The 2011 election was historic in so many ways, and here are a few that matter to me.
1. The Conservative party was able to unseat the Liberals as the party of the immigrant. It used to be taken for granted that the new Canadian vote would go, in gratitude, to the party in power that got them here. No more. The Conservatives actively courted these voters, and say what you will about their methods, it worked in the GTA where they needed it. Never take your best friends for granted.
2. If this wasn't the nastiest campaign in history, then I'm glad I missed the one that was. I'd congratulate the Conservatives on their majority except for the way they did it; by good old-fashioned character assassination. They never let Ignatieff (or Dion before him) talk issues, they just kept up an unrelenting monlogue of, well...meanness. If you think the kids weren't paying attention then you deserve to be shocked when the school calls you in because your kid's been slandering another kid on Facebook. You may reach your goal, but at what cost? If their only goal was power - mission accomplished. If it was a Canada of civility and respect, a model of leadership and debate, a better Canada? As they say in baseball, "Swing and a miss!"
3. The defining moment came in the debate when Jack Layton refused to be written off as a fringe candidate, a leader of losers, as though the NDP's place in the back corner of the house was their raison d'etre. Harper and Ignatieff never saw it coming, and it was too late to stop the orange tide after that. Even the little guy's got something to contribute - ignore him at your own peril.
Are there lessons in this for us in our daily lives?