Hodge: Strap on your helmet for a bumpy ride ahead

Few pundits foresaw the giant popularity shift that impacted historically predictable communities such as Kelowna.

Like many Canadians, I am still somewhat giddy and attempting to comprehend the sweeping political changes in our vast country.

What a difference one day can truly make.

Few political pundits, despite what they say, fully anticipated such a huge adjustment to the political puzzle.

Certainly, few folks predicted the entire East Coast would vote Liberal or the massive collapse of the New Democratic Party.

Even fewer pundits foresaw the giant popularity shift that impacted historically predictable communities such as Kelowna.

For Ron Cannan and other dethroned MPs, the sweeping protest dump of Conservative leader Stephen Harper must feel like a harsh unanticipated slap in the face, even despite the obvious knowledge that many voters were disgruntled.

Make no errors in analysis, the demise of the federal Conservative party Monday was nothing more than a public political execution of Harper himself and not so much an attack on his faithful teammates.

Regardless, a kick to the curb hurts no matter the reason. Believe me, because I do know.

Stephen Harper died a political death by 1,000 cuts on Monday, most of which were self-inflicted because, quite simply, he lost the trust of Canadians.

It seems he forgot his roots. Harper forgot that honesty, hard work, and a willingness to listen and learn is what Canadians desire from those they elect to lead this country.

Clear across the land there is much celebration for the victors, yet a sense of sorrow for some of those who have been cast aside in the sweeping change.

In Kelowna, it is the faithful Mr. Cannan who must now contemplate what to do and where to go in his suddenly altered life.

Cannan has served our community faithfully and passionately for more than a decade and I can truly say has always done us proud.

He has long been my friend and one whom I respect both inside and outside of politics.

He is a good man, a community leader, and one whose handshake is true and his heart solid.

So while there is a sense of glee across the country of which I definitely welcome and  share in, there is a part of me that is tugged firmly by the knowledge that a friend of mine has been the victim to that public personality parade. A willing victim yes, but still a victim nonetheless.

I am sure Ron recognizes his departure has little to do with himself as much as it did with a total frustration and disdain for the wrongs perpetrated by his boss.

However, such knowledge does not take away the feeling of being let down, turned upon, or non-personal.

Friends and family will assure him he is a fine person and not to take the election personally, but take my word for it—one can’t help accept such results as a personal issue.

Almost immediately, the phone calls will end, the invitations to everything will disappear and, for all intent and purpose, those hard working caring defeated political sorts across this land will feel forgotten. And they largely are.

That is the harsh reality of playing in the game of politics where your memory barely lasts a lunch hour after being defeated at the polls.

It is a sad reminder that politics, like life, is not always fun or fair.

Still, for the rest of Canada optimism now reigns and rightfully so.

If nothing else, this election has invigorated our country again. I have not seen Canada this excited or motivated since the election of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Right or wrong, wished or not, Justin Trudeau will forever be linked to his dynamic and sometimes larger-than-life father.

How that is altered in the near future will be up to Justin to decide.

There is also no question that Justin Trudeau has earned his own place at the table, and that he will make his own indelible mark upon our homes and this land over the next four years.

He is more than aware, more so than ourselves, to the reality that the entire nation will be watching his every move for quite a while.

Not only has he caught our attention and our fascination, he has also caught our hesitation.

Neither is he naive or dumb.

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won a remarkable victory Monday and he did it to some degree because of hard work and thoughtful planning by himself and his party supporters.

Precisely how effective his plans and goals will be only time will tell.

Hopefully the relatively young leader filled with apparent integrity, energy, and positive thinking will not fail in his effort to repair the damage and lack of trust for government that has been set before the public the past few years.

There is no question that Canadians were ready for a positive change, a step back to the future so to speak.

Justin Trudeau may very well be that breath of fresh, clean air the country has longed for in Ottawa for a long time.

 

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