T-1: Live Blogging the Election #elxn42 #canpoli #cndpoli

So, I thought I might have something profound to say for my final post in this series.

But, as I sit here at 6pm on election night, watching election results (CTV on TV, CBC streaming on YouTube) plus about half a dozen other web sites open in my browser, and after spending most of the day pulling vote for my local NDP candidate, I think I’ll go to a patented “random thoughts” post with a bit of a live stream thrown in for good measure.

(Hit “Reload” to see the latest updates.)

  • In some ways, I like that the polls close in a staggered fashion since the blackout on results until BC polls closed never worked, especially once the Internet allowed us to easily share information across the country.  But right now, the TV is showing 32 Liberals leading in the Maritimes and no other party holding even a single seat.  So I wonder if that could influence voters in other parts of the country who haven’t voted yet?
  • It’s a weird thought but the reality is that the NDP could lose seats tonight and end up with more power.  What that means is they had their 2011 breakthrough and won Official Opposition but that was all but meaningless since Harper got a majority. But now, if the NDP end up with the balance of power in a minority situation, they could end up actually having more power and get more of their priorities moved forward.
  • If the NDP *do* support the Liberals in a minority government, my hope is that some movement on proportional representation is one of their first joint initiatives.
  • Weird factoid of the day: Pierre Trudeau was originally a supporter of the CCF in Quebec but he realised he’d have a better chance with the Liberals.
  • If the Liberals do win, I will take some great measure of satisfaction in Stephen Harper losing to a Trudeau after Harper was basically inspired to get into politics to oppose the legacy of Pierre Trudeau.
  • In my world, we always talk about how much impact social media has (or doesn’t have) on elections.  But I think a bigger question is how much impact polls have. I mean, every night the TV reports the *national* polls showed the Liberals growing.  That’s not necessarily relevant to local races yet it can unduly influence local races.
  • Could CTV give more coverage to their former colleague, Seamus O’Regan?  (Lloyd Robertson has a good quip though: “You’re looking at a guy who now has a real job; not just a TV personality!”)
  • The failing fortunes of the NDP are offset in my mind every time they announce another CPC Minister has lost their seat. 🙂
  • The length of the campaign is something else that will also have to be discussed.  I think the CPC thought they’d bankrupt the other parties but it allowed the “Just Not Ready” candidate to *get* ready and grow.
  • Lots of nautical analogies in the Maritimes: “Trudeau’s rising tide”, Peter McKay: “Tides come in and tides go out”, etc.
  • Here was my post-mortem after the 2011 election.
  • Watching Nenshi on CTV.  I suspect, like past Calgary mayors, he’s a Liberal.  But if he ran for the NDP, I wonder – could he be our Obama?
  • They just showed the Trudeau kids playing with light sabres.  I’m getting to like that man more and more. 😉
  • 7:20pm – Blue Jays are spanking the Royals 9-2 in the bottom of the third.  There are studies that show correlations between positive sporting events and politics. Does Trudeau get the Blue Jays rub if they win tonight (or go on further?)
  • Hypothetical: Would things have been different if Stephen Harper hadn’t run again since the current government is so closely associated with him?  I love that one final act of hubris by that arrogant bastard could upend a decade of trying to replace the Liberals as the natural governing party of Canada in small, incremental steps.
  • Hindsight now but how would the NDP have fared under a different leader?  (I’ll probably have more to say more on that in the days to come but right now, I’m still a Mulcair supporter for the most part for a whole host of reasons.)
  • 26,000 watching the YouTube livestream of the CBC feed
  • 7:32pm – Still 33-0 for the Liberals.  C’mon Quebec!
  • 7:40pm – Liberals declared as government.  Still no call about majority or minority.
  • 7:50pm – Outside pick for turning point in the campaign?  When Justin Trudeau beat Patrick Brazeau in that charity boxing match.  No one expected lanky Trudeau to beat heavily-muscled, bad-ass looking Brazeau but everyone underestimated Trudeau but he proved them wrong. Now history is repeating itself. (And Brazeau ended up voting for Trudeau too!)
  • 7:53pm – Conservatives declared as Official Opposition.
  • 7:58pm – Andrew Scheer is declared in Regina-Qu’Appelle undermining my theory that the NDP having a candidate with rural bonafides would help.  It did a bit but not enough obviously.  Oh well, at least I got to spend this beautiful election day walking around my riding while pulling vote for the NDP and chatting with some of my neighbours. 😉
  • I wonder if Scheer will be in the conversation to replace Harper.  I don’t see his name popping up in the speculation but think he’s an under-the-radar contender – young, roots in Ontario but long time in the West, bilingual, obviously ambitious as the youngest Speaker in history. [2016-04-28 – Edit: Called it! A Leader Post story today speculates that Scheer could run.  One point I forgot to make – as Speaker he has more distance from the widely disliked Harper-era votes & policies than most other potential candidates.]
