To the editor,
Canadians who stayed tuned in to the election results late enough on Monday night were probably disappointed by party leaders’ closing speeches. Bernier accepted his humiliation graciously, while Blanchet was fittingly exuberant about the separatist Bloc Quebecois’ performance. Then came the NDP leader addressing a very enthusiastic packed hall in Burnaby; despite having lost 20 seats from the 2015 election and falling short of final predicted percentage polls, Singh was giving a victory speech. As this strange speech was drawing to a close, the cameras switched to Scheer approaching Conservative Party headquarters in Regina, but he had hardly begun to speak when the focus was switched to Trudeau arriving in Montreal’s Liberal Party headquarters. For a short while there were three leaders on a split screen, all talking to their supporters. This was a perfect vignette of how the leaders debates and most of the campaign had unfolded, with three of them talking over each other; it reminded me of an old sea shanty: “Three in a bed at the old Pier-Head.”
When the broadcasters figured out how to handle this Montreal curveball thrown in arrogance and stupidity, the speeches from the two main protagonists were equally disheartening, and not what Canadians needed to hear. More angry campaign rhetoric from both of them, with no indication of working together, as will have to be the case in a minority government situation. That Trudeau has survived, after a really terrible time with so many scandals is really quite amazing. Now he governs with only 33 per cent of the popular vote, and a paltry turnout of 65 per cent across the country means only about one-fifth of eligible Canadians voted for his leadership. He’s Mr. 21 per cent. The Green Party saw its oft-promised victories change to orange and red just like the autumn leaves, winning a sparse six per cent of the vote.
Voters gave parties a failing grade, but now realize that minority governments don’t usually last long. Chances are Canadians may be facing an election replay in 2021.
Bernie Smith, Parksville
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