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Signs of trouble

Stephen Harper’s Conservative’s were ousted from office after an overwhelming Liberal majority win in Monday’s federal election. Some Atlantic Canadians reported mixed emotions at the final results of the election, given the anti-Harper sentiment that influenced strategic voting.
Stephen Harper’s Conservative’s were ousted from office after an overwhelming Liberal majority win in Monday’s federal election. Some Atlantic Canadians reported mixed emotions at the final results of the election, given the anti-Harper sentiment that influenced strategic voting.

HALIFAX - The red sweep that started on the shores of Atlantic Canada Monday evening made its way across the country in the form of a Liberal majority government for Justin Trudeau.

There were several pivotal moments during the campaign of the 42nd federal election, according to David Johnson, political science professor at Cape Breton University.

For the Conservatives, that moment was the exodus of senior ministers in the Conservative Party.

“Maybe that exodus of senior ministers we saw was a sign that Harper was going to stick around and they didn’t want to be a part of what would ultimately unfold this evening,” said Johnson.

The tide for the Liberal party turned when Trudeau announced that a Liberal government would run modest deficits to pump money into the economy allowed them to pivot to the centre-left a bit.

Meanwhile, he said, the Conservatives response to the Syrian refugee crisis, among other hot-button issues, may have turned some voters.

“There was a miscalculation in bringing in wedge politics around the niqab. And the barbaric cultural practices ban.”

At 78 days, the 2015 election campaign was the longest in Canadian history, and perhaps the most expensive with an estimated cost of $500 million, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. A typical 37-day campaign runs about $375 million.

It was a fiercely competitive campaign, with all three major parties claiming first, second and third place at different points in the campaign.

“This is very much more a competitive election compared to previous years,” said Wayne Hunt, political science professor at Mount Alison University in Sackville, N.B.

In the four days of advance polling, more than 3.6 million Canadians marked their X on the ballot, a 71 per cent increase over the 2011 election, where voters had just three days.

Some voters faced challenges when they showed up at the polls. When Beatrice Hughes stepped inside the voting box to mark her ballot in Amherst, she noticed someone had already marked it.

The Amherst senior attended a polling station at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church early Monday. She waited in line and watched the poll clerk tear the ballot from the book.

“I went into the voting booth, picked up the pencil and opened the ballot to vote.That’s when I saw the X clearly marked for one candidate,” Hughes said.

Some Atlantic Canadians reported mixed emotions at the final results of the election, given the anti-Harper sentiment that influenced strategic voting.

Samantha Kennedy, a bachelor of social work student at Dalhousie University, said she thinks that was a factor in her riding of Halifax where the incumbent, NDP’s Megan Leslie was defeated by the Liberal’s Andy Filmore

"I feel like this could be a cautionary tale of what happens when people vote for what they don't want. We didn't necessarily have to give up Megan (Leslie) to get rid of Harper. I'm concerned for the community level effects within Halifax.

–     with files from Amherst News

There were several pivotal moments during the campaign of the 42nd federal election, according to David Johnson, political science professor at Cape Breton University.

For the Conservatives, that moment was the exodus of senior ministers in the Conservative Party.

“Maybe that exodus of senior ministers we saw was a sign that Harper was going to stick around and they didn’t want to be a part of what would ultimately unfold this evening,” said Johnson.

The tide for the Liberal party turned when Trudeau announced that a Liberal government would run modest deficits to pump money into the economy allowed them to pivot to the centre-left a bit.

Meanwhile, he said, the Conservatives response to the Syrian refugee crisis, among other hot-button issues, may have turned some voters.

“There was a miscalculation in bringing in wedge politics around the niqab. And the barbaric cultural practices ban.”

At 78 days, the 2015 election campaign was the longest in Canadian history, and perhaps the most expensive with an estimated cost of $500 million, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. A typical 37-day campaign runs about $375 million.

It was a fiercely competitive campaign, with all three major parties claiming first, second and third place at different points in the campaign.

“This is very much more a competitive election compared to previous years,” said Wayne Hunt, political science professor at Mount Alison University in Sackville, N.B.

In the four days of advance polling, more than 3.6 million Canadians marked their X on the ballot, a 71 per cent increase over the 2011 election, where voters had just three days.

Some voters faced challenges when they showed up at the polls. When Beatrice Hughes stepped inside the voting box to mark her ballot in Amherst, she noticed someone had already marked it.

The Amherst senior attended a polling station at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church early Monday. She waited in line and watched the poll clerk tear the ballot from the book.

“I went into the voting booth, picked up the pencil and opened the ballot to vote.That’s when I saw the X clearly marked for one candidate,” Hughes said.

Some Atlantic Canadians reported mixed emotions at the final results of the election, given the anti-Harper sentiment that influenced strategic voting.

Samantha Kennedy, a bachelor of social work student at Dalhousie University, said she thinks that was a factor in her riding of Halifax where the incumbent, NDP’s Megan Leslie was defeated by the Liberal’s Andy Filmore

"I feel like this could be a cautionary tale of what happens when people vote for what they don't want. We didn't necessarily have to give up Megan (Leslie) to get rid of Harper. I'm concerned for the community level effects within Halifax.

–     with files from Amherst News

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