View From the Legislature

The People Have Spoken

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

After several weeks of announcements, ads and door knocking by federal candidates, it was up to the citizens of Canada to have their say on Monday as they cast their ballots. And despite the fact many Canadians felt that this was an unnecessary election, they sent several clear messages by the type of Parliament that they elected.

The key message that Canadians sent was that it was time for a stable majority government. After having been forced to the polls three times in five years, by electing a majority government voters made it clear that they want stability in Ottawa and want things to get done. Over the past five years, Members of Parliament in Ottawa have lived in an environment where an election could be called at virtually any moment. Now, with a majority government, they can focus on a four year time frame to work on ideas and solutions for the concerns that Canadians have.

By selecting a Conservative majority government, they have sent the message that they approve of the economic direction of the country and the stewardship that has been shown by Prime Minister Harper during what has been a difficult global economy.  Canadians have also said through their votes that they want a number of the tough on crime pieces of legislation passed and not stalled or watered down as they have been in the past by opposition parties.

Residents of Quebec, by reducing the separatist Bloc Quebecois to only a handful of seats in that province, have also sent a message that they are interested in a national federal alternative. That is a message that will be well received by Canadians across the country who want to see a strong and united country and who worried that the previous strength of the Bloc in Quebec was a sign that the threat of separatism was strong.

For the federal Liberal Party there was also a message sent. The Party that has in the past considered itself the “natural governing Party” of Canada received a message that it is Canadians who decide who will be government and that no Party has an entitlement to power in our country.

Despite the fact that many Canadians did not want this past federal election, they have sent clear messages. They include the need for stability, for a focus on issues such as the economy and safety, the desire for a united country and one where no Party takes the voters for granted. All told, Canadians took what was perhaps one of the least wanted elections in history and turned it into a historic one. The people have spoken.