Why it’s still okay to be a left-leaning Canadian

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Last night’s election treated Canadians to historic results–the first Conservative Majority, the first NDP opposition and the worst results ever for the Liberals. Meanwhile, online, young people (mostly…I’m assuming) are left wondering what the hell happened and how we’re going to survive 4 years of a Harperdom. Harperocracy. Harperbabyrapeicide.

Something didn’t seem right…after all, do you know anyone who voted for Harper? I probably know 10 people who voted for him, but I’ve talked to hundreds of people who were voting ABC (Anything But Conservative). Admittedly, I’m a young left-leaning university student who generally associates with progressive people, so this is by no means an accurate survey of the feelings of most Canadians. But the results have many left questioning…is Canada swinging to the right? Are socialists not welcome anymore? Do I need to buy a wind suit made out of a Canadian flag?

Ultimately, I had nothing left to do but cry myself to sleep and consider moving to a nice Scandinavian country (just not Sweden…a lot of neo-Nazis there now…).

Waking up this morning, though, I decided to do a little research. Did the majority of Canadians really support Harper? How big of an issue was vote splitting? What if the Liberals and NDP combined forces? With talk of a merging on the left, in the same way the right merged to form the Conservative Party several years ago, I decided to look and see how many ridings would have been won IF the NDP and Liberals become the “Liberal Democrat Party” and only ran 1 candidate in each riding instead of two. The following results are not scientific and do not take into account the number of right-wing Liberal voters who would swing to the Conservative Party or the left-wing NDP voters who would swing to some other party if this merger took place. Rather, I simply added up the NDP and Liberal numbers to see if they received more votes than the Conservatives. By my calculations the government would look a little different this morning:

The Liberal Democrats would have won 177 seats and would form a majority government.
The Conservative Party of Canada would have won 130 seats and ended up as the official opposition.
The Green Party of Canada would win 1 seat and likely still be blocked from participating in any debate because Elizabeth May is too nice to be a real politician.
And, most interesting of all, the Bloc wouldn’t win a single seat. I’ll let you decide whether or not that’s a good thing on your own (spoiler alert: it’s a good thing for Canada).

These results are starkly different and in no way indicate a majority of Canadians want Stephen Harper as their Prime Minister. In fact, it shows that left-wing/socialist thought is still the dominant ideology in this country (…except for Alberta…at least until the oil runs out).

So I guess the question is, will the NDP and Liberals join forces in four years, or will we have eight years of Conservative governments that a majority of Canadians don’t want? The ball is in your court, politicians…

PS. Yay Elizabeth May. She’s so sweet.

The following, in no particular order, are ridings the 41 ridings that the “Liberal Democrats” would have won according to CBC’s election map:

  • South Shore-St Magaret
  • West Nova
  • Labrador
  • Madawaska-Restigouche
  • Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean
  • Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup
  • LotbiniereChutes-de-la-Chaudiere
  • Naute-Gaspesie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapedia
  • Bas-Richelieu-Nicolet-Bacancour
  • Richmond-Arthabaska
  • Ahuntsic
  • Kenora
  • Nipissing-Timiskaming
  • Essex
  • Kitchener-Centre
  • London-North
  • London West
  • Mississauga-Erindale
  • Mississauga-Streetsville
  • Mississauga-Brampton South
  • Etobicoke Centre
  • Etobicoke-Lakeshore
  • Eglinton-Lawrence
  • Don Valley West
  • Don Valley East
  • Scarborough Centre
  • Willowdale
  • Pickering-Scarborough East
  • Brampton West
  • Bramalea-Gore-Malton
  • Richmond Hill
  • Ajax Pickering
  • Winnipeg South Centre
  • Elmwood-Transcona
  • Yukon
  • Vancouver Island North
  • Vancouver South
  • Edmonton Centre
  • Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River
  • Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar
  • Pilliser

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.

2 replies on “Why it’s still okay to be a left-leaning Canadian”

I fear going the American way of a two party system. I like the idea of a right, a centre, and a left party. Otherwise we end up with an even more polarized country.

The real solution is some type of electoral reform like proportional rep.

There is certainly something to be lamented about moving to an American-style 2 party system and perhaps a “new” way of doing things would be a better course of action.

Perhaps this is just the type of debacle we need to push forward reform?