Blue and Orange

by jeff douglas

I went to high school at Cobequid Educational Centre: the good old CEC, in Truro, Nova Scotia. Note the crest for my beloved alma mater studiorum. Go, Cougars!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Cobequid_Educational_Centre_Logo.jpgSo many great memories, real or otherwise, of innocence and abandon. So free. So, strong.Canada_Votes_Map_2011.jpg So, cool.

Except for that perm. Not cool.

Ah, sweet youth.

Thus you will understand why my first reaction to the CBC interactive post #Elxn41 map was one of nostalgia. Like Pavlov's dogs, when I see those colours my heart speeds up: GO, COUGARS!!

Except that this, of course, does not represent an artist's rendition of a country ruled by Cougars of yore, this is the Canadian geo-political landscape in the wake of yesterday's Federal election. I'm no political scientist, but this is pretty ground-breaking stuff.

Mr. Harper was awarded his majority by the 39.6% of the Canadian voting public and for the first time the NDP form Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition with 30.6% of voter support. The Liberal Party is on the ropes: it's leader defeated and gone. They scored 18.9% of the popular vote and for the first time play third fiddle. Ignatieff actually mentioned that he was interested in teaching and threw in the line "No reasonable offer refused" - that has to smart. Ditto the Bloc: except that one could make the argument that it was knocked out of the ring altogether. That, and I haven't read anywhere that M. Duceppe was thinking of teaching.

Now, if you would kindly return your attention to my dear old highschool's crest once again, I'd ask you to notice the motto: veritas omnia vincit. Truth Conquers All.

I would never claim to know the truth, but here is a truth:

Not enough of us vote.

Elections Canada is reporting a 61.4% voter turnout for this ballot. Yeah, it's a passing grade, but...

From just after WWII till 1988, we turned out to the tune of around 75% with two or three exceptions where we fell off to just under 70, but we also had a few great elections in the sixties where we got up in the neighbourhood of 80%.

Those numbers would have gotten you close to being exempted from writing final exams back at CEC. It also would have put you at risk of earning the dreaded "keener" label.

Still, no exams in June? Pretty cool. 

But, if we pick things up right around the time of my Senior Prom, in 1988...

1988        1993       1997      2000        2004      2006       2008       2011

75.3%      69.6%    67.0%    61.2%     60.5%    64.7%     59.1%     61.4%

                                                                     ...we start to look a lot less keen.


Well, congrats to the victorious! We pray you be responsible with your responsibilities.

To those who victory eluded: alas, thus is democracy.

To those who voted and made their voice known: well done. Today, people will die for the right you have just exercised. 

To those of you who didn't: 

Not cool.


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