Along with a diverse crew of Canadian vacationers, Jody Vance watched the election from (way) down south.
Adding to the post election debriefs, allow me to introduce views from “The Pupu Party Pundits of Maui.”
My young son and I were invited on this trip with my folks to steal some together time – of course after taking advantage of advance polls before leaving.
We are incredibly lucky to come stay in the same place for decades, meaning that each visit is “old home week” — a massive family reunion with folks from all over Canada and the US.
Like clockwork, every evening at 5pm, our lanai loads up with The Pupu Party Pundits: Brian from Alberta or Dale from Nova Scotia, sometimes Sally from Surrey. We talk life, family, and politics while enjoying a frosty beverage.
Our party’s mean age sits around 75. It’s fascinating to listen to a group who wouldn’t know Twitter if it landed on the table in front of them. They buy actual newspapers (can you imagine?) and listen to talk radio. With diverse political leanings, they are unanimously exhausted by election campaigns.
Election Day Monday was like Christmas — even on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. We were the good Canadian kids running in from the beach to catch election “night” coverage online at 2pm.
Political talk tends to get very lively after a couple of Mai Tais, with many discussions – even arguments – between friends of varying demographic and geographical points of view.
Consistently, each and everyone chimed in on what it would mean to Canada under each party leader option.
The kid wanted NDP, the quiet majority leaned Liberal, while the loudest (and increasingly most agitated) man at the table was Conservative.
Coverage kicked off and we were all in.
Picture it — laptop open, running commentary from the politically engaged 12-year-old, and the 80-somethings sipping their wares, on our lanai on Maui.
As the sun set, we watched as the Liberals held on for a minority government and the controversy that followed over which leader delivered their speech, when. (Yawn)
Our chat turned to the sparkling bright light for all Canadians to celebrate: a big fat ZERO for the People’s Party of Canada on the tally board.
No matter age, gender, or political leaning, everyone on the Maui Lanai Panel openly and unanimously celebrated “there is no place for the extremism of the PPC in Canada.”
We kept coming back to how proud we should all be that Canada so resoundingly denounced the PPC’s attempts to stir up what’s rotting our neighbours to the south.
Divisiveness of race and religion are not who we are. Sure, we are not perfect. Yes, the major parties have tried to add provincial tribalism into our politics — something we have certainly seen before — but it’s not the human kind of divisiveness. For that, we should be thankful.
With a couple of nights to sleep on the results, the Maui Panel convened for coffee and the focus has morphed to: “I hope this government can get to work on what matters now.”
We almost moved to special coffees when the talk went to whether we will go out of the campaign frying pan and back into the fight for re-election fire.
Canadians don’t want to hear about the average shelf life of minority governments — The Middle message today is: “just get to work.”
When it comes to minority government longevity, British Columbians can remember the world’s tightest election in 2017, as Christy Clark’s BC Liberals did the excruciatingly slow walk out of the Premier’s office, and the NDP propped up by the Green Party formed government. The Confidence and Supply Agreement wasn’t supposed to last, we were told. Yet here we are.
Today, federal politics feels eerily familiar. Perhaps traditional politics is shifting to a new era? One where minority governments become the norm, and politicians need to work within that framework to get things done.
The message from the Canadian Pupu Partiers in Maui is: Aloha to campaigning, it’s time to get down to the business of helping people who need it most — while continuing to be extremely proud to fly our flag wherever we go.
Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.