Wednesday, 21 October 2015 11:25

Liberals ride a positive wave to a win

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The longest election campaign in history came to an end Monday at 7:30 p.m. when the last poll closed.

That there has been a change in government wasn’t that surprising, based on polls leading up to election day, but what was surprising was the decisive majority win by the Liberal Party and leader Justin Trudeau.
Most pollsters had predicted a minority government situation, with either the Conservatives or the Liberals forming government, depending on who was asked.
As the polls closed in the Atlantic provinces and results started to be reported, a sea of red began to move across the country, with the Liberals sweeping the east coast and taking back seats in Ontario and Quebec that had previously been won by the NDP.
They even made headway in Alberta, with two seats each in both Calgary and Edmonton going Liberal in the sea of Tory Blue that made up some of southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the southeast side of B.C.
A good metaphor for the Conservative campaign could be a map on CBC’s election website showing the country broken into its various colours depending on the results of the vote.
Furthest to the east is red, then a mixture of orange and red with spattering of blue heading westward.
North is red and orange, and farthest west is again a mixture of red and orange. In the prairies, a sea of blue — an island unto itself.
On a map it looks polarizing and a little jarring. That’s how the Conservative Party’s campaign could be summed up.
They launched 78 days before voting day with a campaign based on fear-mongering sending a message that any party other than the Tories would be bad for business, bad for the economy, and overall bad for Canadian values and traditions.
They advertised “Trudeau isn’t ready” to be the prime minister, didn’t address the secrecy Stephen Harper injected into the government through his nine-year reign, and tried to instill fear in the electorate about one woman choosing to wear a hiijab to take a citizenship oath.
Whether they want to admit it publically or not, Conservatives could see the tide changing against them. In early September, they turned their focus to the economy. It was too little, too late.
The majority of Canadians started to make up their minds they liked Trudeau’s positive outlook and “real change” messages.
Support them or not — and we know, the majority of our readers don’t support them based on the election results — the Liberals had an historical and remarkable turnaround in fortune.
They entered the election 78 days ago in third place, knowing they would be fighting for every vote. Three years ago, when Trudeau took over as party leader, he began rebuilding. The party sought quality candidates in ridings across the country and Trudeau criss-crossed the nation, visiting with people and hearing their concerns. His methodical and positive campaign proved to be the winning ticket, earning the Liberals a sound majority with 184 seats.
Again while most Conservative pundits would disagree, that majority offers the country stability moving forward for the next four years.
When the Conservative machine heads to the backrooms to re-hash what worked and what didn’t the last three months, we hope they mark in the “con” column that voters aren’t fans of “negativity” and “hatred”.
Most Canadians don’t want a divisive government, nor a divisive leader.
All political parties should also take note of the public engagement this election and ensure there can be ways to increase voter turnout for the next one.
Canadians did well. About 68 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots, the largest turnout since the 1993 election, but we can do better.
In 1958, voter turnout was almost 80 per cent. Let’s get there again.
 Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor