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Canadian Federal Election - A Big Surprise

Surrey, Vancouver, May 05, 2011
Balwant Sanghera

The May 2 federal election was the one that no one wanted.

It was considered to be not only unnecessary but also a boring one. On the contrary, the five week campaign and the results proved this to be a very exciting and unpredictable election. This election has brought about a seismic shift in Canada’s political landscape. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have finally received their long cherished majority. Let’s hope that they will use this mandate wisely...NDP’s historic breakthrough in Quebec bodes well for Canada. With the near demise of Bloc Quebecois, the issue of Quebec’s threat of separation can be laid to rest. The collapse of the natural governing party (Liberals) indicates that they need to reinvent themselves in order to regain public trust. All in all, it was a fascinating display of our democratic process.

·                                For the Indo-Canadian community, the federal election has been full of excitement and surprises. Every seat where Indo-Canadians were candidates attracted special attention by the community. Generally, our community is considered to be very active politically. The election adds a lot more excitement. As usual, Metro Vancouver, Calgary/Edmonton and Greater Toronto have been the political hotbeds for our community .Prior to the May 2 election our community had nine representatives in Ottawa-five Liberals and four Conservatives. As of May 3, this number has been reduced to eight-six Conservatives and two New Democrats (JInny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu). None of the five Liberal MPs-three in Toronto and two in BC- was able to win re-election.

·        Of course, the biggest surprise of the election was Jack Layton and NDP’s surge across the nation. Despite his health problems Layton came across as the energized bunny. The way he won peoples hearts and votes is just amazing. Jack Layton’s historic breakthrough in Quebec is hard to believe. Prior to May2, NDP had only one seat in Quebec. However, as of May 3, 58 New Democrats will be joining Jack as the MPs in Ottawa. A record number of 102 New Democrats will be facing the Conservative benches as the official opposition. Our parliament will look completely different from the past ones. Canadians are in for very interesting times so far as our parliament is concerned.

·        There is every likelihood that Jack Layton’s and NDP’s popularity will also have a very positive impact on the provincial NDP. Finally, Canadians seem to realize this party of the people has a bright future not only at the national but also at the provincial level. The next provincial election whenever it is called should be a tight race between BC Liberals and New emocrats






Balwant Sanghera

Balwant Sanghera
President, Punjabi Language Education Association . He is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist in British Columbia ,Canada.