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radiantfracture

September 2017

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Oh, and we have a new government! The Liberals lost the non-confidence vote, so the Lieutenant Governor has asked the NDP (with the support of the Greens) to form the government.

A positive change from business as usual. I hardly know how to account for it.

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Our provincial election took place on Tuesday. Well, I say it took place, but the absentee and special votes won't actually be counted for two weeks. There are something like 175,000 of these votes (of about 3.2 million), and some of the races came down to tiny margins -- in one riding on this fine Island, the candidate won by 9 votes (or did she?).

So the election is still in fact taking place, and it's impossible to know the outcome, which is a strange state of affairs.

There are three parties of note in this election: the Liberals, who used to be considered centrist, but are now on the right; the NDP, who are left; and the Greens.

The Liberals came to power sixteen years ago, and that was a moment of revelation for my young radical self. "The parties are all basically the same capitalist powermongers," my rhetoric went, "and it doesn't really matter which one is in power." The advent of the Liberals was the way I found out what you already know, that it matters a hell of a lot, materially, on the ground, in real people's lives, who is in power.

If it isn't obvious, I vote as far left as I feel I can do and still have some chance of bringing a left party to power.

On Tuesday night, at my suggestion, LB, S, and I convened to watch the numbers. (Superstition might have told us not to, given the results of the American election and the number of leftover tacos.)

At first, it looked grimly like a clear Liberal win. Yet as the counts increased, weird things began to happen. Ridings flipped and then flipped again. The Greens began to take more seats. The NDP pulled ahead in ridings they had to win in order to shift power.

LB was on the phone to her mom for part of the time, teasing her about the Green win in that riding.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Greens split left votes away from the NDP. However, S. took a different position throughout. Like C.J. when she said Bartlet's approval rating would go up, he held the position that vote loss from the Liberals to the Greens would reduce the Liberal lead. That seems to have been at least partly true.

Right up until the "end" (really a cliffhanger before a hiatus), ridings kept flipping, and for two brief beautiful moments the screens showed an NDP lead.

"So this is a tie. This election is a tie." I said at one point. This ended up being not quite true.

There are 87 seats in the legislature, and right now the count looks like this:

Liberals 43
NDP      41
Greens    3

-- a hung parliament, technically, though it's being called a Liberal minority government.

And now we wait.

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