, 10.13.2021 06:03 PM

My latest: ten reasons to give political thanks

The election is over, Thanksgiving is over.

What better time, then, to give thanks about what happened, and what didn’t, in the 2021 federal general election?

And, yes, sure: Justin Trudeau isn’t now in a job for which he is suited, like cleaning leaves out of gutters. He’s still prime minister, and that’s nothing to be grateful for, if you ask me (and you did).

But we still have things to be thankful for, electorally speaking. Here’s 10:

1) The Conservatives didn’t falsely allege they won the election. The Tories could’ve done what Donald Trump did, and does. They could’ve pointed to the fact (because it is a fact) that they won a bigger share of the popular vote than the Trudeau Liberals. They could’ve kvetched and complained that only 20% — TWENTY PER CENT — of eligible voters voted for Trudeau. But they didn’t. Kudos. 

2) Canadians got to know who would govern them within hours, not days.Remember the U.S. presidential election, which had all the hallmarks of a three-ring circus, without any of the fun? It went on for day after interminable day, with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jon King standing in front of their infernal magic board thing, trying to keep viewers viewing. Canada? We got the results hours after polls closed, and then we got to change the channel to Netflix. Yay! 

3) The losers conceded. Tory boss Erin O’Toole accepted the results with grace. So did the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh. Everyone was restrained and modest — well, maybe not Justin Trudeau, because he’s never restrained or modest. But it was all very civilized. Good. 

4) No one made false claims about mail-in votes or ballots. None of them did. In the United States, post-vote, Republican sore losers were to be seen everywhere. They endlessly made baseless claims about election fraud. In Canada, precisely no one did that, mainly because the system worked. Merci. 

5) No one called journalists “enemies of the people.” Trump, as despicable and dishonest as he is, built a flourishing career on calling every legitimate critic a purveyor of “fake news.” He was always on a war footing with the Fourth Estate. Up here in Canada, none of the politicians particularly like those of us in the news and commentary business, but they understand we have a job to do. Bonus. 

6) No one cooked up crazy and/or illegal schemes to overturn the election result. Trump did — up to and including urging his crazier followers to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. In Canada, we had a few recounts in the tighter races, but the law provides for that. We Canadians just shrugged and carried on. Very Canadian. Very good. 

7) Similarly, nobody called for the imposition of Martial Law. Sure, we’d like impose a better hockey team on Toronto, and better coffee at Tim’s, and better weather in February, but Martial Law? Isn’t that a law firm on Bay Street? Possibly. 

8) No one sacked Parliament Hill.Sightseers took selfies out front. Tour buses cruised by. And construction workers continued working on fixing up the Parliamentary precinct, which is taking more time than the construction of the pyramids. But no one ran around in Centre Block, wearing horns, makeup and a bearskin hat. Phew. 

9) No one chanted “stop the steal.”Because there was no “steal.” Not one of the political parties actually won anything — they all got precisely what they had before the unnecessary, unwanted election was called by a craven Justin Trudeau. But not one of them claimed that victory had been “stolen” from them. Victory! 

10) Our elections aren’t perfect. Our government isn’t perfect. Our politicians, God knows, aren’t perfect. But we’ve still got a pretty good country — and, election-wise, we look a lot wiser than the Americans, with their whackadoodle system of picking winners. 

So, give thanks, Canada. It could be worse.

Down South, it usually is.

— Warren Kinsella was Jean Chretien’s Special Assistant

10 Comments

  1. Phil in London says:

    Very Good observations about things to be grateful about in our system. Just like in healthcare, with elections I don’t think either theirs or ours is a perfect system but I think they both function better than in most of the world.

    That is something to be proud of, let’s give ourselves a pat on the back for being better at the moment and being diligent to stay ahead.

    The harsh truth is we have a minority parliament and in theory ANYONE with seats could in theory cobble together a coalition government. That 65% of the ELIGIBLE voters did not vote for the possible Prime minister needs to be taken more seriously. I would be even more grateful if the people were not simply right (the people are always right) but were also informed and participatory in the next round. More people didn’t vote that voted for any of the parties offered up.

