2015 has so far been a crazy year of major political elections across the globe. Some national results have led to stalemate (Turkey), chaos (Greece), upsets (Trinidad, UK), bloodshed (Burundi), and an unusual smooth change of government (Nigeria).
MPs from Australia’s governing Liberal Party didn’t wait for any national ballot to ditch their sitting Head of Government.
Justin Trudeau’s spectacular win for his Liberal Party in Canada’s federal elections was an astonishing achievement.
For the past few months I followed bits of the Canadian elections from sunnier distance surroundings.
The things I took from the elections
- A party that suffered it worst election defeat in its history can win an outright majority by the very next election. Jumping from just 34 seats in 2011 to 184 today.
- Out of the 338 seats 200 new MPs were elected
- 88 women were elected – highest number ever
- 6 LGBT MPs were elected
- Green Party got 3.5% of the vote and won 1 seat. National Democrats got 19.7% and won 44 seats.
- Losing PM Stephen Harper’s campaign of fear saddled with his own complacency faltered.
- Renowned strategist Lynton Crosby’s wizardry did not do for Harper as it did for David Cameron in the UK.
- Winning debates – as Trudeau did – can win you new voters from across the political spectrum
- The debates were of more substance than the current superficial ones currently breaking viewing records in the US.
- 68% of the electorate voted
- A record 10 MPs elected were from the Indigenous community
- Many incumbent senior Cabinet/State ministers from the Conservative Party lost their seats – including Finance Minister Joe Oliver
- Liberal Judy Foote won the highest share of the vote, 81.8% in her seat.
- Niagara Falls had more people on the voters list than any other constituent- 102,602
- Apart from Al Jazeera, media coverage of the election build up beyond Canada was poor. US ABC’s “World” News Tonight gave less than 30 seconds on Trudeau’s victory. BBC had little to no weekly coverage of the elections build up. Compared to say their relentless coverage of the Greek elections.
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) coverage online and radio was impressive and easy for an outsider like me to follow.
- Liberalism can win a clear majority at national elections in North America.
- A number of the defeated MPs look to be doing just fine thanks to their attractive severance/pensions packages
- Justin’s mother – Margaret Trudeau (a former PM first lady in the 1970/80s) once described the PM’s official residence at 24 Sussex Drive as the “Crown Jewels of Federal Penitentarism”. Now the Trudeau’s are back!