An election filled with firsts: let the good times roll

DECISION 2011: A Western Tory prime minister, an NDP Opposition, a broken Liberal Party and our first Green MP: Canadians broke new ground.

Jack Layton, Canada's new Leader of the Official Opposition.

The country's 41st general election was an event of historical firsts. An Alberta prime minister leading a majority government. The NDP forming the official opposition. The Liberals sent to political wilderness as Canada's third political party. The Green Party electing its first member of Parliament (the first elected Green member of North America), with Elizabeth May unseating a Conservative cabinet member for good measure.

Though Stephen Harper has caused concern among many Canadians with his control-mania and cynical regard of the rules of our democracy (by twice proroguing parliament for unacceptably lengthy periods), he does deserve credit for having pragmatically governed Canada during his minority government. The Conservatives now have a majority in parliament, and are arguably the party with representation from every province and two of three territories.
Hopefully, Mr. Harper will continue to govern with moderation and in the spirit of consensus with his mandate.
For the NDP, their work has just be begun. The wave of new rookie MPs, many who had no expectations to be elected, will have to learn on the job.
The Liberals, whose numbers reached unprecedented lows, will have to take the next four years to reinvent themselves. Like a tired, depleted veteran hockey team, it's time for them to dismantle and patiently rebuild. We may have seen last of the  Bloc Quebecois and perhaps the sovereigntist movement  for a while.
But Quebec switching from the Bloc Quebecois to the NDP has only shifted from one opposition party to another, and it remains to be seen if they truly wish to be re-engaged with Canada.
For Alberta, the Conservative majority is a clear green light to province’s resource-driven economy. Now, the spectre of the NDP and Liberals proposed cap-and-trade plans to reduce carbon emissions, proposed tanker traffic bans and possible moratoriums on new oilsands development has been dissipated. But will things be different this time round?
As the legendary bumper stick from NEP era read,  "Please God, send us another boom, and this time I promise not to piss it all away". 

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