The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Election Post Mortem

Web posted on November 04, 2015

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

The black boxes have been found, the data has been read. At first it appeared that the electorate developed sudden mass amnesia. Had we forgotten what Trudeau the Elder (in the spirit of full disclosure, when I was young and foolish I did vote for him) and his successors gave us? On closer examination it was evident that something remarkable had happened. Many new voters who have no recollection of Pierre and his escapades cast their ballots for the first time. A combination of Anyone but Harper, and the fresh face of Young Trudeau, was a combination that could not be beat.

It's time to see what Justin the Unready will do. Will he be able to keep all of his promises? Many of his promises may do more harm than good. The fight against ISIS will be changed. National security will be changed. Can we really handle 25,000 refugees? Deficits will be back. In other words, fiberals doing what they do best. If you love what Premier Whine is doing to Ontario, you will be overjoyed with what's to come. The new politics of fear and division have just begun. For a curmudgeon, this is great news and I will have lots to write about.

The blue team lost a lot fewer votes than expected with the size of the loss. For the most part they kept a lot of their base. Kinder, gentler leadership might have made a difference. That was not in the Dark Lord's character. This is what really cost them the election. Who will be the next leader? The soap opera has just begun.

The orange got crushed by abandoning their traditional roots and trying to be to the right of the fiberals cost them a lot of support. Strategic voting came back to bite them when the Red Tide came in. Support in Quebec evaporated with the niqab issue and the return of the Bloc (they're baaaaaaack). The number of votes for the Bloc did not increase, voters simply deserted the orange team. What "Saint" Jack built, Mulcareless destroyed. He was indeed delusional in thinking he could win. Will there be a new leader here as well? Stay tuned. The greens with less than four percent of the vote, unfortunately still remain irrelevant. The question here is what will it take to get their support to a more realistic level?

What we have is business as usual. There is a time honoured Canadian/Canadien tradition of voting a Party out of power, rather than actually vote with logic and forethought. We pick the devil we don't know over the devil we know. We have come to regret this in elections past, both federal and provincial. Yet we keep doing it over and over. This, I believe constitutes the definition of insanity. No matter how bad we thought the previous administration was, sooner or later we will look back and think fondly of them. What's even worse is that the elected Party always thinks they have a true mandate. Voters are fickle, they voted against the other guy. We will go through the traditional cycle starting with the Love-in, slowly moving to the Awakening of Reality, and then to Anybody but (Trudeau/Mulroney/Chrtien/Harper) Trudeau. The others were not in office long enough to be hated.

Political leadership is very much ego driven. It is not for the faint of heart. A strong ego can drive a leader to great things, but it can also be their undoing. Many great leaders knew when it was time to pass the torch, others hang on to power way too long and become reviled. They all have a "Best Before" date, the problem is no one knows what that date is. It appears to be somewhere between six and eight years.

The Party Brand should not be overshadowed by the leader. Unfortunately human nature being what it is, we always look at the "face" of the Party, rather than the message. Harper was the Conservative Party, and the electorate did not like the face, but the message was sound. Trudeau is the fresh new face of the Liberal Party that the voters liked, the message has yet to be proven. Mulcair is no Layton, and just does not have the charisma, and the message moved the NDP too far to the right for some.

One other thing to consider is the percentage of voter turn out for the election. Even though there was a jump in the number people who voted to just over 68% that still leaves just under 32% who did not vote. This is still pathetic. No matter what you might think, the election was still decided by people who did not vote. While it might not have changed the final result, we could be looking at a minority government instead of a majority. In some ridings a few additional votes one way or another might have made a difference. What is it going to take to get to a 90% vote? For those of you who voted, thank you. For those who didn't, shame on you. To all the candidates, thank you for taking down your signs promptly.

Now that the election is over, they are all fair game and I will go after them. I am equal opportunity, but the Party in power will always be considered much more equal. I will hold them to a higher standard. Sorry, this went a lot longer than usual, but I had a lot to say, and I didn't want to split it into two parts. I will have a lot more to say in future rants.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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