Last night was a night of change. Historic victories for the New Democrats and for the Green Party clearly illustrate that throughout Canada there is a appetite for change.
And change is what we will have, whether we like it or not. With his coveted majority in place, Harper will now have free reign to do as he pleases. What will he do with this new-found power?
I am filled with fear by what a Conservative majority will mean for the issues I care about. The hopes of passing legislation on a tanker ban, on close containment fish farms, on trans* rights, and on climate change have been dashed. Instead we are faced with an uncertain future for national icons like the CBC, our public health-care system, and for the status of women.
In the face of fear we cannot lose hope. We must work together, stronger than ever, to hold this government accountable. We need to take to the streets to stand up for the Canada the majority of its citizens voted for.
The majority of Canadians that voted for the NDP, the Liberals, the Green Party and the Bloc voted for a different vision of Canada — a vision where government invests in people, not prisons; a healthy environment not climate inaction; the good of all, not the corporate elite.
The election saw a crescendo of movement building across this country. Young people organizing across the country shaped the narrative of this election, and it looks like we increased voter turnout. We inspired thousands and built a strong foundation to build on in future elections.
And building is what we need to do. In the face of Harper’s majority government, we need carry this momentum forward. We need to renew our call for change in politics, one that cuts to the core to all that is broken in our democracy.
We need electoral reform. We need a system that actually represents the votes that people cast. We need to make sure that we continue to increase voter turnout and engage people who are disenchanted with our current political system.
Despite the orange and green facelift the House of Commons just received, the change we need is not going to come from Ottawa — it is going to come from people like us continuing to work together.
In this moment of fear, I choose to respond with determination. I choose to look forward, to what is possible. Our movement must continue to grow, to use new and innovative tactics, and to emphasize cooperation across social movements.
In this moment of fear, we must respond quickly and with renewed vigour. We need to give Harper one hell of a fight and make sure that we hold his feet to the fire.
Last night we saw that change is possible. Over the coming days and months, we must stand together to make sure we continue to fight for the change that the ‘real majority’ of Canadians believe in.