Jack Layton prevailed against the Liberal strategic voting backwash, but Olivia Chow (right) almost didn’t.
Look for a meaner, less greener Liberal party the next time Stephen Harper makes a run at wresting a majority of seats from a country where the majority of citizens still oppose his rule.
The bumbling campaign run by soon-to-be-former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion accomplished nothing for his party except, undoubtedly, to convince the bagload of alpha males who will seek to replace him that running on an environmental platform is electoral suicide.
Too bad, but it will at least make it easier to silence the confusing clamour that was strategic voting in this election. Look for tough talk and clacking cojones when Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff and Gerard Kennedy stage their leadership rematch and try to fend off Justin Trudeau's inevitable run at his dad's old job.
The soft and cuddly Liberal race was a disaster, and the ever-morphing National Opportunist Party will bulk up next election, determined to win restive right-wingers from Harper's Tory team. The Liberal embrace of strategic voting helped Grits, as it always does, to poach progressive voters from the NDP.
Great local candidates like incumbent Peggy Nash and veteran candidate Marilyn Churley were defeated in a strategic voting panic that saw undeserving Liberal sneak back into Parliament representing Toronto.
Sound familiar? It's an annual election rite that wasn't as successful for the Liberals this time out, though. Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that good-hearted NDPers yet again held their noses and voted for the lesser of two evils, swallowing the Liberal strategic voting backwash one more time.
Despite the strategic voting smear, the NDP's Jack Layton has every reason to be proud. His party proved it truly is a national one, electing and almost electing candidates across the country.
The NDP leader clearly could have elected even more MPs than he managed to in this breakthrough vote had the Liberal-boosting strategic voting scam not scuttled other good candidacies in addition to Nash's and Churley's.
For example, the Vote For Environment website called for a Liberal vote in Nova Scotia's South Shore-St. Margaret's riding as the best chance to beat Harper's candidate. Too bad for NDPer Gordon Earle, who lost to the Tory by fewer than 1,000 votes. Bet he could have used just a handful of the 9,000 votes wasted on the out-of-the-running Liberal in his riding.
In the Quebec riding of Gatineau, the strategic voting site tells us it was to be a Liberal-Bloc Quebecois battle when in fact the NDP just missed snatching the seat from Gilles Duceppe's party.
It seems likely that in the next election, tough-talking Liberals will make it harder to convince the millions of progressive Canadians that, despite that party's highly unprogressive past, it will this time, fer real, rule progressively.
And hopefully the dialogue among progressives will be focused on exposing the issues and identifying the candidates who are actually true to progressive principles.
And those candidates would be the ones running for the NDP.