  • 8:18pm – Liberals flirting with majority status.  Cons at 98, NDP at 23, BQ 9 and Green 0.  My pre-election predictions were *way* off.
  • I had Liberals 126, Cons 124, NDP 85, Green 2, Bloc 1.
  • 8:22pm – “Vegas Girl” Ruth Ellen Brosseau has won.  Yay for proving all the haters wrong.  (Uhm, I should do a quick blog search to make sure I never insulted Trudeau for being “just a teacher”) 😉
  • 8:25pm – All along, I was hoping the pollsters got it wrong.  They did but not in the way I hoped.
  • 8:33pm –  Liberal Majority Government called.  Well, shit.
  • 8:36pm – Can we *please* ban public polling in the next election?  Did any of them get it even close?Canadian Pollsters Got It Wrong 2015
    Canadian Pollsters Get It Completely Wrong 2015
  • 8:37pm – I had mixed emotions after the 2011 loss – NDP becomes Official Opposition but Harper majority.  It’s sort of the same thing this time – Liberals gain majority (which is not great but *way* better than Harper) but NDP collapses.
  • 8:44pm – It’s great that both kids pick tonight to refuse to go to sleep.  Pausing election coverage is worth than pausing a sporting event!  (Hmm, time to go check Blue Jays’ score.)
  • 10-4 in Bottom of 7th.  At least there’s something that all Canadians can get behind! 😉
  • 8:48pm – weird thought but maybe this loss was necessary for the NDP to learn some lessons – stay true to your values, don’t take anything for granted, find a way to get around the interests of powerful corporations/media/individuals – which could help them in the next election.
  • Could this signal a return to (relative) normalcy for Canada?  Let’s hope so.
  • Who will replace Stephen Harper?
  • If he’d lost seats but held the balance of power, no.  But Mulcair might have to resign too.  At the same time, he had a huge challenge coming in as Jack Layton’s successor which were huge shoes to fill.
  • To look on the bright side, I’m a lot more used to the NDP having 25-35 seats than 100+. 😉
  • 8:57pm – Brian Mulroney (!) with a very insightful statement from a guy who’s been there.  “I won because I wasn’t Pierre Trudeau.  Jean Chretien won because he wasn’t me.  And now Justin Trudeau has won because he isn’t Stephen Harper.”
  • Also gets a dig in on Harper – “Of course, I never had to face a loss like this.”
  • Given the way Harper has degraded our politics, I fully expect a bunch of venomous attacks on Justin Trudeau similar to what Rachel Notley gets in Alberta, completely against the stated will of the people.  Sad but we seem headed down the American road where ultra-right wing partisans just attack, attack, attack no matter what logic or common decency might say.
  • 308/CBC PollTracker had the Liberals Max at 185.  They’re at 185 right now.  So technically not wrong but the Average prediction was 146 seats so honestly, quite a bit off.
  • 9:06pm – 37,000 watching the YouTube stream
  • Shea just posted this on Facebook: “So VERY VERY VERY happy to see Harper get the boot! I was hoping for the NDP to hold the balance of power in a Liberal minority but anything is better than the last ten years. Be good to us Justin.”
  • 9:15pm – Regina-Lewvan is currently 35.5% Conservative and 35.2% NDP with the Liberals at 26.8%.
  • Reading lots of speculation about how things might’ve been different if Jack Layton hadn’t passed. Interesting to consider but there are so many “What if’s” you can go to – I think I already asked “What is Harper had resigned before this campaign?”  “What if someone else had won the NDP leadership?”  “What if the Conservatives hadn’t raised the issue of the niqab?”, etc. etc.
  • 9:27pm – is weed legal yet?  Because I think I’m hallucinating.
  • 9:36pm – Tom Mulcair wins his seat.
  • 9:37pm – …and Mulcair quickly takes the stage to speak now that his seat is confirmed.
  • 9:46pm – Somewhat ironic, especially with the Bloc leading in 10 ridings but Gilles Duceppe is behind in his riding and might be the only leader to lose his seat.
  • Just realised my times will be a bit off on some of these updates as I’ve been watching but pausing at various points to deal with kids, chat with Shea, post to Facebook, etc.  I’m about 5-7 minutes behind.
  • 9:52pm – Line of the night Shea saw on a CBC feed: “When Harper wakes up tomorrow, Nenshi will be his mayor, Notley will be his Premier and Trudeau will be his Prime Minister.”
  • 9:58pm – CPC has announced Stephen Harper will be stepping down but no sign of the guy yet.
  • 10:00pm – Here he comes.  This will have to be my highlight of the night I guess.  Don’t let the niqab hit you in the ass on your way out the door! 😉
  • 10:14pm – yep, Gilles Duceppe is the only leader to lose his seat.  So there’s that.
  • 10:15pm – Harper refuses to say he’s resigning in his concession speech and instead, has the party issue a press release.  Sore loser to the end.
  • 10:21pm – Here comes the new Prime Minister.  I’ll steal a Facebook comment from a friend since I agree with most of it:
    While not quite the shift to the left that I wanted, I can go to bed tonight with a true feeling of optimism that the next 4 years will not be filled with policies of austerity, fear, xenophobia / islamophobia, and racism.I’m hopeful we can get back on track for environmental preservation, and freedom of science and research.I’m disappointed C-51 will remain, I hope C-24 is repealed. I wish for electoral reform. I hope for removal of mandatory minimum sentencing. I hope for policies decriminalizing drugs, and ending the war on drugs.

