The night the political junkie in me resurfaced hardcore

Monday night was my first time since college that I had the opportunity to cover a federal election, making it the first time I’ve done so as an official, genuine reporter. It was an exciting night for me — waiting with baited breath to see whether Canada would welcome change or remain with the stagnant, and cheering on the Blue Jays as they battled it out in game 3 against the Kansas City Royals for the ALCS (American League Championship Series). For those of you who aren’t Canadian or huge baseball fans, this series is a BIG DEAL for us Canucks, particularly the ones close to Toronto because it has been 23 years since the Jays have been in the world series.

The election was also intense. This year, we had a formal municipal leader and strong member of the community under Canada’s opposition party, the Liberals, in a riding that has been strongly Conservative for about 20 years. And when I say strongly, I mean as in the running joke here is that a recycling bin could get elected solely for the fact that it is blue. Just an example, our Conservative rep steam-rolled his competition with over 60% of the votes in our last Federal election.

This was an insanely controversial election, and as the polls started rolling in, the Liberals were sweeping it on the Canada-wide level, and our Conservative and Liberal reps were only about 100 votes apart.

It’s been no secret on my Facebook page that I would not be voting Conservative this year. There were a lot of policies passed under the Harper government that I could not stand behind, the biggest of which being the anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51 (which has come under investigation by the UN for violating Human Rights) and Bill C-24 (although called the ‘strengthening Canadian Citizens Act, what it actually does is create a tiered citizenship system).

Based on this latter Bill, I have now become a second-class citizen under our current Government. I’m not an immigrant, and I have never applied for another citizenship. But under the way this law was written, because I am eligible for another citizenship due to my mother immigrating to Canada, I am no longer a ‘real’ Canadian, and could have my citizenship revoked.

There are a number of other reasons, such as I don’t believe Harper has the best interests of the middle class in mind, I feel that he ran a campaign based on fear and xenophobia, and so on.

There was a lot riding on this election for many people. Many of us have been calling for this to be the year for change; many are calling for it to stay the same. And most of us had little faith in any of the potential leadership, making it difficult to figure out who to pass our votes for.

Regardless of where my vote fell however, it was going to be an interesting night. By 10:30 p.m., the Jays were leading 10-4 and the Liberals were leading 182 ridings with the Conservatives at 97 leading. Ridings that were traditionally blue and orange were bright red and The Globe and Mail had called a Liberal government before even half the country’s polls were counted.

Most of my night was spent hanging out at our Liberal rep’s candidate party, as my colleague from one of our other papers was on Conservative duty. It was kind of cool to be there as a reporter. People kept coming to me to check the votes for our riding, as I had it up on my laptop, and I had the chance to have a lot of interesting conversations with acquaintances and people I never met. One of these new people told me they were impressed I had the grasp of politics that I do at my age. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’m nearly 30 and not as young as I look, but it was flattering none-the-less. Or maybe most 30 year olds don’t have a grasp on politics? Who knows.

In the end, our country elected for change at a surprising number, with the Liberals winning a rather large majority government. In our riding, while we still ended up blue, the results were closer than ever, with only a 4000 vote gap between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

The results of the election seem to have been a point for a lot of controversy. Many people have zero trust in our new leader, and feel like the death sentence for Canada has been handed out. There’s been a lot of cruelty between those who think Canada is heading to it’s doom and those who are more optimistic. 

Either way, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

And if all else fails, at least our new Prime Minister has really nice hair.


2 thoughts on “The night the political junkie in me resurfaced hardcore

  1. Well, my goodness that is HIM? WOWZA! He has more than great hair! LOL

    It’s just so interesting to learn about Canada’s political scene and this recent election…

    I really appreciate you sharing such a detailed description of the landscape *up there*…

    It’s sounds a bit familiar… lol

    SO exciting that you were given the opportunity to report on it!!

    1. Haha, there were actually a lot of tweets and articles from across the US about how good looking he is. They were highly amusing!

      Our political scene is VERY different than the US one, although at the heart of elections, we face pretty much the same type of situation. Like here, rather than voting for the person we want to lead, we actually vote for a local representative, called an MP (Member of Parliament). Our Prime Minister is selected based on how many ridings (referred to as seats) the party gets. It can get pretty frustrating, as sometimes the local rep is great, but the party leader is not, and vice versa.

      It was really exciting to report on it, though I am very thankful that there are no more elections for another three years. Three in the span of a year is more than enough for me! 🙂

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