Like schools of fish. Red ones. Blue ones. Orange ones, powder blue ones. One green one.
Schools of thought in choppy waters from sea to sea to sea – you see, the body politic in Canada is alive and well. Well, it’s tired, been up all night.
For candidates, it’s win or lose.
For volunteers, win or lose – last night’s election results produces wide ranging emotions, then fatigue. Incredible fatigue. I’ve known that experience. Drains every ounce of every emotion, every ounce of one’s energy. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve had that feeling the morning after an election. Unforgettable.
Two Canadians must be smiling more than most this morning. Mike Duffy still has a job as a Senator, whereas Prime Minister Harper doesn’t. And Margaret Trudeau, once a Prime Minister’s wife, now a Prime Minister’s mother – I don’t think anyone’s ever done that before.
Democracy, many ways flawed, says, c’mon in …
We sometimes rail against policy, rules we don’t like – yet enjoy our rights. To be governed, our rights protected. Brings with it some responsibilities. To be governed. To debate. To disagree. To fight for right. Or fight for left, or for center.
When dust settles, what happened?
Members of Parliament who lost will pack their things, clear out offices and lick their wounds. Newly elected members will pack their bags, embark on a fascinating new chapter in life. They’ll never feel as free and flexible again because, while they are members representing constituents first, they are members of political parties too. They work, vote, work, vote, make deals, grant accommodations, pound tables, call in favours and do their best. They really do.
Standing for office is standing – up, out and for something – for all of us to admire, regardless of affiliations.
All other Canadians will go to work today without much change in their day or their lives – but we stand tall in our shoes this morning knowing so many people worked so hard to put ideas and realities in front of a well informed citizenry who, as it turned out, wanted change.
In few other cases I think of does one have to fire nearly everyone to get rid of one boss. In politics. Seems to work that way sometimes. On the prairies, and in Ontario, there are patches of blue on the political map – those aren’t lakes, they are Conservatives. They’re not done, not gone. Just tired. Very tired.
I am reminded of spending time in the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. If you’ve never been, it’s an important part of the trip. Sure, it’s great to tour Parliament, the Museum of Man, the National Art Gallery and to walk Sparks Street, see ‘the hill’ from the river valley, smile as you walk past the Supreme Court building. But few moments match musing in that stone and oak place where so many members, so many Prime Ministers, walked and talked, dined and drank and negotiated the affairs of state which have made our history so rich, our country so unique.
Last night some things changed.
This morning we wake up and realize – nothing’s changed, we are still Canada and despite our detractors inside and outside our country, Canada works. True. North. Strong. And free.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 6C/43F, clouds and patches of blue, and red, a fitting sunrise; Gusta is oblivious to anything but the smells that taunt her and the leash that tugs her, I scarcely notice my surroundings as busy-brain is in so many other places, past and future …