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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Canada Conservatives win election

Canada has swung to the right in a general election after 12 years of Liberal rule increasingly overshadowed by allegations of corruption.

Conservative Stephen Harper is set to succeed Paul Martin as prime minister, but will need partners to govern.

[...]

The Conservatives won 124 seats, the Liberals 103, the Bloc Quebecois 51 and the New Democratic Party 29, official results showed after counts at Canada’s 66,000 polling stations.

Results indicated that the Conservatives made significant gains in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, and in the Francophone region of Quebec.

The Conservatives had 36% of the vote and the Liberals 30%.

The New Democrats gained 11 seats, a change hailed by their leader as an opportunity to “balance” the domination of the Conservative party.

Note: the Conservatives have 124 seats, but 155 is needed to form a majority.

Matthew Shugart has analyzed the likely long-term success of minority government in Canada.

The Conservatives have seen a dramatic turn of fortunes of late:

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2 Responses to “Election Watch: Canadian Results”

  1. None Says:

    The chart is a little misleading. During the 1990s and in 2000, the right-wing was represented in Parliament by the Reform Party and/or the Canadian Alliance (essentially the same party under different names). With the Progressive Conservatives and Reform/Alliance splitting the vote, the Liberals were able to win a number of districts in which the right-wing (PC+Reform) garnered a plurality of the vote. Once the parties merged (or, more correctly, once the PCs surrendered to the Alliance), it was inevitable that the number of Conservative seats would increase dramatically, as they did.

    To my mind, the real story of the 2006 election is the inability of the Coservatives to come anywhere close to a majority government despite overwhelming public disgust over the scandals that have plagued the Liberals. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of the electorate cast ballots for parties well to the left of the Conservatives (the Liberals being the most centrist of the alternatives). This tells me that most Canadian voters remain uncomfortable with Stephen Harper’s brand of pro-American, socially conservative politics. The new minority government will be a good opportunity for the Conservatives to show that they’ve moved away from their hard-right Reform party roots. If they can pull that off, they may have a shot at a majority next time around. But if they concentrate on repealing gay marriage, scrapping the Kyoto accords, and cozying up to the Bush administration, they will be clobbered by a cleaned-up Liberal party within a couple of years.

  2. Rigo Says:

    The real story last night was the NDP’s strong gains. If Harper tries to go in a US-style conservative direction right off the bat, his government won’t last long and the NDP will likely grow even larger.


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