One of the beautiful things about the election that took place yesterday is that the transfer of power takes place in a civilized dignified manner. There are a lot of country's where it doesn't happen that way.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 20thj, 2015


Sometimes things just happen to us – bad luck we call it. And sometimes the hens come home to roost and we reap what we have sown. Canadians overwhelmingly rejected Stephen Harper because of what he stands for and what he has done to us over the last decade.

Trudeau with his mother

Justin Trudeau embracing his Mother Margaret before giving his speech the night he was elected Prime Minister of the country. what a sweet moment.

As this longest election campaign in a century came to a close, Canadian electors decided to shed the misery of the past decade. We are a stagnant economy with the lowest growth rate and highest income inequality since the dirty ’30’s. We now have the least efficient and most secretive government in our modern history. And something has happened to that Canadian sense of fairness and tolerance.

So most Canadians went to sleep last night with the prospect of a better future than their recent past would foretell. Stephen Harper is gone! And a breath of fresh air, optimism and hope has replaced him. It is sad to say but Stephan Harper will not be missed, and his legacy will be a bookmark for an epoch lost in the dust of history.

CHARGES MAY APPLY  Subject: Please add to EMMA On 2011-08-03, at 11:32 AM, Wallace, Kenyon wrote: Cultine: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford introduces Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a crowd of 700-strong Conservative supporters gathered in Ford's backyard Tuesday night during a barbeque honouring Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Ford says he and Harper are new fishing partners. Credit: YouTube  Harper and Ford.jpg

Stephen Harper showing up at a Rob Ford garden party.

Of course Rob and Doug Ford will miss him, but then almost nobody ever missed the Fords once they left the limelight. And that big shindig they hosted for Harper on election eve may have been the icing on his farewell cake. But then I’ve come to bury Harper not to dwell on his failings.

Canadians changed the channel, in fact they bought a brand new TV. Positive – Better – Brought Together. Sweet words, Mr. Trudeau, but where do we go from here. The cupboard is a mess and the list is long. The economy, income inequality, that TPP, the oil patch, bombing in Iraq/Syria, whacky-tobaccy, electoral changes, the Senate, Bill C-51, green jobs, restoring environmental protection, climate change…

It should be a comfort to us that every province and territory is represented in the new Trudeau Liberal caucus, thanks to that overwhelming strategic vote last night. Mr. Mulcair’s party bore the brunt of that strategic effect, but he has only himself to blame, as discussed in my last column. Besides Trudeau, the federalist, has now been given an endorsement by his native Quebecers. What could be better for the federation?

It was interesting that The Globe and Mail endorsed Harper’s party but not Harper, in fact demanded he resign. Was that political naivety or an indirect call for voting ‘anybody but Harper, by a paper lacking the guts to break a tradition of supporting the Tories?

Also The National Post’s Andrew Coyne resigned as political editor after his publisher refused to print a column unsympathetic to the Tories. He has earned my respect for that. And was G&M columnist Margaret Wente trying to send a message when she ‘damned Harper with faint praise’ – saying he wasn’t the worst PM we ever had.

Mr. Trudeau came into the election amid low expectations, thanks to the Tory attack ads. Today it’s the reverse situation, as he wears the support of about seven million Canadians who voted for him, and so many others who would have made him their second choice. It is a tall order to undo the last decade in a heartbeat, and so it will take time.

stephen-harper  scowl

Stephen Harper – expressing an opinion.

Therefore we all need to take a pill, or a toke (when it becomes legal), and chill to allow the new PM-designate the chance to get on with the job. This is an exciting time and the critics, including me, will be hounding him to deliver. And somewhere on my wish list would be how to get us into the 21st century when it comes to our next federal election.

I’m not talking about preferential (ranked) balloting, which Mr. Trudeau has already committed to. I’m referring to our archaic system of paper ballots, and pencils and manual counting. If we can do our banking securely via the internet, why can’t we vote that way?

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran as a Liberal against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.


Background links:

Federal Election      Coyne     Wente      G&M Endoresment

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2 comments to One of the beautiful things about the election that took place yesterday is that the transfer of power takes place in a civilized dignified manner. There are a lot of country’s where it doesn’t happen that way.

  • Gareth Williams

    I don’t believe we should be voting over the internet (despite forays into this brave new world by municipal elections in some cities, Burlington included) for one simple reason: the ballot is no longer secret when you are voting from the privacy of your home, since there are no elections staff there to stop someone standing behind you from coercing you to vote the way THEY want. I don’t think it is worth giving up the secret ballot for a little bit of convenience.

  • Fred Pritchard FCPA, FCGA

    Ray we are off to a good start. Mr Trudeau already had a press conference in the Ottawa Press Gallery building – a building Mr Harper has been unable to find for the last 7 years.

    It is just a shame that the ridings of Milton and Flamborough were left out of government.