The Canada Election Thread

by Shaker Superior Olive, hunkered in her yellow dog NDP riding, biting her fingernails to the quick hoping our Robot Overlord doesn't get his majority.

Well, hello there Shakers! Thank you for joining us for this bit of Canadiana. As I'm sure some of you are aware (as is everyone in Canada, lol, how could we not be?), major events are taking place here in the Great White North. Yes, that's right, love it or hate it, it's playoff season! We've gone through the first round, and sadly bid adieu to the Montreal Canadiens as they fall to their long-time rivals the Boston Bruins (ptui!). But the Vancouver Canucks are still hanging in there, winning in seven games against their hated rivals the Chicago Blackhawks (love Jonathon Toews, hometown represent!). Next up is Nashville…

Hmmm? Whassat? Oh. Oh, right. Election. Yeah, that's happening too. Happening right now, in fact. OK, we can talk about that.

When last we heard, Canada had called an election. Well, "called" is somewhat misleading: The Conservative minority government was forced to call an election through what is known as a "non-confidence motion." This can happen over a number of different issues, but usually occurs when a budget fails to pass—if the government can't get Parliament to agree on spending, it effectively shuts down. This time, though, a majority of MPs found the government in contempt of Parliament. This is the first time this has happened, though anyone watching Canadian politics for the last few years could have seen it coming.

So, it was with some anticipation and a healthy dose of dread—anticidread, like Jesus Jones Fridays—that I watched the election unfold. Typically, the fight for the most seats is between the Conservatives, led by Stephen "Uncanny Valley"* Harper in this election, and the Liberals, led by Michael "Iggy" Ignatief. They represent the (far-) right and centre, respectivally. A third party, the New Democratic Party (NDP) led by Jack Layton brings in the left-centre-left. There is also the Bloc Québecois, which is a federal seperatist party (…yeah, welcome to Canadian politics) and only runs candidates in Québec, and the Greens, which have never won a seat.

This election started much like any other, with the incumbent Tories in the lead in the polls. With more than two parties, in Canada it's generally said that ~40% will get a majority, and they had numbers in the mid-to-high-thirties. The Liberals were in 2nd, though far back, and the NDP 3rd, with the Bloc in the high thirties in Québec.

But then, a funny thing happened on the way to the election. The NDP surged. And gained ground, on the Liberals, the Bloc and on the Tories. They surged, and kept on surging right into second, just behind the stagnant Tories.

So, what does this mean? It means Imma need a bottle of Tums to watch the results come, is what this means. Will the Tories win yet another minority government, or will they (read: Harper) finally get the majority they've been craving because of vote splitting on the left? Will the NDP form an opposition government for the first time ever, or can they really unseat the Tories and form a government—for the first time ever? Will the NDP and Liberals have enough seats together to outnumber the Tories and form a coalition government without the help of the Bloc? Will the Greens get elected for the first time despite the appalling treatment of Elizabeth May? Will my own riding flip from NDP to Conservative for the first time ever? Tums! I need TUMS, dammit!

*TM Catie Cat.

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