Winners and losers

Federal election leaves the win column fairly empty

It’s hard to find a real winner in last week’s federal election.

Yes, Mark Strahl maintained the Conservatives’ tight grip on the eastern Fraser Valley.

But he’ll return to Ottawa as he left: a member of the Opposition.

The Conservatives had hoped for so much more.

And why wouldn’t they?

The federal Liberals – and Justin Trudeau in particular – provided ample ammunition for a change in government.

Trudeau’s handling of the SNC Lavalin affair, complete with the jettisoning of two high-profile cabinet ministers, shook the confidence of even some committed Liberals. And his subsequent admonishment by Canada’s ethics watchdog was a blow few politicians could stand.

Coupled with the release of photos of Trudeau in blackface weeks before the election, and Conservative strategists must have been giddy.

And yet, here they are: a little richer in seats but still unable to form government.

The NDP, too, had hoped for more. If any of the party leaders held the buzz in the days leading up to the election it was Jagmeet Singh. But when the votes were finally counted, his party had 20 fewer seats than it held before the election.

The Greens also had higher hopes. However, all the talk about climate change and concern about the environment only netted the party one additional seat.

Still, the NDP and Greens can draw solace from one thing: the Liberals need them.

That’s because despite winning the election the Liberals were also losers, kissing goodbye their sunny days as a majority government.

But the real casualty in Monday’s election was Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada. The one-time Conservative golden boy and leadership hopeful (who finished second to Andrew Scheer with 49 per cent of the vote) lost his seat. His party, meanwhile, garnered a measly 1.6 per cent of the vote and no seats.

If there was a winner in Monday’s election it was the Bloc Quebecois. After sliding into near oblivion because of internal division and external obsolesce, the party emerged with 32 seats – 12 more than even the NDP.

It’s a victory for the separatism, but certainly no win for Canada or confederation.

~ Chilliwack Progress

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