls. In part because I showed up at his door and we had some personal connections. Unfortuntately, he didn’t bring his ID but he did come when he had decided not to vote.
I was able to help an 89 year old woman get to the polls to vote. She was reluctant at first but agreed to come. She hadn’t wanted to ask for help but was willing to go when help came to her unexpectedly. After voting she admitted she felt better because she had voted.
Her dedication to the democratic process is something that many Canadians could learn from.
What is your reaction?
So what do you think about the federal election results?