After 7 years of minority merry-go-round, Canada is back to majority rule. Stephen Harper's Conservatives pulled off a stunning victory Monday night by gaining a 166 seat majority in the House of Commons. The Liberals were virtually obliterated, the Bloc Quebecois was literally eliminated, and the NDP finally received its coronation as a legitimate political force. Or were they just the party-of-last-resort for a large group of pissed off, sovereignty-starved Quebeckers? If I live to be 250, I don't think I'll ever understand those people.
So where do we go from here? As I told all my horrified American friends, it's gonna be interesting as hell. You have to keep in mind, a Canadian Conservative and an American Republican couldn't be more different. But, the interesting thing about this current incarnation of Parliament is that the NDP, now the official opposition, is diametrically opposed to just about everything the Conservatives stand for. The two parties are in post-election insistence mode about how despite their differences, they will be able to work together for the greater good of the Canadian people. The cynical American in me is saying, yeah, right. The Canadian in me is willing to give peace a chance. But, it will be anything but peaceful.
Historically, Stephen Harper is an obfuscating control freak of epic proportions. He has been called everything from a douche bag to a dictator, and some other not-so-nice names I won't mention here. Now that he's procured his elusive majority, it's anyone's guess as to how this will play out. And we're stuck with him until October, 2015. It would take something beyond catastrophic to pull the plug on majority rule.
Much as I'm looking forward to seeing this all play out, I must admit that I don't feel the same sense of gloom and doom that I did back in 2004. Even with Osama now swimming with the fishies, it's going to take a few more decades for America to recover from the past decade; if it ever does.
No matter which country you call home, times are nothing if not interesting, and they will continue to be for a very long time. It doesn't matter where you are, or where you attempt to hide, politics will always find you. Resistance is futile.