It's been seven years since we've had a majority government and already you can sense a different energy. The potential danger for the opposition, the Canadian public may also sense the change and prefer it, relative to the past years of constant upheaval and uncertainty. With the parameters clear and firm, there is a changed focus that already seems readily apparent.
In theory a majority should make "debate" less meaningful, since the opposition lacks any practical application, the government does what it pleases. However, while will is easily asserted, I'm already sensing a more substantive debate. For the last seven years almost every issue based conversation has been distracted by election questions. Rather than a debate about the merits of pro and con arguments, everything is viewed with polling and posturing for the next showdown. With the elimination of showdown potential, I would argue we are now in a phase where the actual issues take prominence, the measure is the policy itself. Perhaps I'm seeing things, but I've noted a more substantive debate, less triviality, more examination.
The government appears more relaxed, I suspect the PMO will no longer spend mornings detailing EAP sign location and more on actual issues and legislation development. Minus the continual threat of an election, energy will be directed to longer term pursuits, which may look attractive, relative to the continual band aid approach that the immediacy of a minority may demand.
For the opposition, while they will pounce per usual, I predict less fixation with headline reaction, chasing every mini-scandal and more time putting forth their own views on real issues as a means to differentiate. If this prediction turns out to be true, then it's a net positive for the Canadian public, who clearly want our politicians to focus on issues, not tabloid like pursuits. A minority almost guarantees a continual "gotcha" psychology, because every bend in the road could bring temporary change. Within the relative stability of a majority, every blip in the polls here and there isn't elevated to decisive moment. Scrums and panels are no longer simply an election posturing discussion, but questions about positions and directions. Parties still jockey, but every debate isn't derailed by the same fixations we've seen the last seven years.
I have a sneaking suspicion, for the next while at least, that Canadians are going to look a bit more favorably on their majority reality in Ottawa, as compared to recent past manifestations.