CBC Yukon panellists glad country gets minority gov't despite 'wasteful' election

·3 min read
Rian Lougheed-Smith (left) and Asad Chishti have been panelists on CBC Yukon's Airplay radio show throughout the election campaign. Host Dave White caught up with them one last time on Tuesday to see what they thought about the federal election results. (Rian Lougheed-Smith and Loreena Dobson - image credit)
Rian Lougheed-Smith (left) and Asad Chishti have been panelists on CBC Yukon's Airplay radio show throughout the election campaign. Host Dave White caught up with them one last time on Tuesday to see what they thought about the federal election results. (Rian Lougheed-Smith and Loreena Dobson - image credit)

Canadians re-elected a Liberal minority government on Monday, and Yukoners 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 hold, the final seat tally doesn't look very different from the composition of the House of Commons when it was dissolved in early August — prompting CBC Yukon panellists Rian Lougheed-Smith and Asad Chishti to question why a vote was called during a fourth wave of the pandemic 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 pointed words to describe the outcome.

"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 caught up with them one last time on Tuesday to see what they thought about 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.

Although both panellists agree the election was somewhat wasteful, they are glad to see another minority government elected.

Jackie Hong/CBC
Jackie Hong/CBC

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," said Lougheed-Smith.

Chishti and Lougheed-Smith are hoping the NDP and Liberal parties will collaborate more and possibly 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 noted that although the Liberals won in the Yukon, the vote was split three ways in the territory. Hanley held 33 per cent of the vote, but Conservative candidate Barbara Dunlop and NDP candidate Lisa Vollans-Leduc both got a significant share of the votes, receiving with 27 per cent and 22 per cent 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 candidates with views on the political right, they total more than the number of votes for Hanley.

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

"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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