"With all of its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it's still a beautiful world. Strive to be happy."
I'd accepted it would be bad but...wow. I'm not sure I've ever been quite this devastated by an election result. Like...wow...
There will be lots of time in the weeks ahead for a thorough post-mortem, so let's stick to the obvious for now. This is a total victory for the Conservatives and the NDP, and a total defeat for the Liberals and Bloc. There's no other way to spin it. In one fell swoop, Harper has his majority and will go down as the most successful Conservative leader since John A. MacDonald. Not just that, the Liberal Party has been marginalized, opening the door for a Conservative dynasty. Could Stephen Harper be Prime Minister for 20 years when all is said and done? It's not impossible under the new electoral dynamics we now find ourselves in.
For the NDP, Jack Layton has accomplished what Ed Broadbent and Tommy Douglas could not. He's the leader of the official opposition, winning three times as many seats as the Liberals. Quite simply, Jack is a now an NDP god. Twenty years from now, every debate drinking game out there is going to have Jack Layton's name under the NDP leader's column.
For the Bloc, this is an ignominious end to Gilles Duceppe's political career. They have lost official party status and could now fade into irrelevancy. As Andrew Coyne said on the National, "Good Ridance". I do think the NDP sweep of Quebec may come back to haunt them down the road, but for now, Canada wins big by the complete destruction of the Bloc.
And that brings us to the Liberals. I'll have much to write about the Liberal Party is the weeks ahead, so all I'll say tonight is this: There's a lot of work to do over the next four years, and every Liberal I talked to tonight recognizes there are no quick fixes. People get that the future of the party is a jeopardy and that it's a long road back. A lot of work is needed and I know I'm willing to do what it takes. I hope others are too.