Will a minority government play nice or have endless pissing contests?

I’m by no means a political expert. I know that we elected a minority government this week. The only thing I understand about that — much like most Canadians, I’m sure — is that one party didn’t win enough seats to have a majority. That’s the main point, right?

As I watched the election results on Monday night (that spilled into Tuesday morning) I heard the commentators talk about how a minority government could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing.

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It could be a good thing, said the so-called TV experts, because it would mean political parties would have to work together for the betterment of the country and to the benefit of Canadians. Or it could swing the other way and see just as many clashes as the mudslinging campaign we witnessed over the past month.

I’m optimistic in my belief that the parties will make concessions and compromise for the sake of getting the job done. Is that likely to be the reality? Will every decision become a pissing contest and a lesson in unity? Time will tell, I guess.

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Until the results started coming in on Monday, I didn’t think Canada was divided. I really didn’t. The only comparison I made about us was to the political strife in the U.S. (Haven’t we all said, “I’m so glad I don’t live there”?) But then when I hear the renewed calls for Quebec’s separation and some issue that Alberta has with the rest of the country, I was, and still am, totally oblivious to the problems in this country.

In the grand scheme of things, Canada isn’t a terrible place. For the longest time we’ve been able to take pride in knowing we were a silent, but humble, entity near the U.S. To know that we couldn’t come together and agree on who would best run the country is a little concerning to me.

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My hope is that we/they don’t go the way of verbally bashing opponents because we/they disagree and come together for the sake of national unity. If we/they don’t, we’re/they’re no better than the self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” United States of America. (And we know how that’s going for them.)

For a few years it didn’t take much for us to consider ourselves better off than them. Now, I’m not so sure.

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