I don't often find myself truly surprised on election nights.
I've worked on campaigns (mostly losing ones ) since I was a teenager so I've experienced the roller coaster ride that they can be. I also follow politics pretty closely in the media so by the time e-day actually rolls around there are very few scenarios that haven't been beaten to death by pundits looking for a 'new' angle.
Tonight, though, there were a few truly gob-smacking surprises for me.
Before that, though, some kudos:
Jack Layton. At the beginning of the campaign, some were hinting that as a cancer survivor who'd had hip surgery and used a cane had little chance of leading his party back into the House. Well, he wielded the cane like Freddy Mercury did his mic stand and he's going to be the ONLY pre-writ oppo leader to walk his party back into the House !
Elizabeth May. Why not ? The more voices the merrier, especially ones that might focus more on policy than slurs.
Best Tweet of the night was from @pointandwrite Jeff Hayward: Conservatives are like Nickelback. I don't know anyone who likes them but they always seem to do well.
Now the surprises:
The biggest local surprise for me was Joyce Bateman. I know that Neville's majority was constantly slimming but I didn't think that the last minute re-branding of Bateman would have won the hearts or minds of enough of the Tory faithful to get their vote out. I was wrong.
I don't follow Québec politics much beyond the weekly TV commentary of the ruggedly handsome Chantal Hébert. Still, the Fukushima-esque melt-down of the BQ was quite something. I don't think it means a waning of sovereignty, it just focuses those resources at the provincial level which could end up benefiting it.
What to say about the Libs ? Pee-uww.
The scale of their meltdown did surprised me by about 30 seats. For a party that has put forth some formidable leaders, this has been an awful string of duds, sort of like a box of Pot of Gold chocolates toward the end of a Christmas party.
A few years in the wilderness will be good for the party.
Since Trudeau won his traditionally non-Liberal seat with an increased margin. Could this signal the introduction of the next generation of Canadian political leaders ?
It was quite an historic night !