"Conservatives are not our enemies, they are our neighbors."
Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair spent 7 weeks telling us that his party represented change in Ottawa. While Mulcair had the initial advantage in that area, Trudeau gained momentum, and more important, found a voice that explained change in a way that Canadians also felt the emotion of the kind of Canada they wanted.
The Liberals came into this election with 36 seats out of 308, but in this campaign, the party gained 148 seats to have 184 seats in the new 338-seat Parliament.
Part old school Canada (pre Stephen Harper), part Barack Obama 2008. "We beat fear with hope." At the end of Trudeau's victory speech Monday night, he gave us the line we've learned to memorize, "In Canada, better is always possible."
Throughout the campaign, Trudeau referred often to Wilfrid Laurier and referred to Laurier as his second favorite prime minister. Presumably, Trudeau ranked his father ahead of Laurier. The 7th prime minister of Canada may drop to third on that list, thanks to last night's new Liberal majority government.
Stephen Harper will reportedly step down as Conservative Party leader but chose not to mention that in his concession speech. In an election that was about him as the party leader and prime minister, even though Harper said it wasn't about him, it really was.
We will leave speculation as to the next Conservative Party leader to the experts.
The Conservatives started the night with a majority of 159 seats. The party lost 60 seats to finish with 99 seats in a 338-seat Parliament.
Harper has been prime minister since February 6, 2006. He had been the opposition leader since May 21, 2002 first with the Canadian Alliance and then with the Conservative Party. He previously had been in Parliament from 1993-1997.
Regardless of how you feel about the 22nd prime minister of Canada, Harper has had a significant impact on the Canadian political landscape for a long time.
The NDP fell from the party's all-time high of 95 seats to return to 3rd place at 44 seats in a 338-seat Parliament. Tom Mulcair will stay on as party leader. As to the idea of whether Mulcair lost those seats last night, one argument is that they were Jack Layton's to gain or lose.
The party lost a significant number of seats in both Quebec and Ontario. Mulcair had the advantage in the first few weeks of the campaign but ran as the leader. That proved to not be a strategically wise decision, leading to mistakes such as blowing off the broadcast consortium debate.
Still, Mulcair proved to be a strong opposition leader and the party benefited from Mulcair's work in that role, especially after the tragic death of Jack Layton.
The Bloc Quebecois actually jumped up from 2 to 10 seats in the new Parliament. However, like the previous Parliament, Gilles Duceppe isn't in the legislative body. Duceppe was the only party leader not to win a seat.
Elizabeth May won the only Green Party seat as the party shrank from 2 to a single MP. The Forces et Democratie Party lost both of its seats.
We will have much more on the 2015 Canadian election later today.
photo credit: CBC News