Sunday, August 31, 2008

Biggest Election: It's 88

With 56% of the vote, the 1988 Federal Election has been crowned Canada's biggest by Calgary Grit readers, knocking off Tommy Douglas' 1944 Saskatchewan win in the final.

With a federal election about to start up, it was probably appropriate to look back at some of the big elections from the past. And there are certainly lessons all parties can learn from '88, as there are from all past elections.

Without a doubt, 1988 was Canada's most exciting election. There was a real policy debate, an unfolding national unity crisis, great ads, a mid-campaign coup attempt, an exhilarating debate, a real three-party race, and a see-saw campaign that was in doubt until the end. And, for better or worse, Mulroney's second term would shape Canadian politics for the next 20 years thanks to the Meech collapse, the Tory collapse, the rise of Reform and Bloc, free trade, and the GST. So I don't think this election won just because it was more familiar to voters (after all, my Greatest PM contest featured a Laurier-MacDonald final) - I think it truly is a deserving winner.

A big thanks to everyone who voted, and to John Duffy for seeding the elections. And now, the attention of this blog can turn squarely to the present and the next "big" election we're about to embark on. It certainly doesn't appear to have the makings of a historic one but, then again, the element of surprise is why a lot of the elections in this contest can truly be called "historic".

Final Vote
Provincial Final
Federal Final
Provincial Semis
Federal Semis
Provincial Quarters
Federal Quarters

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