Toronto ballot federal election 2011

Morning Brew: Federal election hangover edition

By now, we all know the outcome of last night's federal election: the Conservatives won a majority and the NDP became the opposition for the first time. There's little doubt the Liberal's fall from grace, particularly in Toronto, helped with that historic outcome. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff not only lost the election, but he lost his Etobicoke-Lakeshore seat. Other key Toronto ridings the Liberals thought they could count on were lost too, including those of Joe Volpe and Ken Dryden. And you know things are pretty bad when the NDP surge took what was thought to be a guaranteed Grit seat in Davenport (where Sliva was traded fro Cash), a riding where Liberals had ruled for 40 years. NDP's Peggy Nash also overtook Liberal incumbent Gerard Kennedy in Parkdale-High Park. A 56 year old NDP volunteer, Steven Gurevitch, who first volunteered for the party as a teen, said, "I had to wait until I had grey hair to see this. I'm totally amazed."

This doesn't sound too good. Toronto senior citizens and nursing home residents are complaining about election day interruptions that kept them from voting. In one instance, a polling station had been changed at the last minute to a location that was too far for the nursing residents to travel to. In a similar case, one nursing home resident tried to vote in her own building, but was told her passport, her health card and her voter card were not enough identification. Other residents in the building encountered the same issue. I guess they wanted their dental records too. In another case, a Star photographer's voter card had the address of a school that had been torn down. Do they not check these things out first? Elections Canada was not immediately available for comment.

In today's National Post, Matt Gurney discusses Toronto's dramatic shift to the right. He argues that for those who chalked up Rob Ford's win as a fluke, they're wrong: Toronto's gone Tory, or at least enough Tory to strongly influence the landscape of the city over the next four years.

Another question on people's minds today (and likely for a while) is whether or not the increased support for the Conservatives in the GTA will result in the same from them in return. Ford thinks Harper wants to help him build subways, but the prime minister hasn't actually committed to anything. Still, that endorsement looks pretty savvy right now. Or does it?

Despite all the talk of Canada's arcane election laws being violated by people tweeting results prior to all polls closing, it was actually the CBC who had the biggest gaffe. When they went on air at 9pm, they started to broadcast results from Atlantic Canada, a full 30 minutes prior to polls closing in Ontario and Quebec. That went on for about four minutes before the technical difficulties sign went up. Of course, #tweettheresults was also a hugely popular hashtag, so by the time the next election rolls around in 2015 (!), one would think this whole policy needs to be revisited.

With almost every poll reporting, voter turnout across the country hovers at 61.4%, which represents a small increase over 2008. Still, that's a lot of people who didn't cast a ballot.


With contributions from Derek Flack. Photo by emuchewy in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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