    I hope our military stays out of the middle east, and instead we can focus on relief and aid. I hope we take a serious look at our endorsements and relationships with Isreal.

    I hope the Liberal party rejects the Trans-Pacific-Partnership.

    I hope there will be a proper inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

    Overall I’m happy we’ve voted for change. And stood up against fear, austerity, and deceit.

  • Trudeau says NDP activists (well, the translator said “militants”) should remember the Liberals recently suffered a major setback but not to be disappointed or stop fighting for what they believe.
  • Regina-Qu’Appelle Lewvan and Kenora are two *very* close ridings I’m watching but I’m sure there are others.
  • Nice story from Trudeau about telling a Muslim mother that he’d fight for her daughter’s right to wear whatever *she* chooses.  “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”
  • Wow – as he wraps up, our new Prime Minister almost sounds like Jack Layton. 😉
  • And Craig Oliver on CTV is now *slamming* Harper – intolerance, lying, cheating, report on your neighbours.  “This is a night many of you feel we should say nice things about Mr. Harper but he was caught lying.”  Wow.  But Oliver’s also implying that Mr. Harper started his mandate by promising openness and hope and accountability and truth and almost everything Trudeau just promised.  “Some of us wonder if that’s even possible in modern politics anymore.”  Ball’s in your court, Justin.  Prove him wrong.
  • NDP total of ~41 seats is still one of their best results ever (43 in 1988 and then obviously 103 in 2011 was going to be hard to repeat, no matter what.)
  • Update: NDP ended up with 44 seats after taking all of a handful of close races they were in.  So yes, still second best result of all-time which is a positive.  
  • 2011 – 61% turnout; 2015 – 67% turnout (with votes still being counted so not a final number)  (Prairies at 69%)
  • We *need* proportional representation!  NDP got 19% of vote and only 12% of seats.  Will Trudeau keep that commitment now that he has a majority or will he once again forget now that his party is out of the wilderness?
  • Bill Daniel Blaikie just won in Elmwood-Transcona in a nail biter!
  • YES!!! Erin Weir has just won by a razor-thin margin (143 votes out of  48,000 cast!  And that out of 63,000 registered voters) in Regina-Lewvan  over Conservative Trent Fraser. (If he’d lost, I’d have felt major guilt.  I had the choice to volunteer in his campaign which I knew was the best chance for an NDP win in Regina but elected (ha!) to stay in my home riding and close to home out of loyalty to where I live.)  I got to know Erin a bit during the last Sask NDP Leadership campaign and he really grew on me – I think he’s uber-smart and contrary to what some people see as his stiff-economist personality, he’s actually super quick and funny too.

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