OTTAWA—Well, at least the Liberals had the decency to legalize weed for this toxic election.
I’m not here to spit hot fire about how marginalized communities were used as political meat, oscillating between the barbecues of the Conservatives and the Liberals. We were used for political marketing, and for window dressing, yet none of the issues close to our communities ended up in their costed platforms. I’m also not going to say that that is white supremacy. Even though I just did.
What is clear from the haze of this election is that the country is in tatters.
As you digest all of the opining my fellow columnists will do, wringing their hands and wailing at the state of the division of Canadians, of the West, and other regions, remember that absolutely no one should be surprised by this. If you are, you obviously have not been paying attention to global events, or you somehow believe in a warped sense of Canadian moral exceptionalism.
But I have four more years (maybe) to drag all the parties. Instead, let’s look at the positive results from last night.
On Oct. 21, 10 Indigenous candidates were elected to the House of Commons, including the youngest candidate to run for federal office in any of the territories, replacing the Liberal-turned-Independent incumbent Hunter Tootoo. Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, 25, also beat the former Conservative health minister Leona Aglukkaq, to secure victory in Nunavut by a healthy margin (nearly 1,000 votes). As a part of Daughters of the Vote in 2017, she delivered a passionate speech highlighting suicide in Nunavut, challenging MPs with one question: where are our non-Indigenous allies?
Apparently, they’re practicing tree pose. Or are they building pipelines? One never knows these days.
But the biggest winner of the night was Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was elected as an independent in Vancouver Granville, B.C., in a closely watched race. One could look at her win as the repudiation of Liberal, back-room politics, and a leader with the sword of Damocles—in the form of ethics violations—hanging over his head. Something tells me the “jobs at all costs” defence doesn’t resonate the same way in Vancouver Granville as it does in Papineau, Que.
Contrastingly, Maxime Bernier was, evidently, even too racist for Quebec. And that’s saying something. The People’s Party of Canada has no representation in Parliament. While this may cause some to rejoice, their support won’t dissipate into ether, but how it will manifest itself remains to be seen. Another loser of the night was long-time Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, who lost his seat in Saskatchewan. Honestly, as a Westerner, I’m surprised he lasted this long, but tears were to be shed by someone in beer last night, I’m sure. So why not Ralph?
But, even after these positives, we’re stuck with the same-old prime minster, who uses the same-old parlour tricks to get us to vote for him. At least this time he left the shoe polish at home.
Erica Ifill is a co-host of the Bad+Bitchy podcast.