    I am also grateful that ONLY “nobody” violated points 3, 5 and 6 and only nobody failed to gracefully acknowledge the winner. (I am thrilled that Max Bernier and the PPC are considered NOBODY).

    The other thing I am grateful for, there will be another one soon! US midterms are barely a year away and we can all agree the minority is bound to disintegrate before the 3 year mark.

    • Ted Hamill says:

      I would venture that people were informed, using the same 65% meme, that is the percentage who voted against a Conservative option. Yes, 2/3 of Canadians want a progressive government, not conservative. Perhaps inspired by the spectacle of the oilpatch, or perhaps Dogpatch would be more appropriate, with the health care systems driven to the edge by the two cartoon premiers, Kenney and Moe.

      • Phil in London says:

        You kind of missed my point Ted at least 65 % didn’t vote for ANY prime minister blue, red or orange. As for the progressive dominance. Let’s see a two party system and see how close or far off that 65% mark we are. I’m thinking a lot of progressive voters would sweat more in that scenario if left of centre and right of centre were the only two choices. I don’t think the results are easily concluded anymore than the presumption that right wing vote splits if eliminated would have diminished the Chrétien reign.

        If you factor in the 35% plus who didn’t vote, you have a very poorly supported mandate for ANY party. That’s the problem, not who can run to the partisan jelly jar fastest and point out the other side is bad or even evil.

        I’ve been ill, I can tell you the health care system is good but it is not great and has a ton of room for improvement that will only come once the sacred cow mentality is set aside. I am not asking for the system to be torn down and rebuilt, I do think pissing money at it without any accountability has not been the greatest investment in our sacred asset.

  2. tall texan says:

    I think that the NDP doesn’t want an election, and this Parliament will last a minimum of 4.5 years and the Liberals will pull the plug.

  3. Love 7! One hell of a good one.

  4. [Photo above.]

    Doofus One, meet Doofus Two. They deserve each other. And by the way, it’s called a hand, Doofus One.

  5. SM says:

    I do find it interesting though, that no action has ever been taken by Trudeau to do anything about this: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/robo-call-court-ruling-should-bolster-reform-former-elections-canada-chief/article12182777/

  6. Robert White says:

    As the Shaman that I am I, for one, did indeed sack Parliament in my heart-of-hearts. I don’t wear the upper-paleolithic traditional regalia though it would be fun if I did I’d have to admit.

    I also screamed bloody murder for the wasted $610 million CDN that smelly socks Trudeau glorified his vanity in at our cost given that his vanity election could have housed the poor living under bridges in Toronto or it could have provided much needed clean potable water for First Nations reserve sub-standard water systems.

    Even the Inuit have contaminated water supplies in need of repair system wide.

    Canada under Trudeau is a dumpster fire and embarrassment vis-a-vis a lackluster bureaucracy.

    Trudeau is just hiding behind Biden now that the heat is on both Liberals & Democrats for the serial systemic failures in our midst.

    RW

  7. PJH says:

    I was a scrutineer for the advance polls and the election day poll in my hometown. I know there were issues at some polls in my province with delays, but the polls in my hometown ran like a fine Swiss watch. All credit to ElectionsCanada staff who trained their personnel. They were professional, courteous, and efficient. They certainly made my job a breeze….and really the system has so many checks and balances, the job of scrutineer is really redundant these days, imho. I often wonder why our neighbour to the south doesn’t follow our lead, and set up an impartial body overseeing their Federal elections. I respected the result of Sept 2oth…because I knew first hand the system could not be tampered with, and therefore was free and fair. I was also pleased to see the ElectionsCanada supervisor bar those(aside from those with a medical excuse) who were not wearing masks from voting….but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle o’ fish…..

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      PJH,

      And now the Anti-LogicalsTM, um, um, I mean Vaxxers are headed to court and I’ll wager that a nationwide pandemic emergency trumps (how I now hate that word) individual Charter rights.

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