First, where I was wrong.
I was wrong about Ontario. Ontario complicates everything… “Should I get on the wave? I don’t know. How warm is the water? Oooh feels cold.”
Yes, yes the NDP came alive in Ontario too, but more in the zombie movie sense of ‘alive’. And that left 905 Liberals cowering alone in their rumpus rooms while a crew of Tory Jasons slashed them to pieces.
Splits matter. I thought the surge was just enough to avoid that in Ontario. Wrong.
And that brings me to the real topic. What to do now?
Over on the Tyee there are a number of short squibs focused around the sense of doom that has descended with the new Tory majority. It’s mainly a group of cranky, cynical pieces written from the pit of despair.
I admit it. The tone and the content pisses me off.
Bill Tieleman returns to his first election column to say “told you so, shouldn’t have brought them down”.
So the alternative to a Tory majority is to keep them in power as a minority masquerading as a majority? If that’s the best we can do we might as well cede the country.
Tom Hawthorne basically does cede the country arguing that it’s hopeless and Harper will now live forever. “Harper versus the NDP,” Hawthorne says. “Sounds very much like what British Columbian New Democrats have faced for 60 years.”
That’s not analysis. It’s sulking.
But Hawthorne is right if the only response from the leftish side of the fence is strategic voting.
From now on NDP, Liberal, and Green voters can strategically vote until they are blue in the face, and it will always be a crap shoot between a Tory minority or majority. Our country needs a better vision than that of how to deliver the progressive government most Canadians want.
I see only one way forward. The centre-left majority in our country must respond to the great Conservative tactical advantage, the re-unification of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Ask yourself: What’s the one thing Harper fears going forward? What does he want to prevent in order to secure future majorities?
There is only one answer. Harper fears any higher degree of unity on the centre left. He’s very happy watching anti-tory votes splitting whether they do it in Suburban Toronto or on Vancouver Island. The Tories won over thirty seats by narrow pluralities. In many of them, the strategic voting crowd backed the wrong horse, showing how inexact an electoral tool that is. That’s his ticket.
Harper will be in despair when and if that opportunity disappears or is diminished.
How to accomplish that is an enormous challenge. And dealing with it does not mean a re-energized Liberal Party, a growing Green Party or the same-old, same-old NDP.
But I’m glad we’re finally on the cusp of real realignment across Canada. It’s been in the cards since Reform engineered their hostile takeover of the PCs. We just didn’t want to read the cards.