Enough is enough.
Ever since May 2, we’ve heard nothing but bawling about how 60 per cent of Canadians voted against the Conservative Party of Canada. This is often accompanied by wide-eyed expressions of disbelief, handwringing and, sometimes, tears.
It’s time the lefties, all 56 per cent of them (the Green Party, in case you’re wondering, is not left), got over it. They sound like sore losers, which, in many cases, they are.
The Stephen Harper government won the election. Conservatives took 39.62 per cent of the vote. That’s a full nine points more than the Opposition NDP, which, apparently, carried Quebec with the help of anglophone airborne troops recruited in the Greater Toronto Area. More about that in a minute.
Harper’s team won as most majority governments have won since confederation – with less than 50 per cent of the vote.
So what? Now, suddenly, it matters? Where were you electoral reformers during Jean Chretien’s string of majorities?
Yeah, we thought so. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. So deal with it.
Sure, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a different political animal than all those who went before – he’s a bully who wields power with fewer scruples than a guy like Chretien or Mulroney, but then we all knew this before the election.
He was still, in the end, more appealing to more Canadians than scholar Michael Ignatieff, who was, according to the telly, an opportunistic carpetbagger Yank and a powermonger plotting a coalition with the Bloc Quebecois, an alliance that might destroy Canada.
Well, that’s no longer a problem. At least not at the moment.
The New Democrats are swaggering – overjoyed with their success, especially in Quebec.
But it will soon be reminded it has less influence in Parliament today than it did a month ago.
And the party’s historic sweep of Quebec looks like a hay fire – it started in a flash and will probably burn out just as quickly.
The NDP rounded out its slate in Quebec with parachute candidates who, in some cases, can’t speak the language of their new constituents.
Call us crazy, but this seems like a significant problem – especially in a place that harbours a great deal of resentment towards English Canada’s indifference to their language and culture.
If the NDP fails to effectively manage its stable of political neophytes in passionate Quebec, it risks setting off a new round of nationalism in the province.
That danger is increased because the party has such shallow roots in the place. Don’t kid yourself, the dangers are significant.
An additional problem will come when building a war chest to fight the next election. It is possible federal funding to political parties will be cut in the budget the Harper government is tabling next month.
New Democrat, Liberal and Green fortunes are going to sag.
This will now have the biggest impact on the NDP.
Its fledgling Quebec caucus will be responsible for raising the lion’s share of the party’s funding for the next election, which may be difficult. It’s an easy thing to toss a ballot for a party, but it’s something else to fork over your bread money to an organization you hardly know.
So the perils are large. The NDP may solidify its political position, and expand its wealth, but a far more likely outcome is that the party will see losses in both areas.
After four years of brass-knuckle politics, Harper will undoubtedly weaken his opponents and widen his base in the country.
Of course, disgruntled leftist Canadians can take the easy route and simply call for changes to the game – demand electoral reform. But who’s going to deliver?
The Conservative majority that stands to lose by such a scheme?
Handwringing, bawling and wide-eyed disbelief isn’t going to cut it anymore – it reveals you as a loser. A bad one.
Suck it up, Sunshine. Tory times are tough times.
The bully’s going to take your lunch money.