The Canadian election was a week ago yesterday. Justin Trudeau was declared the winner at about 10:00, 10:30 p.m. The Liberals, his party, won by a majority, unexpected by most Canadians I think it’s safe to say. For that matter, it may very well have taken him by surprise.
Absolutely fascinated, swept along the wave of happiness that was permeating our country from coast to coast, relieved we’ll finally see the back of Stephen Harper and, frankly, excited, I remained glued to the TV until well past 1:00 a.m.
I watched the post-election analysis and commentary and listened to both the concession and victory speeches. By the time I woke up at 6:30 the following morning, though, the party was definitely over. Facebook, and the internet in general, were filled with doom, gloom, negativity, vitriol, fear mongering, dire predictions and doubt; and it was coming from both ordinary citizens and the media.
Shocking when you think his ass isn’t even in the Prime Minister’s seat yet, and he won’t be sworn in until November 4. But it seems we’ve taken a page from the Republican handbook.
Give the guy a chance, for God sake.
Sure, I don’t doubt a helluva lot of Canadians were driven by our collective determination to get rid of Stephen Harper and really voted against him as opposed to for someone. But, lest we forget, there were other parties, and other candidates, they could have voted for. The Green Party may have been a real long shot, but why didn’t they vote NDP?
Trudeau must have been saying something that resonated with a majority of Canadians who, by the way, came out to vote in droves. We had a record turn-out.
Which reminds me of the U.S. election of 2008. Barack Obama won by a landslide. And despite that, the Republicans made it their mission to hamper him at every turn and ensure his Presidency was a failure. They started criticizing and disagreeing and standing in his way immediately and, almost 8 years later, they haven’t let up for a minute. And while he has certainly still managed to have some success, he hasn’t accomplished all he could have.
It’s a crying shame.
And it’s not what I want for Canada. This is not the way Canadians behave, at least not the way I remember us being for most of my life. This is a new attitude; and of all the habits we could pick up from our neighbours to the South, the mean-spirited, vindictive, hurtful, damaging nastiness that seems to drive their political process isn’t one of them.
Fact is, nobody can predict how Justin Trudeau or any other leader of any other nation will do. I don’t care how knowledgeable, how politically astute you are. There are too many unknowns, too many issues that can rear their ugly heads at any time, too much volatility, too much economic instability. Time, and time alone, will tell.
What I will never understand is why the naysayers among us haven’t twigged to the fact that wishing our candidates anything but well, is just plain dumb. Don’t they know if they don’t do well, neither do we? We really hurt nobody but ourselves. We should be doing everything in our power to make sure they succeed.
And we should also remember, they were elected. Chosen. By the people, the taxpayers, the citizens, the voters. Which in the case of Justin Trudeau just so happens to be a majority of Canadians!