Let's be honest about this: we deserved to lose this election.
Instead of running on a solid record of jobs and growth -- including the signing of the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership -- we somehow spent half the campaign talking about the niqab.
That strategy failed spectacularly for Pauline Marois' PQ a couple of years back, so what made us think it would work now?
Trudeau might be a lightweight, but he hit on a positive message that resonated with Canadians. We badly underestimated him, and look where we are now.
2. My part of the country, Atlantic Canada, turned out to be much more important than anyone expected
There are only 32 seats between Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick...and the Liberals won all of 'em. Even the likes of Jack Harris, repeatedly re-elected with massive majorities, fell.
The thing is, this was the first election in which the Eastern Canada results were broadcast nationally, even before polls closed in other provinces. Voters saw the massive Liberal tidal wave developing, and acted accordingly. In Ontario, I bet a lot of dejected Conservatives stayed home, while ecstatic Liberals carried their friends and neighbors on their backs to get to the polling stations.
The Tories made little more than a token effort to hold seats in Atlantic Canada. (Tellingly, Newfoundland premier Paul Davis -- not a Harper fan, but no Danny Williams -- sent letters to all the federal party leaders seeking answers to some questions he had about his province. Guess which leader didn't respond?) The new Conservative leader's first order of business will be to get traditional "Progressive Conservative" voters back on side, and rebuild the coalition that led to victory in 2011.
3. Justin Trudeau says he will legalize marijuana
Good. Not only is there no reasonable explanation for why it remains illegal instead of controlled and taxed, soon we'll be allowed to smoke a bowl to get our minds off Justin Trudeau being our Prime Minister.
4. There's also talk that the Liberal government will pass our version of the "Magnitsky Act," which will sanction Russian leaders in response to that country's increasing authoritarianism. If so, I hope our 99 remaining MPs will enthusiastically vote in favor.
5. We still did way better than the NDP
Ha ha, you suck, socialists.
6. Gilles Duceppe lost his own seat
Good riddance, traitor.
7. This might not be good for the country, but it should be great for The Rebel
Having another government to rebel against should win this site many new fans, especially when the Trudeau honeymoon inevitably wears off.
8. Because of an ironclad law of politics -- the last Conservative leader automatically becomes a respected elder statesman, while the new leader is automatically a terrifying wingnut with a scary hidden agenda -- it's only a matter of time before the media treats Stephen Harper with respect.
This election campaign, some of my Liberal Facebook friends were gloating about the alleged endorsement of Justin Trudeau by Brian Mulroney, a man they hated then as much as they hate Stephen Harper now. Mark my words: no matter who takes over leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, it's only a matter of time before we start hearing, "at least Harper was reasonable, unlike this new wingnut."
9. Last night we saw a change of government following a free and fair election, with no violence
Never lose sight of how lucky we are to live in a country where that happens.
Well, I guess I could only think of nine.
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