With the 2008 federal election behind us, many pundits (myself included) are being faced with reality that the election did not turn out as we projected. Having under-estimated the projected level of support for the Conservatives and over-estimated the projected level of support for the NDP and Greens; and with the NDP only gaining about 1% in the popular vote and the Green vote utterly collapsing by more than 1/3 between the last polls and election day, it seems that many progressives have been made to feel sorry for themselves.
As such, the triumph of the Harper Conservatives over the ‘progressive’ forces in this country has been a common theme explored ad nausium by the mainstream media.
This notion is both interesting and straightforward. Indeed the only problem with this post-election theme is that it’s completely unsupported by the facts.
If anything, this election should be noted as being exemplary of exactly the opposite.
This election, if nothing else, was a stentorian vindication of the long-term trend witnessed in Canada since the 1974 general election AWAY from liberalism and conservatism and toward progressivism.
A while back, I pointed out the long-term trend in Canadian popular support away from the neo-liberal/neo-conservative, ultra-capitalist parties (of which, I took to include Liberals, the Conservatives, PCs, Alliance, Reform Party, Social Credit, Ralliement créditiste, Confederation of Regions, and other small third parties) and toward the more moderate and/or progressive capitalist parties (which I took to include the NDP, Bloc, Greens, Communist Party, CAP, CPC-ML and other small third parties). I am pleased to say that not only has this trend continued, but that it has also continued in every region of the country without exception.
In 2008, in every region of Canada without exception — West, Ontario, Québec, Atlantic & North — the combined ultra-capitalist parties (Liberal and Conservative) decreased in popular support. Meanwhile, in every region of Canada, the combined more moderate or progressive parties increased their popular level of support.
The public’s appetite for laissez faire capitalism and vicious cuts to social spending as instituted by the Conservatives of today and the Liberals of yesteryear is clearly declining. The only question is, how much longer can these two warring factions of the capitalist class continue to operate as separate parties before they are forced to ‘unite the right’ once again amidst the rising tide of public opinion against their policies.
And that is something that the mainstream capitalist media or their conservative apologists just won’t let you contemplate.