Well I'd say I'm surprised, but I can't, because I'm not. For those of you not in, from, or familiar with Canada, they just had an election. Here's the rundown, out of a parliament of 308 seats:
Conservative Party: 167
New Democratic Party: 102
Liberal Party: 34
Bloq Quebecois: 4
Green Party: 1
On my Facebook wall this morning I woke up to comments like this:
"Just remember for the next 4 years that we are not hostages, we are not victims and we will be neither silent nor polite. We will scream."
"momentous day for the NDP, and yet still a sad, sad day for Canada"
Let me say this now. The Conservative Party went from a minority government to a majority one, because of the same arrogance you can see in these posts. Me, I vote Green. I'm dead chuffed Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party, for those of you who don't know) got her seat. But neither will I weep for a democratically elected party winning a free and fair election. I'm not arrogant enough to think that just because I don't share the prevailing political opinion (yep, that's right: they won; they prevailed) that it's a "sad day for Canada."
So the rich will get a little richer, the poor will get a little poorer, and we'll waste a little more money than we otherwise would have on the military. And even then, it was the Liberal Party who bought those broken-down diesel subs (yeah that's right, diesel-powered submarines) from the British for an arm and a leg when they last had a majority, so wasting money on the military isn't just a Conservative trait, I guess.
For those of you in the US, just remember: this is a Conservative Party that cannot help but espouse single-payer healthcare, has admitted that it was wrong to push for entry into the Iraq conflict (which we didn't join despite their best efforts), and who has given me, a poor student, money every year because I'm poor. Which is to say that every political party in Canada makes your Democrats look insanely right-wing. The Conservative Party just less so. Oh and most of them don't hate gay people, either.
So I'm taking a wait-and-see approach. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not going to like the bills that come out of Ottawa for the next few years, which is why I didn't vote for them. But the Conservative Party just won a fight it didn't start, because the leader of the Liberal Party made the same mistake as those people who are shocked by the outcome this morning: they confused their own political beliefs with those of the country as a whole.
I don't like it, but I can live with it.
Guess I'll just be writing more petitions for the next few years.
And I may have a drink to the bloody nose the separatists got last night, too.