A new alignment – Editorial

It turned out that this was not an unnecessary election, after all, despite having been described earlier as such by the winner of it.

It is fair to consider the May 2 federal election as one of the biggest earthquakes in Canada’s political history, which created a radically reshaped political landscape, not predicted by many pundits.

But whether it is justified to label the new political alignment as “polarized” should be debated.

“Consolidated” may be a more accurate word to define the new balance of power at the House of Commons, even though the new picture contains many elements that are “firsts” in this country.

Probably the most important of all these firsts is the undisputable collapse of the separatist movement in Quebec, hopefully once and for all, but for a long time to come, anyway, if that is not the case.

Jack Layton should be commended for his achievement in mobilizing the Quebec voters to support a future for the province within the federation.

The second first is the implosion of the Liberal Party in every sense of the word: Not only has it lost its status as the official opposition, but also won less than half the seats it occupied in the previous parliament.

The electorate should be praised for teaching the Liberals the lesson they deserved: The Grits have not been developing rational policy alternatives and have not been offering a sound choice to voters for the last three elections.

Both Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff chose to hope that the electorate would go back to the Liberals as result of their disdain with Conservatives without themselves having to work hard for it. They were wrong and they, themselves, became the subject of scorn for their inability to listen to the pulse of the people.

Jack Layton’s NDP now has a huge responsibility: They have to show the people of Canada that they are worthy of the position as the official opposition, entrusted to them by the votes of the people.

Pulling off one of the biggest political upsets in the country’s history is one thing, using that opportunity to maintain that trust on the part of the people by keeping the government in check is quite another.

That brings us to the Conservatives: Congratulations are in order for our Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and the party leader Stephen Harper for their winning of their majority in the parliament after three tries.

Mr. Sorenson said in one of his first interviews after his reelection: “It is nice to have a majority government. But we will not bully our way through the parliament using our majority.”

This statement clearly indicates that Mr. Sorenson and most probably the leadership of his party are aware that the 60 per cent of the electorate that did not vote for Conservatives may well be harboring concerns about possible majority bullying in the House of Commons.

One just hopes that the awareness will remain alive in the next four years of Conservative government.

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