It's just a week after the Canada's federal election and the battle of interpretation is still raging. Some see a right-wing blue surge, others a dichotomy between Quebec and Canada, while the polls indicate a contradictory phenomenon. But looking at the shift between the NDP and the combined Tory/Liberal vote, both long-term and between the last two elections, a different picture emerges -- of an eroding but concentrated corporate vote, and a surging NDP vote. This points to a left-wing shift in people's consciousness that creates possibilities for change, if we can combine opposition inside Parliament with movements outside.
Harper's optimism, people's pessimism
Since the publication of my book Rogue in Power, I have called the attention of my readers to two main points. First, I wanted to underline the significance of a mass vote against the Conservatives, taking into account the particularities of each riding. Second, I invited the members of civil society to imagine today what kind of mobilization we will need after the elections. In essence, even if we imagine that Stephen Harper and his team lose the next elections, which I highly doubt, we will need to do a lot of work to rebuild the Canadian institutions and democratic practices needed for the maintenance of the rule of law.
Election 2011: rabble.ca has chosen 10 key ridings across Canada for progressives to watch in the run-up to the May 2 vote, and asked local writers to assess them. The profiles highlight why the riding profiled is important and issues local campaigns are focused upon.