William Gibson definió el resultado de las elecciones de ayer como una harperectomía. Stephen Harper consiguió 159 diputados en las elecciones de 2011 y se fue ayer a casa con 99. Los liberales de Justin Trudeau pasaron de 36 a (agárrense) 184. Parte de estos bandazos tan fuertes pueden explicarse por el hecho de que Canadá, como el Reino Unido, utiliza el sistema first past the post para repartir los escaños (vía reddit).

El camino que ha conducido a este resultado ha sido una locura:

Resumen de encuestas durante la campaña electoral

El NPD de Thomas Mulcair, que iba muy bien en agosto, se desploma después no sé muy bien por qué. Naomi Klein comentaba anoche que los liberales habían tirado más para la izquierda y el NPD más hacia la derecha. Si eso fuese cierto explicaría parte del trasvaso de votos. Es cierto que a mí el discurso de los liberales se me hacía bastante más de izquierdas que el del NPD (más sobre eso luego); intentar asociarlo a las etiquetas tradicionales de socialdemocracia y liberalismo se me quedaba pequeño.

Por partes: Harper. A Harper la mayoría de mis conocidos y amigos aquí en Montreal, y digo mayoría por no decir todos, no puede verlo ni en pintura. El New York Times le dedicó un retrato hace no mucho. La cita es larga:

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education.

But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.

His relationship to the press is one of outright hostility. At his notoriously brief news conferences, his handlers vet every journalist, picking and choosing who can ask questions. In the usual give-and-take between press and politicians, the hurly-burly of any healthy democracy, he has simply removed the give.

Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing. The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.

In 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media. Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

Una joyita, vamos. En el Guardian también tienen palabras de cariño que complementan las anteriores:

The ousting of Harper is a victory for democracy, equality, the environment, and the economy. While much power is consolidated in the position of prime minister, unwritten convention has historically dictated that it is not wielded in a totalitarian way. Honour systems only work with honourable people. During his tenure, Harper strove to put as indelible an ideological mark on Canada as possible. He prorogued parliament twice for political gain, first to avoid a potential vote of non-confidence, and second to avoid House of Commons scrutiny of transfer of Afghan detainees at high risk of torture. He was ruled in contempt of parliament for withholding information on crime legislation, purchase of war jets, and impact of corporate tax cuts.

But even putting this underhand and undemocratic mode of politics aside, his official policy has done the country untold harm: he yoked Canada’s economy to Alberta’s oil industry; gutted the country’s environmental legislation; silenced scientists; defunded or criminalised over 100 progressive organisations; all but waged war on First Nations; and, taking credit where none was due for keeping Canada strong during the global recession, he implemented endless, ideologically driven austerity measures, severely damaging Canada’s once strong economy. I could go on.

Bien, ya no está Harper. La jugada ABC (Anything But Conservative) ha funcionado bastante bien esta vez, con unas gloriosas campañas para organizar el voto. ¿Y ahora qué?

Los liberales se han presentado con unas políticas anti-austeridad, anunciando ya que pretenden hacer grandes inversiones en obra pública, así engorden el déficit durante unos años, subir los impuestos al famoso 1%, eliminar exenciones fiscales a las rentas altas y un largo etcétera. También han dicho que legalizarán la marihuana, el suicidio asistido, crearán una suerte de banca pública para proyectos municipales, revisarán a la baja los límites en los donativos a partidos políticos en período electoral, crearán una comisión independiente que se encargue de organizar los debates electorales y mañana manarán ríos de leche y miel de todas las fuentes públicas. Lo último es broma.

Como todo lo anterior es muy bonito para ser verdad, ahora toca gestionar estas expectativas. No será fácil:

Stephen Harper is a goner, and humiliated, too, to the near-erotic ecstasy of Canada's chattering classes, who loathed him with such intensity it's hard to think of a comparison in modern politics.

Well, maybe Dick Cheney, George W. Bush's Darth Vader.

[...] Our new prime minister might say he's going to sit down and negotiate with Canada's premiers "with deep respect," but wait until he gets a load of what's involved with that. His father knew.

What Trudeau can do, of course, is change the tone. That costs nothing, and a lot of Canadians want it to happen.

He can make Canada's positions abroad more nuanced, less absolutist and replace Canada's swagger at the UN with some actual diplomacy.

He can walk back the talk about how terrorists threaten us daily in our very homes, and perhaps speak honestly about the effectiveness of our combat mission in Iraq and Syria.

He may end up joining the rest of the Western world in supporting the nuclear deal with Iran, and perhaps even recognize that there are two sides to the question of Israel and the Palestinians.

But sweeping reversals of Stephen Harper's legacy? It's been almost a decade, and Harper changed the status quo. Even Trudeau himself seems to understand that.


El Rhinoceros party, que promete privatizar a la reina (to save on taxes, and to profit from subsidies) y gravar el mercado negro, ha vuelto a quedarse fuera del parlamento.


John Oliver comenta todo este asunto.