CBC Yukon Panelists Glad Canada Gets Minority Government Despite ‘Wasteful’ Election

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The country re-elected a Liberal minority government on Monday, and the people of Yukon voted in Liberal Brendan Hanley, who will be replacing an outgoing Liberal, as the next Yukon MP.

After a 36-day election campaign that cost $600 million to conduct, the final seat tally does not appear very different from the composition of the House of Commons when it was dissolved in early August – prompting CBC Yukon panelists Asad Chishti and Rian Lougheed-Smith to ask why a vote was called during a 4th wave of the coronavirus in the first place.

“I feel as though we woke up and everything’s the same,” said Lougheed-Smith, an off-grid homesteader near Dawson City.

Chishti, a Whitehorse-based community organizer, had more straight words to describe the result.

“What a colossal waste of time, energy, attention,” he said.

Dave White, host of CBC’s Airplay, has been speaking with panelists Lougheed-Smith and Chishti throughout the election campaign. He hosted them one last time on Tuesday to see what they thought regarding the federal election results.

“It has shown a sort of wastefulness in terms of the cost and time it takes to put on an election and also people exposing themselves to others in public spaces… during a pandemic,” concluded Lougheed-Smith.

While both panelists agree the election was somehow wasteful, they are happy to see another minority government elected.

Minority governments mean more collaboration

“I like the accountability that a minority government lends us, and I like that there are further checks and balances, and there needs to be better communication and collaboration among parties in order for things to move forward,” Lougheed-Smith said.

Chishti and Lougheed-Smith are hoping the NDP and Liberal parties will work together more and even form a coalition.

“I am hopeful that some good things can come from this and that rather than the Liberals just running with, ‘We got most of the votes, so we don’t have to listen to anybody else,'” added Lougheed-Smith

Flawed electoral system

Chishti said that while the Liberals won in the Yukon, the vote was split three ways in the region. Hanley held 33% of the vote, but Conservative candidate Barbara Dunlop and NDP candidate Lisa Vollans-Leduc both got a major share of the votes, receiving with 27% and 22% of the vote respectively.

“I think really, it reveals the brokenness of our first past the post system,” said Chishti. “None of the candidates here in the Yukon so far have a clear majority, right?”

If you add up the votes that Dunlop and Independent candidate Jonas Smith received, both persons with views on the political right, they are more than the total votes for Hanley.

Lougheed-Smith and Chishti say the election results mirror a politically fragmented nation.

“I think having a minority government and votes distributed among all of these different parties, both territorially and nationally, kind of shows that Canadians want a whole bunch of different things,” said Lougheed-Reed.

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