This has been an election-rich year in Canada.
Besides the federal election, whose results were exactly the opposite of what I'd hoped, there were also provincial elections here in Manitoba as well as in neighbouring Ontario this week, with more provincial elections in most of Canada throughout the year.
Unlike that federal election, though, where I expected more of the same and instead got the dreaded Conservative majority, the Manitoba election was almost entirely pointless, with the New Democrats getting another majority government and the seat totals remaining essentially identical. The NDP did pick up a vacant seat (going from 36 to 37), but the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals have the same seat totals they had going into this race (19 and a lonely 1 for the party leader, respectively).
On a more personal note, I'm also acquainted with two candidates who failed to unseat the incumbents in their ridings. My friend Anlina Sheng was a first-time candidate for the Green Party, while I went to high school with Paul Hesse, who's been involved in the provincial political scene for a while and has even been talked about as a potential future leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party.
What confuses me most about the way Canadians seem to vote is how much of a difference there is between various levels of government--Manitoba itself is largely Conservative at the federal level, but largely New Democrat at the provincial level (albeit with a glaring urban-rural split on the electoral map). My own riding of Fort Garry-Riverview (The Fighting Riverview!) is a microcosm of this, in which there was a very safe win for the NDP MLA in this election but a slim victory for the Conservatives in the equivalent federal riding (where the NDP candidate finished a distant third).
The CBC has an editorial today arguing that this happens because of "the time-honoured Canadian practice of hedging our political bets," but it still seems strange to me that the same voters would go for the mainstream right-wing party and the mainstream left-wing party in the same year.
Does this happen in the United States? Do any of the Americans reading this have similar examples in their own districts, with (for example) a Democrat in the State Legislature but a Republican in the House of Representatives?