So last night the Canadian Federal Election took place and the result I was least expecting happened: A Conservative majority government, the rise of the NDP as official opposition party, the Liberal Party being humbled down to a mere 34 seats and the utter decimation of the Bloc Quebecois.
For a while now we’ve been locked in a West (Conservative) vs. East (Liberal) vs. Quebec (BQ) vs. over-enlightened hipster urbanite (the NDP) battle for Parliamentary supremacy where one would get the barest minimum of a leg up over the other.
After last night, for the first time in a long time, Canadian regional bias in politics at the federal level aligned to either the left (the NDP) or the right (the Conservatives). Even the traditional urban vs. rural lines were blurred as the NDP now find themselves representing large rural areas, where the issues are completely different than their more traditional areas of support in places like urban Toronto and Vancouver.
I live in the riding of St. Paul’s in Toronto, and we somehow managed to keep one of those Liberal MPs that were being discarded (for the) left or right last night. As a traditionally Liberal, middle of the road kind of guy I’m a little dismayed over this new status quo — the government and it’s opposition are philosophically quite far away from my personal beliefs on economic and social issues.
So what does this mean for comics? Probably not a lot… yet. A Conservative majority government certainly doesn’t strike me as being supportive of the Arts, so who knows what this will mean for federal Arts grants over the next few years. I’m glad our Association doesn’t rely on grant money, but many Canadian cartoonists, publishers and related businesses do so we’ll be watching what happens next very closely.