The election is over and the results are in. The Conservatives have won a majority government with 167 seats in Parliament. The New Democratic Party won 102 seats, making them Her Majesty’s Loyal (yeah right) Opposition. The Liberal Party has been reduced to 34 seats and the Bloc Quebecois to 4 seats. The Green Party has won its first seat ever, that of party leader Elizabeth May.
Is this good or bad?
It is a mixture of both.
The opposition parties will now be unable to unite to bring down the government so it is unlikely we will see another unwanted, expensive, and tedious pre-mature election. That is a good thing.
Stephen Harper, however, displayed a tendency towards autocratic leadership when governing as a minority PM. This is unlikely to go away now that he has a majority behind him. That is a bad thing.
It is nice to see the separatist party reduced to irrelevancy and the Grits decimated. I am pleased to see that the Green Party has a voice in Parliament now. I am also pleased to see that it is a solo voice.
That the NDP has gained so many seats is disturbing. What this bodes for the future of Canada is a question that merits much thought in the days and years to come.
Reasons to Be Hopeful
With a Conservative majority, there is now no reason why the long-gun registry should not be abolished. Indeed, it almost has to be abolished for the Conservatives to retain credibility with their electorate.
Our country has weathered the economic storms of the last few years fairly well. If we can attribute this to Harper’s leadership then this is a good sign of things to come. The stability of a majority government should in and of itself strengthen our currency. At least we do not need to fear the economic disaster that would have been imminent with a Jack Layton led coalition forming the next government.
Reasons to be Wary
Some of us, including myself, would like to see freedom of speech restored to Canada. Some of us would like a return to the days when a person could freely express their views on political issues, no matter how controversial the issue, no matter how bizarre the views, without having other people attempt to silence him with accusations of “hate speech” or nuisance lawsuits. Stephen Harper has proven himself to be no friend to our cause. There is no good reason to think that will change now that he has a majority.
Some of us, including myself, do not like the fact that murder is legal in Canada. Let me make it absolutely clear. When a sperm fertilizes an egg mitosis begins and a new life is formed. If the sperm and egg are a human sperm and egg the new life is a human life. It has a complete set of human chromosomes. To say that this human life does not deserve the protection of law because it has not reached a certain point of development yet and can therefore be legally killed is monstrously immoral. The deliberate termination of a human life for reasons other than justice (in which case it must be administered as a penalty by the state following the demonstration of guilt for a capital crime) or defense (of self, others, or in the case of soldiers of the country as a whole) is murder. Abortion is murder. Someone who cannot see this is morally insane.
In Canada, not only is this kind of murder completely legal, but we as taxpayers are forced to pay for it. It is available at government expense to whoever wants.
Stephen Harper has consistently refused to try and do anything about this or even to allow Conservative MPs to raise the issue in Parliament.
What good reason do we have to think that this will be any different with a Conservative majority government?
As Connie Fournier of FreeDominion has put it:
How many times to I have to tell people that Harper is NOT going to magically change into a conservative if he gets a majority by acting like a Liberal. He will "govern on the platform he is elected on". (1)
Conservatism and the Conservative Party
As I have made clear from my first post, I am a conservative and this is a conservative blog. A small-c conservative, however, is someone who believes in and supports conservative ideas and not necessarily the Conservative Party. If the Conservative Party no longer stands for conservative ideas then a small-c conservative should not support them.
For some people “conservative ideas” are the ideas that would have been called “liberal” in the 19th Century – free markets, personal liberty, limited government.
Others, such as myself, while not necessarily opposing everything classical liberalism stood for, hold to an older set of conservative ideas, such as the fallen nature of man (and hence the inevitable failure of all attempts to achieve salvation through social and political means), stable, traditional, constitutional government, the organic nature of society, the importance of traditional social institutions such as the family and local community, a preference for simple, rural life over modern, urban, industrial life, and the old fashioned Tory reverence for royalty and the church.
Neither set of “small-c conservatives” has much reason to be wholeheartedly optimistic about Stephen Harper’s majority government.
Nevertheless, congratulations to the Conservative Party and to Stephen Harper on their victory. May you prove my reasons to doubt you to be unfounded in the years to come.