Bluesky Brief – September 21st

Posted on September 21, 2021

#Elxn44 was the pandemic election with more than one million mail-in votes in the process of being counted the morning after. An election that had Canadians wondering why we were having it. A status quo election that is now one for the history books.

Now is the time for all those elected last night to come together, roll up their sleeves and collaborate to continue the work that is getting us through the pandemic. In turn, this will help Canadians build a stronger economy for future generations.

We have been pleased to provide you with our insights over the past 36 days. We hope you have found the Bluesky Brief an insightful morning read throughout the campaign. For the final time, let’s find out what our team of political observers has to say about the #elxn44 results.

Top of Mind

From the desk of the Honourable Joe Jordan, Senior Associate

What if they held an election and nobody won? As the 44th General Election winds down, volunteers drop tools, lawn signs go back in storage and the partisan air war shifts from telling Canadians who to vote for to explaining why whatever happened was a win.

Politicians have the unique ability to always find a public silver lining but this one may tax their creative talents. The Greens could not overcome their internal issues but climate change was an important issue in the election. The PPC did not breakthrough with a win but Bernier may have cost the Conservatives a half dozen seats. The NDP did not get enough seats to be the third party but their support of progressive policies struck a chord with Canadians. The Bloc did not get the expected bump but will have considerable influence to protect what they view as Quebec’s interests. The Conservatives lost yet another election to Justin Trudeau but this outcome gives them time to sort out how to break through their current electoral ceiling.

Finally, the Liberals wanted a majority and fell short, but if there is anything I have learned from a lifetime in politics, it is that “winning” is better than “losing.” Things could have gone much worse for the Liberals and they now have an opportunity for a bit of forced self-reflection.

In the short term, the government should be able to stickhandle their suite of pandemic programs through the legislative process, day care should be fast-tracked, and they have a budget to craft. The extent of the fourth wave may also dictate their priorities.

In reality, it is hard to argue with the interpretation that Canada’s members of Parliament have been instructed to simply get back to work!

From the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice-President

Justin Trudeau certainly is the anti-Harper. Harper went … minority, minority, majority. Trudeau has gone … majority, minority, minority.

So, to quote a co-worker, this election was a blip. It was a three-month, $600 million pause. Everything that was happening in July, will continue to happen in October. A non-universal, non-$10-a-day child care program will roll out over the next couple of years. Canada will be built back better with all the new dollars the Bank of Canada is printing. Prices will continue to rise and some Canadians will be paid to stay at home and not enter the workforce. Some campaign promises will be kept. Some won’t.

For most of those doing business with the government, not much will change. A trio of cabinet ministers did not win. A few may not be reappointed. Some political staff will look for new jobs off the Hill. But the Liberal machine will keep rolling as it has for the past six years with Justin Trudeau at the helm. Money for infrastructure, innovation and environmental projects will continue apace. This is good news as no shift in priorities will occur.

A Speech from the Throne will be written, and try not to sound like last year’s. A budget will be crafted that tries not to sound like last year’s. And public servants will continue the task of translating policy into action and deliverables. Bluesky Strategy Group will have you covered on all these fronts.

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

Well, that was it? During the campaign, some in the media had taken to calling this a “Seinfeld Election,” an election about nothing and towards the end of the race that appeared to be fitting. Given the debate during this campaign, you could have dropped it into any other election campaign of the past 30 years in Canada and it would have been almost indistinguishable. But even by that modest comparison, the result of this election is even more underwhelming.

It may be oddly fitting that this COVID campaign, called to advance the political goals of one party, ended with next to no change at all in the seat totals in the House of Commons. It was very “Seinfeld-ian,” as it felt a lot like how the plot of an episode of that iconic show would have finished. Bake up a crazy scheme to call an election that no one wants. Try to sell a reason for it happening. Watch each line fail one after another, ending up back in the same spot. While that episode might have been funny if it included Jerry in a puffy shirt, Kramer obsessing over Kenny Rogers Roasters or any references to the ill-fated “Summer of George,” we didn’t get any of that. Instead, we got all of the nothingness of Seinfeld, without any of the humour.

But that’s probably because, in the end, the joke is turned on our government. Instead of getting their majority, they got nothing new. And to get that “nothing new,” they traded in a lot of political capital, burned a lot of goodwill with the public and pushed an election that raised tensions around the country. In short, the 44th Parliament will start in a worse spot than its predecessor and thanks to this particular contest, all Canadians are worse off.

What’s Hot…or Not

WHAT THIS MEANS – How a Liberal minority will affect these four key industries

IN THE MAIL – A great resource from Elections Canada on the number of special ballot voting kits that were sent to voters in Canada and abroad.

LOOKING IN – Here’s how media from around the world are describing Justin Trudeau’s election win ,

BEST LINES OF THE NIGHT – After watching the coverage on television and social media, the award for best quotes of the evening go to…

On CBC, former Conservative Minister Lisa Raitt told Rosemary Barton that she received a text from a friend where he said “this election was a $600M cabinet shuffle.”

And to:

ALL GROWN UP – Is it just us or does it seem that the prime minister and Sophie’s two eldest children, Ella-Grace and Xavier, had growth spurts this summer?

PICKED THE SHORT STRAW – CBC reporter sent to cover the People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier in a packed room where he was one of only 10% of the people in the packed room wearing masks. And then this happened.

Bluesky Bonus

Principal Susan Smith appeared on CBC News Network this morning to give her thoughts on the election’s outcome.

About Bluesky Strategy Group

Bluesky Strategy Group Inc. is a full-service public affairs firm with nearly two decades of extensive experience working with clients – from corporate, not-for-profit, and national associations, to governments, departments and agencies. We provide our clients with government relations, strategic communications and media relations advice and execution.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @blueskygroupand LinkedIn

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