Well after 40 days and 40 nights of the 43rd General Election, we now know what the next little while will look like. The broad strokes of the results last night (a Liberal minority government, a Conservative opposition, the return of the Bloc and the NDP where they ended) were not a shock, as most pundits and pollsters had it within that range. It was the finer details that came as a surprise and will leave a lot of people with some food for thought going forward.
When it comes to the NDP, I have to admit I have mixed feelings about the results. If you had told me six weeks ago, back at the start of this race, that the Orange team would end up in this position I would have jumped at it. Remember, the NDP was facing obliteration, losing official party status and being completely wiped off the face of the map in Quebec. So to end up in a position to have 24 seats, a foothold in every region of the country, including Quebec, and holding the balance of power in a minority government, that feels good.
But at the same time, we can’t ignore the momentum that we saw over the last two weeks, the rise of Jagmeet Singh and the party in the polls, just to see it not quite get there. It’s hard to accept knowing that it could have been better, if some splits had gone the right way, if the surge had happened earlier, if people hadn’t bought into strategic voting arguments…. if, if, if, if, if. It’s hard not to think what might have happened if the party had more resources in place going into this campaign, to take advantage of that surge. Also I can’t help but think of some of the great MPs this caucus lost; Ruth Ellen Brousseau, Pierre-Luc Dusseault, Karine Trudel, Matthew Dube, Tracey Ramsey, Georgina Jolibois and others that I know I am forgetting. Those losses will hurt in their own ways.
Yes, things are better than where they started and today you can see a clearer path towards growth and potential gains in the future that maybe we couldn’t see in August. So I guess that what matters is if you see your glass as half-full or half-empty? While I see the empty portion of my glass, I am happy with the full part too. There is a lot to be positive about here, and we can’t forget that.
A big part of my positive view comes from something that originally drew me to vote for Jagmeet Singh as leader back in 2017. During his campaign, I saw a lot of younger leaders from across the campaign working with him. It was the first time since the defeat in 2015, when we lost a lot of our next generation of leaders like Paul Dewar and Megan Leslie that I saw what the next generation of NDP leaders could look like. And last night, we saw some new, young blood come into the NDP caucus that brought a smile to my face. New MPs like Lindsay Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, ON), Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre, ON), Laurel Collins (Victoria, BC), Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre, MB) and Mumilaaq Qaqqaq (Nunavut, NU) promise to bring new perspective and energy to the House of Commons and put the NDP in good stead going forward.
After last nights results, now the real hard work begins for the 43rd Parliament. We’ll see how these newly elected MPs will all work together in not too long but for the Orange team going forward, there is a lot to look forward to and good things to build upon. The next year will be a big one for the NDP, as they try to not only make progress in this Parliament, delivering on their promises, but as they continue to rebuild the party machine to be better prepared for the next campaign, whenever that comes. The hard work now begins and for the NDP, they’ve been given an opportunity to grow and move forward. It’s now up to them to do what they can to make that happen.