ITQ Election Watching Live-ish Blog! Sort of!

10:33 p.m.

Hello everyone! Man, it’s been a day, hasn’t it? My apologies, by the way, for taking so long to weigh in on this whole election thing — although really, it’s still going on, isn’t it? — but I spent the first part of the evening engaged in the classic Canadian tradition of bugging my East Coastian friends for early results – not for publication, of course, so all cricket according to Elections Canada law.

Anyway, I am watching the results roll in from an undisclosed location on Elgin Street, and — wow. Definitely a thriller, even if we didn’t have to wait for BC to weigh in before calling it as a Conservative minority, which happened at, like 9:32, I believe. That doesn’t seem to be about to change –  but the Tories are definitely doing better than anyone expected, at least as far as the election pools. And the polls. Oh, polls. When will we ever learn?

10:46 p.m.

I actually don’t think this parliament is going to be that much different, at least as far as the level of functionality – I mean, a minority is a minority is a minority. (Sorry, that just came up during one of the seemingly unavoidable panellings.)

11:38 p.m.

Sorry for the sudden disappearance — I decided to flee the company of other human beings, and retreat to my lair to liveblog the rest of the results. I’m all set up now, though, and will hopefully be able to stay up until the bitter end. When is that, exactly? When the pundits run out of things to say?

11:42:52 PM
Oh boy, I’m back just in time for Gilles Duceppe’s — it isn’t exactly a concession speech, is it? His “Well, that’s that” speech, then, which has so far been gracious and eloquent, exactly as one would expect. He thanks Quebec for giving the Bloc its “sixth majority” – which is an interesting way of putting it.

Oh, and he takes credit for depriving Stephen Harper of a majority government, and assures us all that, despite what certain parties might say, “the Bloc is relevant!”

11:46:08 PM
Huh. Did y’all already notice that EKOS came close to nailing the share of the popular vote?

11:49:22 PM
I was just going to say what Peter Mansbridge did: that Duceppe was delivering something that sounded suspiciously like his standard stump speech.

Apparently, according to Chantal Hebert, Quebec is now a realm of hopelessness for the Conservatives. Colleague Coyne concurs!

11:52:41 PM
A note from the US – yes, we have American readers – apparently, the Canadian Embassy hosted an election-watching gathering, and then the staff refused to say a word to anyone. I suggested that they were terrified that if they said the wrong word, they’d be fired, but apparently, they just suck. Take that as you will.

11:54:11 PM
Look, it’s Jack! He should be happy — 38 seats is a more than respectable haul, although I suspect he was hoping for more of a breakthrough in Quebec.

11:55:11 PM
What’s interesting about watching the results come in when you’re one of those weirdo Hill-ites – especially a committee wonk – is that you actually have an opinion – or at least an impression – of most backbench MPs that are just random names to everyone else outside their riding (and even sometimes to those within the riding as well). It makes the rolling ribbon of winners and losers much more fraught with pathos.

12:07:10 AM
Wow, there are still a few Ontario ridings that are perilously close, aren’t there? Right now, CBC has it 142/77/50/37/2 – not sure how much that might shift over the next hour. Oh, and it just flipped to 143/76, so that answers that question.

12:13:45 AM
Oh, there’s Stephane Dion. He popped up while I was scouring the web for the absolute latest results. He’s promising to make Parliament work – yeah, good luck with that – to protect Canadians from the coming economic storm.

12:21:53 AM
Keith Boag thinks Dion is done – like, as of right now. “There isn’t a single thing that Mr. Dion has going for him.” I have absolutely no idea if he’s right or not, but he paints a fairly grisly picture of what will happen in the next few days if he doesn’t go quietly.

12:23:59 AM
Is it horrible that the first thing I thought when the words “leadership race” crept into the conversation was, “But … but … I’m so tired! Can’t we take a break, and have some parliament again?”

12:26:05 AM
Speaking of which – the ITQ Fuctionality-o-meter predicts that, within approximately – oh, a week or so after the House returns, and after the usual high drama of the Speech from the Throne – Will it pass? Will the opposition amend it? Will the government fall? – we will be back to business as usual, albeit without some familiar faces — especially at Ethics, which is now down two Maritimers, Charles Hubbard and Robert Thibault.

12:30:22 AM
David Herle looks as tired as I feel. Seriously, the marathon pundits deserve huge kudos for making it through the night.

12:33:33 AM
Okay, that was odd: for a moment there, David Herle turned into the Conservative talking head, and Rick Anderson the Liberal. Unsettling.

12:39:47 AM
And here’s the PM — heading towards the stage, shaking every hand as he goes. Wow, that’s an impressive setup — at Telus Centre in Calgary, that is.

12:44:22 AM
And he’s on stage, finally. Wow, Ben has really shot up, hasn’t he? He’s like, chin-level with his dad.

12:46:43 AM
Apparently, we – the voters – have charted our way forward as a country tonight. It doesn’t really feel that way, but that may just be the extreme exhaustion speaking.

Tribute to the other parties, and the other leaders – starting with Stephane Dion.

You know what? I just remembered what a gracious – and humble – victory speech that he gave in 2006. Probably because so far, this speech seems to have the same tone. I don’t think we’ve heard from this Stephen Harper since then — hopefully this time, he’ll stick around.

Shoutout to Bill Casey! (And Andre Arthur.)

12:56:32 AM
“Regardless of how you voted, know that we will form an inclusive and open government … This is the time to put aside partisan considerations, and work together for Canada.” Seriously – good stuff. The stuff of good. Only — and yes, there had to be an only — he said much the same thing last time, and we saw how that worked out.

1:01:20 AM
Good heavens, the confetti canyons have exploded into – bits of red? Red and blue? So hard to tell on television. Lots of tired-looking children on stage. Tired-looking grownups as well, come to think of it.

1:03:06 AM
Wait, Rahim Jaffer is actually losing in Edmonton? Really?? I mean, I know you always hear idle talk about that during elections, but it’s kind of a shock to see it. Oh, and somehow the Liberals have crept up to 77, but I expect that number will keep bouncing around for a bit.

1:09:56 AM
Okay, I was going to try to power through – at least until networks go off the air – but I’m just not going to make it. I need to crash.

Seriously, y’all, this has been the longest five weeks of my life — not that it hasn’t been worth every moment of lost sleep. Happy democracy, everyone! Thank you, voters, for once again creating such an interesting Parliament, with so many possibilities for high drama and hijinx. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say tomorrow, but for now – a merry election to all, and to all a good night.

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