Yes, it's all good to wake up to a new government without "what's his name" at the helm. I no longer have to hear that smarmy voice or see his smug mug on the front pages of magazines and newspapers. I'm so very happy about that. However, I am dismayed at the idea that 32% of my fellow Canadians voted for this man, his tone, his nastiness, his intolerance, his ideology and all the other distasteful adjectives I can muster in a short sentence.
I just can't believe that 32% of Canadians all share the same contempt for our institutions as their demigod. Do they really believe he knew nothing about that $90,000.00 check? Do they think the omnibus bills, passed without debate, were acceptable in this country? Do they support his disregard for the Supreme Court, the suspension of the "rule of law", the manipulation of the Elections Act to his advantage, his secretive approach to leadership, his disdain for scientists? Do they embrace his totalitarian style of leadership? How did they find their way to overlook these things as they entered the polling booth?
Some possible conclusions we can make are disturbing. There's this notion in the conservative party that there was no alternative. Many who worshiped this person and trusted him blindly have "never voted for any other party, ever". Kierkegaard called this the "leap of faith" although I'm pretty sure he didn't have this in mind when he wrote about it. Political discourse does not exist in their intellectual life. That might explain away the notion that a scientist at the U of T might have some knowledge that others do not have. In other words, "it's my way, or no way, us and them".
This also explains the next group of Harperites. They're "one issue" voters who were attracted to the Reform Party for their simplistic platform. This movement was born from the Papa Trudeau energy policies of previous Liberal Governments. Some are urbanites but most are rural Canadians. These voters are fearful of change and view immigration (particularly Middle Eastern people these days) as a threat to their Canada. Some are still wound up over the gun registry.
As a young man, I often tried to discuss the issues of the day with these voters but eventually learned that nothing was to be gained. In their world, there's simply nothing to discuss.