November 8, 2015

            It happens every four or five years; lawns are eventually populated with signs, campaign ads become increasingly frequent on radio airwaves, and Canadian citizens are faced with an important decision – which MP to vote for to create a federal government. The entire process is complicated and tiring, and especially as we emerge from the longest federal election campaign period to date, many may not bother to take the additional time to truly reflect on the results of the election, and what it has in store for our nation.

There were three major contenders in this election: the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the New Democratic Party (NDP). All parties have had contributed considerably to the Canadian political scene, especially the former two, but the NDP have definitely made impacts in recent decades. With that said, let’s carefully analyze each of the aforementioned parties’ political platforms to gather a sense of what they would have planned to bring to the table, starting with the Conservatives.

Colloquially referred to as “The Harper Government” after their leader served a plethora of terms in office, the Conservatives really strove to emphasize security and the economy through their proposed implementation of policies such as income-splitting, the controversial Bill C-51, and investing more into the military/air support, particularly in areas such as the Middle East. The Conservatives were also in favor of mostly all major pipelines, in addition to supporting the status quo of criminalized marijuana use, among many other policies in their platform. As for the New Democratic Party, they leaned the most to the left on the political spectrum in this election. Their leader, Tom Mulcair, was big on infrastructure pertaining to transport, and wanted to repeal Bill C-51 while proposing to withdraw all forces/military personnel from the Middle East, instead turning their attention to providing refugee/humanitarian aid. The NDP were not in favor of pipelines, and wanted to make drastic democratic reforms such as abolishing the current FPTP system and the senate.

Ultimately, it was the Liberal Party which proved to be victorious. Led by the charismatic Justin Trudeau who believed in “Change” for Canada, the Liberal party garnered the support of 39.5% of voters, translating into 184 seats in the House of Commons.

So what can we expect for Canada in the coming years? For one, definitely the legalization of marijuana, which, if properly regulated, has potential to provide economic benefits. And with the US turning down Keystone XL, Canadians can be assured that no significant environmental changes will be created. Prime Minister Trudeau has also recently chosen a more diverse cabinet, which will hopefully result in a more effective representation of our population.