This is probably a textbook example of a landslide victory, such a fundamental swing of the political pendulum from one side to the other.
The overwhelming support for the Liberals, giving them a very comfortable majority, was probably the result of several factors. But one very significant result can be filtered from all the consequences that can be derived form Monday night’s picture is that Justin Trudeau won the leadership of this country because he stayed away from the extremes in both personal conduct and in policy.
He didn’t resort to theatrics as Stephen Harper did by throwing money on the table to cash machine sound effects, nor did he personalize his differences with Tom Mulcair to the extent the NDP leader did. Trudeau did not sink to the lows as Harper’s Conservatives did by alleging that Liberals will open brothels and distribute drugs to kids, nor did he use as sharp a language as Mulcair did in criticizing his rivals.
Is this vote a rejection of balanced budgets in favour of promised deficits? Probably not. Is it a vote against wedge politics, politics of discrimination and fear in favour of harmony, openness and freedom? Definitely yes.
Now that the longest and probably one of most damaging election campaigns in the country has ended, it is time to put behind all the conflict and the bitter taste it has left in the mouths and look to the future.
Political pundits do say that Trudeau and his team have brought together some of the brightest minds in this generation in drawing up their candidate lists and that there is cause for hope for a better governed Canada, where prosperity will be more equitably shared and truly Canadian values like caring for the environment, the needy and the weak and concern for humanitarian causes will be much more closely guarded.
In his victory speech, prime minister designate Justin Trudeau sounded like a man who really wanted to unify the country behind a shared vision that will appeal to all sections of the society, whether he means what he says will only be known through his deeds rather than his words in a speech.
But the new prime minister’s tough task is not limited to what needs to be done in Canada, there is a lot of image rebuilding that has be taken care of on the international level, too.
Pulling Canada out of the Kyoto Treaty, neglecting Canada’s commitment to the cause of environmental protection, substantially cutting down on international assistance programs to the developing world, refusing to observe the rights of the Aboriginal peoples of the land and making the country a target for criticism on human rights were all achievements (!) of the Harper leadership over the last decade.
If Canada is to regain the respect and affection of the larger international community, the new government will need to demonstrate a new willingness to cooperate with other countries for the sake of peace and prosperity.
There is so much to be done and we have the second youngest prime minister in the whole history of our country to take on all these tasks.
As one political commentator observed during an election night discussion in a TV show, there is no school where prime ministers are trained and prepared for the job. So Justin Trudeau will have to learn the job on the job and he will have to steer through a lot of ambushes on his path to success.
He will be well advised to listen to the voice of wisdom whichever direction it comes from and seek it when there is none coming from anywhere by willingly consult with all stakeholders as and when needed.