The political landscape I grew up with has been flipped upside-down and turned inside-out.
As one of the ‘youth’ voters, I have grown up with Larry, with the Conservatives and the Liberals being the “only possible governing parties,” with the NDP constantly being dismissed as “impossible,” with the BLOC painted as a separatist threat to Canada, and the Greens seemed forever doomed in our first-past-the-post electoral system.
Last night, I watched the results pour in from across the country with amazement and disbelief, shock and joy.
Jack Layton is the leader of the official Opposition!
Ignatieff and Duceppe, leaders, both lost their seats.
Harper won a majority, with a minority of the popular vote.
Elizabeth May beat a cabinet minister and finally won a seat.
With so much change and excitement happening in the “boring” politics of Canada, the big question I had this morning is:
What does Canada mean to you?
Write your answers down today and, over the coming years, refer back to your own words, as you (re)discover all the different ways that you can be an activist.
You can be someone who works hard, to fight with words and letters, petitions and protests, who learns about how our parliamentary system and electoral systems actually function, by talking over coffee or tea with others and writing letters to the editors, to keep your vision of Canada alive.
Democracy is not something that happens once every four years; it should be something that is lived and breathed with a passionate drive every single day.
Let us work together as a country to be a country that supports, respects and responds to its citizens.
The time is now to start thinking about what comes next for Canada. Pick up your pen and go.