We have a majority conservative government for the first time since 1993 and the first majority government since 2006. The numbers flashing on my screen say Cons 168; NDP 103; Lib 33; BQ 3 and Elizabeth May 1.
In a democracy, the people decide. In this case, enough people chose the Conservative Party. There will be those who will say that the Conservatives barely scratched the 40% popular vote needed for a majority. There will be those who say that 60% voted to the left of center. There will be calls again for a change in our first-past-the-post system. And all of those points are important and worth contemplating.
Nevertheless, all of those arguments should not disguise the fact that a full 40% of Canadians felt comfortable enough with the Conservative Party candidates to vote for them. That party is, of course, at a crossroads. The Conservatives can choose to be a party that can attract even more canadians into its tent. Or, it can choose to do what the Republicans in the United States have done: Play up the politics of fear and division.
Jason Kenney just came on CBC and told Terry Milewski to say that this will be a government for all Canadians. That is encouraging and hopefully a preview of what Mr Harper will also say.
A lot of Canadians I know voted actively against the Liberal Party and the Liberals need to work to understand the depths of feeling against them that was manifest in this campaign.
The NDP also has a lot of work ahead to prove that just as it can go from also-ran to Official Opposition it can also go from OO to government.