Robin Sears wrote this week that, on the morning after the election, the atmosphere in Ottawa had changed:
A senior First Nations leader, returning to the capital by train from working hard for the ouster of the Hun, greets an old colleague with nothing more than an overly fierce handshake and a penetrating smile that lasts several seconds longer than it would have two days earlier. A member of the permanent establishment greets a colleague in its seat of power, the bar of the Rideau Club, with a raised glass, no one having to say or guess to whom or what is his salute.
Sadly, for the hundreds of now unemployed young Tory staffers and their bosses, the return of Canada to normalcy — a Liberal government madly peddling back to the centre having campaigned on hazy promises to deliver more progressive Elysian fields — will soon erase their thousands of hours and a decade of effort to imprint a darker vision on the country.
And Andrew Coyne writes this morning that -- when you look at the numbers -- it's clear that things are now very different across the country:
Indeed, across much of the country we have some of the most contestable politics in memory. Where in the United States redistricting has led to an increase in safe Republican and safe Democratic seats, or indeed states, polarizing the country on regional and ideological lines, the opposite has occurred here.
The number of ridings won by a margin of less than five per cent has increased from 42 in 2008 to 51 in 2011 to 68 in 2015. What is more, in 35 ridings, the third-place party finished within 10 per cent of the winner. In only 16 ridings was that true in 2011; in 2008, five. That’s competitive.
Broad national parties. The largest provinces riven by three- and even four-way fights. Relatively fewer safe seats. And, not coincidentally, the highest turnout in more than 20 years. There’s lots of good news in this election: for democracy, and for Canada.
The fog has lifted.