Video by Lindsay Thorimbert / Commentary by Danielle Mario

The ballots are in, the votes are counted, and not a heck of a lot has changed.

 Boooooring. Not to mention a waste of money.

Who knew that changing nothing could cost so much?

The incumbent prime minister, Stephen Harper, held the minimum 36-day election, and with Elections Canada having spent $270 million for the last election in 2006, we’re paying a lot for not a lot of change to the minority government, which was strengthened by a modest 16 seats.

The ballots are in, the votes are counted, and not a heck of a lot has changed.

Boooooring. Not to mention a waste of money.

Who knew that changing nothing could cost so much?

The incumbent prime minister, Stephen Harper, held the minimum 36-day election, and with Elections Canada having spent $270 million for the last election in 2006, we’re paying a lot for not a lot of change to the minority government, which was strengthened by a modest 16 seats.

According to CBC, the $215 million spent on the 2006 election paid for election workers and poll officials, printing the election list, renting offices, material and supplies, training, ads and outreach campaigns, support network, and IT support.

There was an additional $55 million that went back to candidates and parties as well, according to the political financing provisions under Bill C-24.

In the wake of the election call also came quashed the byelections that were supposed to take place in September. 

Taxpayers were on the hook for the sum of $892,000 per riding – amounting to almost $3.5 million – when the byelections were cancelled and the books were closed on those four elections to make room for the general election.  With the election call, Elections Canada had to start from scratch with little money recovered.

That’s a high price for another minority government.

Now we’ll have to wait out talk of economic turmoil, a glitzy US vote in November, and party leadership questions before we see another election that could potentially turn the tide or break the minority government stalemate.

Elections headquarters around Canada also featured many complaints.  Some voters were upset about the new identification rules to vote, others were removed from the voters list from the last election, some more were forced to drive up to an hour to their polling station, and revisions offices still crawled on dial-up internet.

Whether it was the parties, the voters, or the headquarters to blame, it will be interesting to see whether it was worth footing the bill.

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