Election picture of the day: Voters queued for hours on an election day that will be considered one of the most disorderly in the country’s history.
When the clock struck midnight in the Eastern time zone, and all the announcers called this election for the Liberals; after weary experts criticized the value of an election that produced a result remarkably similar to what existed before; after the media breathlessly updated the results live and declared winners in specific constituencies across the country; After all that, hundreds and perhaps thousands of voters formed surreal ranks across the country, politely waiting to cast a vote in an election that had already been called. If these poor souls had checked Twitter, they would have been bombarded with conflicting messages, in one it had encouraged them to stay online, in the other it told them that the choices were made and that they made no sense. Canadians have long despised America’s clumsy and confusing electoral college and its disparate voting infrastructure. This time, with a pandemic preventing Elections Canada from hosting polling places in all its usual locations, and with physical distancing stretching ten times the length of the lines, we are the shameful ones. This choice was, without a doubt, terribly flawed. Not enough votes were cast by mail. There was no adequate preparation, funding or communication. The data showed a 20 percent increase in early ballots, to 5.8 million early votes; It’s good to hear, sure, but even that wasn’t enough. The result was a huge crowd still languishing in lines up to four hours long, waiting to cast a vote that Canadians like to say matters a lot, is a fundamental right, yadda yadda. It could be true. But it’s hard to sell when the people who tell you to stay in line sit comfortably on a couch and watch the results on TV.