I still don’t know what to think about last night’s election results. The first thing that comes to mind might be “may God have mercy on our souls”. Stephen Harper with a majority in Parliament means a mountain of ridiculous policy is upon us. It will, however, at least mean that battle lines are drawn and we can stop listening to Michael Ignatieff threaten to start voting against him.

Ignatieff, it seems, was not the wisest choice the Liberals could have made. He’s already stepped down as leader, and the liberals came home with only 34 seats. This election represents a massive defeat, and it’s not clear where the party will go from here. The NDP, though, picked up much of the slack and now has 102 seats, a new record, and as official opposition, will now be in the front lines against Harper’s majority. It’s the NDP’s big chance to demonstrate national clout, but only time will tell whether they’re up to the task. Aiding them, for the first time ever, will be an elected Green Party MP, Elizabeth May, but very few from the Bloc. Pretty much every result here is historic.

The results, as always, are skewed into majorities. Harper didn’t really win a “majority”, as his party received just 39.6% of the popular vote (2.3% more than 2008), but because of the way Parliament awards seats, that grants him well over half. The Liberals, with 18.9% got 34 seats, the NDP, with 30.6% got 102, (about triple), and the Greens(3.9%) and bloc (6%) with about half that got 5 between them. And of course, despite predictions of massive turnout, around 40% still didn’t show up – roughly the same amount as Harper’s “majority”. When you factor in Canada’s total population (since many aren’t able to vote or have never been registered), About a sixth (17%) of our population showed up to vote conservative yesterday, and now they have a “majority” with 54% of seats in parliament.

For the people of Canada, this will likely mean a surge of extra-electoral action. A Harper majority will mean many policies which cannot be stopped at the parliamentary level, and that will mean many more people in raging online, on strike, and in the streets. It’s already happening nearly everywhere else, and it seems Canada, too, is about to step into the Age of Austerity.

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