Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Dust Settles

I've seen a few comments on the blogs following last night's federal election. I don't really have anything particularly new or enlightening to add but I thought I'd comment anyway. I was up quite late waiting for the results to come in for our riding here. Nunavut riding spans 3 time zones and communications can be touch and go at times. Plus, it was a very tight race, as I suspected it would be. Political junkie that I am, I just couldn't call it a night without knowing the outcome. Partisanship aside, I feel we had a pretty good slate of candidates to choose from, much better than other ridings I've resided in for previous elections. I'm curious to see how the fact that the 3 territories did the CON/LIB/NDP split will be interpreted by Ottawa - or if they even notice us up here.

It would have been nice to see a larger voter turn out here. Only 49.4% of voters bothered to vote. I'm sure some will use the argument that Leona's win is meaningless given she only garnered something like 2800 votes. But I figure, hey, nationally, her party won 37-38% of the vote which is what all the polls leading up to the election were predicting. Polling samples only involve small numbers of people, after all. I've always been of the mind that if you don't vote you have no right to complain but I can understand the argument that a voter may not like any of the choices on the ballot. Ultimately, though, democracy depends on individuals participating in the process. Really, it would be nice if this number is was higher.

I'm not that surprised the Liberals took Yukon though I did think the margin of victory would be higher. As for Western Arctic riding, I have to admit I was annoyed the NDP'er won. He is a former mayor of Fort Smith where I lived at one point, and though he wasn't mayor when I was there I did know the man a little. Too much of a firebrand complainer for my liking. I'm really glad I don't live there anymore. There's only room for one firebrand complainer per riding -- and I hate competition. :) I was pleased to see that the riding where I grew up also went Tory blue though I honestly thought the race would be a lot closer than it was. It wasn't quite a blowout but it was heading in that direction before the vote counters mercifully ran out of votes to count.

In less than 2 weeks, Nunavummiut will vote again in a territorial election. So cue the music. The sound and dance will soon begin again - this time without the fungus of political parties.


Kate Nova said...

Although I agree party politics are a bit fungus-y - as in musty and out of date - it would work a heck of a lot better if there were more ways for voters to compare candidates in constructive ways.

There will only be one debate/forum here, and the stage will be shared between three ridings and nine candidates. This makes it pretty difficult for the average voter to figure out what each candidate stands for - that is, if they have the single night off and can actually attend.

In the absence of public events, and except for the information filtered through local media, people are left to vote for the most visible (aka the one with the most money for campaign literature) or the one to whom they are most genetically aligned (aka family).

I think it also makes it even harder to unseat undeserving incumbents, and I believe there are many undeserving incumbents in this territory.

Uhhh, this ramble was just to say I wish there were more public debates.