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Orange Crush meets Blue Tide

Jennifer's Journal

History was made on Election Day in Canada on several fronts, proving that an election that "nobody wanted" was just what the country needed.

The "orange crush" swept the nation with Jack Layton's message of hope and optimism, having a great effect on the young voters of Canada, particularly Quebec.

Old Tommy Douglas would have been proud to see the New Democrat Party rise up the ranks to become the official opposition in Canada, the first time the party has done so in their 50-year history.

Michael Ignatieff will have to move out of Stornoway, the residence occupied by the country's official opposition leader. I hope he didn't sell his condo!

For the first time ever, the Liberal Party is in third place among the parties. The Liberals were reduced to 34 seats in the House of Commons, down from 77, and won only 18.9 percent of the popular vote. Not only did Ignatieff lead the party to its worst showing in its history, but he also lost his Toronto-area seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. He resigned as leader the following day.

I can't help but think that the Tories played a big part in Ignatieff's defeat. They had vilified him through very effective attack ads from which he could not recover.

I saw a rerun of the "Rick Mercer Report" recently that showed Mercer helping Ignatieff move into Stornoway after his appointment as party leader in 2009. Watching him drink a beer with the TV host helped me see him as a man - a regular Joe - not just a politician. Ignatieff's wife even told Mercer that her husband reads to her because of a vision problem - how sweet!

Conservative leader Steven Harper got his coveted majority government and is now the only PM in 50 years to join Canada's 13th prime minister, John Diefenbaker, in leading the party to three consecutive wins - two minorities and one majority.

Souris-Moose Mountain NDP candidate Allan Arthur remarked at the local All Candidates Forum that Harper was better suited to manage a bank than the country, as he doesn't inspire hope in Canadians. He may not have the engaging personality of Layton, but Harper proved that Canadians think he can get the job done.

A major achievement was made by leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May, she won her seat in British Columbia, Saanich-Golf Islands riding, making her the first Green representative in the House of Commons. They won't be able to deny her that spot on the debate she fought for when the next election comes around...hopefully, not for another four years!

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