The morning after the election, our national affairs columnist Jeffrey Simpson answered your questions live on the Globe Debate Facebook page.
Here are some highlights:
Q: Corinna Amama Will the media hold the Liberals as accountable as they held the Conservatives? (for example so little has been said of Dan Gagnier but so much press was given to Duffy and Nigel Wright)
Jeffrey Simpson: Dan Gagnier was all over the media in the campaign's final two days. We will try to hold the Liberals to account for how they govern. They did make many promises, some of them will be hard to fulfill when the reality of choice-making intrudes on the dreaminess of campaigning.
Q: Bill Hanley Why did the media give Trudeau a free pass during the election? He was never asked tough questions and the media never really dug into his platform. Only Steve Murphy, CTV Atlantic, asked him tough questions and Trudeau failed miserably answering them.
Jeffrey Simpson: In my long experience in this game, people who do like an outcome place partial blame on the media for not somehiow contributing to an outcome some did not like. I wrote a column poking holes in the Liberal platform here and there; others did as well. But what happens in any campaing is that the know record of the incumbent is pitted against the promises of the alternative. This sometimes favors the incumbent; sometimes not. There is no question that in politics, when people want a change, as they did in this case -- platforms don't matter all that much either way.
Q: Ed Lin How will relations change with the U.S.?
Jeffrey Simpson:Ah, this is an excellent question to which there is no easy answer. Trudeau gave a speech -- it's sitting on my sdesk -- about four months ago chastiizing Harper for souring relations with the U.s. and saying he, if elected, would improve them. Okay, so what will Trudeau say when Obama, now that the election is over, rejects the Keystone XL pipeline. What will Obama say when Trudeau pulls Canadian military forces out of Iraq where they have been part of the coalition against the Islamic State. Trudeau carefully avoided taking a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but he will eventually get around to endorsing it, the TPP being something the Americans very much want as part of their geopolitical respons eto China's rise. Obama is in the final year of office. Trudeau will have to deal with his successor, and who knows whom that will be?
Q: Aubrey Ferguson why are media and politicians not talking about the success of strategic voting? Clearly this was a vote to get rid of Harper and not much else. Strategic voting may not have worked in the past but it did this time, aided in part by the effectiveness of social media.
Jeffrey Simpson: I think the media wrote endlessly about strategic voting before, during and already after the election. It seems obvious to me that there was massive stragic voting based on one question: How do we get rid of Stephen Harper. Many more people answered Liberal than NDP, and the longer the camapign went on, the stronger the Liberal tide became.
Q: Wayne Watson Do you think there was any impact on the BC results from the early reporting? Considering the Liberal dominance elsewhere is it possible a lot of BC'ers felt it safe, strategically, to support the NDP because they were able to see the red tide long before their polls closed.
Jeffrey Simpson: All I can say is that this is possible, although I did note that in the last week of the campaign the Liberals were leading, albeit slightly, in the B.C. polls. So the red wind was blowing before election night.
Q: Laurel Dreger The Government must be held accountable, honest and their promises kept - how are they going to attain this? Thank you.
Jeffrey Simpson: They have to live with the promises they made, and we who observe them -- you, the citizens, and we in the media on your behalf, will try to see how they do.
Q: OldBear Jeffrey, It seems that Mulcair and Harper re-fought the last election, and only Trudeau fought this one. How could 2 supposedly intelligent politicians not realize that nothing ever stays static.
Jeffrey Simpson: I think you ask an interesting question, to which I would offer a necessarily incomplete reply. Having watched the Harper Conservatives for nine years, I was always struck b how they only knew one way to do politics. They focused on their core vote and how to mobilize it. They and developed attitudes of mind, ways of governing and polcy approaches that has worked in the past, and they were intellectually and politically incapable of seeing and doing things any other way. Remember, they were not thinking of the broad Canadian population, ever, but only of their slice of it which kept getting narrower and narrower. As for the NDP, they kidded themselves that enough Canadians would see them as the logical alternative to the Conservatives, whereas in fact most Canadians didn't and don't see them that way wat all. Many fewer Canadians wake up in the morning and think of themselves as New Democrats than those who rise and think of themselves as Conservatives and Liberals, and until that fundamental fact changes, the NDP will be third.
Q. Lap Gong Leong Jeffrey, with the BQ gaining 6 seats, is Quebec Separatism back in the spotlight?
A very, very dim light, not a spotlight. Gilles Duceppe, who Zombie-like brought his bug-eyed countenance back into Quebec politics, was mercifully defeated in his old riding by the NDP. That's two losses in a row for Mr. Duceppe, enough one prays to send him into permanent retirement.
The Bloc ran a disgusting campaign, one that woukld make Rene Levesque roll over in his grave. They tried to play identity politics -- again (surpirse!) -- over the niqab issue and Quebeckers rejected that approach, again. The BQ has no raison d'etre except to keep beatinga drum that fewer than a fifth of Quebeckers want to hear any more. My favorite photo of the campaign was of Duceppe and Parti Quebecois leader Pierre-Karl Peadeau starting off on a biking trip through Quebec. Metaphorically-speaking, the got flat tires. The Bloc did badly. What happened essentially was that softish nationalists who had supported the NDP last time went back to the Bloc.
Q: Richard Raycraft Mr. Simpson, I was of the opinion that Wynne's 2014 victory in Ontario would be good for the Harper government, as voters are said to like different parties in power at different levels of government. I also thought Wynne's campaigning for Trudeau would hurt him at the polls, considering the unpopularity of her government.
Yet we saw the Liberals dominate Ontario like the days of old. Why? What happened there? Why couldn't the Tories hold onto the 905?
Jeffrey Simpson: You ask a good question about the 905. My fine coleague John Ibbitson and pollster Darrel Bricker wrote a book three years ago or so, The Big Shift, in which they posited that the 905 and other Central Canadain suburban areas would link arms with Western Canadians to create a new Conservative majority. John, who wrote a first-rate biography of Stephen Harper, knows I disagreed with that thesis, so I'm not saying anything behind his back. Suburban voters, including those frome ethnic minorities, are not hugely different from people in other geographic and demographic places. They vote on economic issues and perceptions of leadership, both of which worked for the Liberals this time. As for Wynne campaigning for Trudeau,. returning thefavor as it were, it certainly gives the Liberal Party hegemony in Ontario. Remember that some of the key people around Trudeau and in the backrooms come from the Ontario Liberal Party -- Gerald Butts, David MacNaughton, David Herle and others. There is therefore a symbiotic political relationship. The federal Liberals tore pages from the Wynne copybook of how to win an election in Ontario. Bottom line: deficits don't much matter as a political issue. Also, it helps the Liberals federally and provincially that the Conservatives have gone so ideological under Harper, Hudak and Brown. Ontario is fundamentally a very moderate province; always has been.