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
Stephen Harper had the 2011 election won before the writ was dropped. All he had to do to win the most seats was not lose popularity during the campaign.
Harper won the May 2 election through months of expenditures of public money prior to the election making fraudulent claims about a Canadian Economic Recovery, though it was clear to keen observers that the economy still needed to recover.
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So what made this Harper majority? Time for some sobering statistics, you might want to prepare a barf bag:
6,201 -- Friends, this is not the title of the newest Rush album
Related rabble.ca story:
Through a late surge of support that has redrawn the parliamentary battle lines, Canada's brand of social democracy has been announced the official ideology of opposition for the first time. It came on the back of an understated election that seemed to dodge central issues, including 10 years of war in Afghanistan, ongoing bombing of Libya, and the spread of austerity measures.
Two years ago, at a conference on families, social policy and work-life balance, I was asked to write an op-ed piece about my research on the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I agreed, but hesitated when it came time to submit.