Voting day: It’s finally here.
After 78 days in what will be a historic election that has been watched internationally, the day has come: Canadians will learn who will represent them in the House of Commons. Since Confederation voter turnout in Canada has been low. According to CBC, Elections Canada is expecting a large voter turnout. 3.6 million Canadians voted in advance polls. Polls have closed in some parts of Eastern Canada. So who will lead Canada?
Across Canada Conservative leader Stephen Harper not the most popular. There have been multiple groups working across Canada to raise funds and support for Syrian refugees. On the other hand Canada’s Conservative government has been slow in providing asylum, what many associate with Canada’s overseas military activity.
In the first debate, the Maclean’s National Debate, Trudeau came out with statements about changing democracy and assisting Syrian Refugees. On the other hand Mulcair and Harper stuck to the Canadian economy. With another concentration on the economy, the Globe and Mail Debate saw Harper, Trudeau, and Mulcair attacking each other on a range of issues from the environment to the economy. While Harper continued with using the present Conservative plan to strengthen the economy while standing against tax cuts and Carbon Tax. Trudeau clearly said that a Liberal government would run deficits as Mulcair attacked Trudeau about increasing the nation’s debt for future generations. Across Social Media Elizabeth May has more likes on her personal page than the Green Party’s page. Stephen Harper has the most Twitter followers but Trudeau has the most Likes on his personal Facebook page of all national leaders.
Although Trudeau is young and considered by Harper and Mulcair as “Not Ready”, Harper has a past to defend while Trudeau has a clean slate. Harper has to contend with his acts on democracy, including proroguing parliament and silencing public workers (Canadian scientists).
All leaders are encouraging voters to cast ballots including the young voters, the largest demographic to not vote. Together with media reports of Canada’s desire for change and close polls throughout the campaign the results will be close. Trudeau’s popularity on social media predicts a large number of young supporters and first time voters. Polls and social media currently suggest a Liberal minority.
Across Facebook and Twitter voters from across the country are posting to encourage others to cast a ballot. There posts that simply tell Canadians to vote while others ask Canadians to vote to rid Canada of Stephen Harper and a Conservative government.
Even Google has joined the race. Today’s Google.ca has an avatar that shows a polling booth. Despite the Toronto Blue Jays ALCS game 3 tonight in Toronto with the Jays down 0-2 in a best of 7, many are facing a dilemma of whether to watch the game or the election results. Some in Alberta are going to bars to see the game while streaming live results on their phones. Final numbers haven’t been reported but Election Canada workers have reported a constant steady stream of voters with long line-ups at polling stations.
Canada has already seen political history this year. On 5 May CTV reported that the provincial Conservatives who had ruled for over 40 years had been replaced by the NDP. Its results were watched by Albertans in bars.
Across the country Canadians are wondering who will show their colours in the Canadian House of Commons: NDP for the first time or a return of the Liberals with a Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) who is the son of a Prime Minister (Pierre Trudeau) or Conservatives returning for a fourth term.
Canada might be wearing Blue to support the Jays but Harper’s chances of turning the House of Commons Conservative blue are slim.