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The people have spoken

(Cartoon by George Longley)

The dust has settled, and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have received a second mandate as government, albeit in a minority role.

The Liberals will now likely need to look to the NDP, Green Party, and possibly the Bloc Quebecois for support moving forward.

Although it’s great to see Canadians using their democratic right to vote, despite record-breaking advance polling, voter turnout was actually down two per cent from 2015.

And with the aforementioned minority government, a serious question is exactly how long will it last?

Between 2004 and 2011, Canada saw three minority governments, leading to a total of four elections in seven years.

After all, the money parties and the public doled out for this election, which was filled with political rhetoric and so-called ‘mudslinging,’ the thought of heading back to the polls in two or three years is uninspiring.

Another issue is that of electoral reform. While Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister elect of Canada, the Conservative Party was actually the nation’s most popular choice, earning 34.40 per cent of the vote, while the Liberals hit 33.10 per cent.

While the system of how a government is elected isn’t simply black and white, it’s understandable to see the frustrations of those who voted Conservative, only to have that party not form government.

Due to the riding layout of Quebec, the Bloc holds major power in the House of Commons, despite receiving about half the votes the NDP did, and also less than the Green Party nationwide.

Supporters of those parties can justly say their voice won’t be heard proportionally in Ottawa for the next (hopefully) four years.

After all the back and forth political jostling, and ‘scandals’ of the past six weeks, it is time for all those elected, new and returning, to focus on the task at hand.

The numbers from election night show a deep political divide in Canada. Not only the Prime Minister, but Members of Parliament from Vancouver to St. John’s need to show leadership, and try to bring this country closer together.

Canadians sent a message that none of the parties were an overwhelming favourite, and it is now time for them to work together, on behalf of their constituents, and not focus on the games of politics.

(Cartoon by Lance Goosen)

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