I haven't yet seen the popular vote counts, but my initial impressions from last night are:
-It is possible to attract progressive voters to the polls.
-It is possible to find success running as the anti-Harper.
-Ignatieff wasn't able to shepherd the left's "herd of cats". Layton now has 4 years to try to do that.
-Much of the disbelief about "the Orange crush" turned out to be wrong. The numbers held.
-Vote splitting still hurts the left and helps the right. Something's got to be done about this or we're going to continue to see Conservative governments.
-Now we're going to see Harper's true colors. Will he be the moderate he and many of his supporters profess him to have become, or will he treat this as a mandate for a hard-right policy push?
I'm happy for Layton and the NDP's success and for what looks like a fade in Quebec separatist sentiment. But I'm also not a partisan, and as such, am disappointed in the Canadian political left being unable to turn a contempt of parliament and Responsible Governance into an issue that Canadians cared enough to whole-scale hold their leaders accountable for.
As Jackson's character in Jurassic Park so wisely put things, "Hold on to yer butts!".