Last week the predictions for the election at our neighbor to the north were a bit scary. The polls seemed to indicate a dissatisfaction with the conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a very conspicuous drift further to the left. Most Americans don't pay much attention to Canada. Their focus is clearly on the other border and the problems associated with that nation. But, we did have occasion to look at Canada during our national healthcare debate (or whatever that was last year). Canada was touted on one hand as being the glorious socialized medicine future and on the other as the nice place which doesn't allow guns and sends you to the US for doctors if you don't like your place in line.
The polls were apparently off a bit.
Canada Goes Conservative Big!
Some interesting lessons there. The minority government which Harper was leading is now replaced by a flat conservative majority. Now the PM can get an agenda moving with less need to compromise to maintain a parliamentary coalition. Maybe they see the result of liberal policies more clearly than we do.
The Bloc Quebecois takes a huge hit. Wow, you mean breaking away from a stable respected nation to skulk off into your own language and customs as some sort of snubbing of practicality and tradition isn't a good idea? Maybe this diversity and multi-culturalism thing isn't quite as effective as homogeneity in a nation? Maybe assimilation is more efficient than isolation and divergent traditionalism.
And the pro-labor forces lost a lot of seats. Could free-markets and actual supply/demand pricing of labor and commodities be better than union strong-arm tactics and political pandering for votes?
Too bad we Americans don't educate our kids in the systems of government our neighbors use. The parliamentary, multi-party, fusion of power, governmental model is a lot more common than our Madisonian presidential format. I wouldn't advocate shifting for a minute, but if we saw what was playing out in Canada we might have a much better understanding of our own future. When people learn lessons and change behavior we might want to watch how that works.