The Canadian election came to its conclusion last night without (my) the hoped for results. Instead of a majority government, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives slid back in with another minority government, albeit up 16 seats for a total of 143 MPs elected.
Stephane Dion’s Liberals, still the official opposition with 76 seats won, will be missing 19 MLAs when the House sits again. Not an encouraging situation for Dion’s ongoing career as leader of the party.
Jack Layton’s NPD party improved its position slightly with 37 seats and the Green Party came out with zilch. The election of a couple of Independents closed out the count.
The Conservatives ended up with no seats in Newfoundland, no doubt due to Danny William’s strident campaign against Stephen Harper’s government. But overall they did pick up seats in the Maritimes.
The deal breaker was the Bloc Quebecois which by taking 50 of the seats in Quebec dashed the Conservative’s hopes of crossing the finishing line with a majority government.
The election apparently had a record low turnout. I wonder if a lot of traditionally Liberal supporters weren’t excited about voting for Dion’s policies but wouldn’t vote for any of the alternate parties either so simply stayed home and sat on their hands.
A lovely post election moment featuring Stephane Dion with a lot of subsequent ass kissing and making excuses for Mr Dion by the CTV commentators rather summed up the tone of the past few weeks.
The Conservatives put a brave face on the results, saying that they had come through with a stronger minority position. Certainly better than a decreased or static position, but unfortunately still a minority government.
There are, I think, some positives for the Stephen Harper.
The Conservatives have improved their position for the last three elections which has to make the other parties somewhat nervous. To the point that any time that the Harper government puts legislation before the House the opposition parties will have to think long and hard about voting it down and potentially triggering another election.
It would be worth the price of admission to see the government go forward with their pledge to get rid of the long gun registration once and for all and see if the opposition, after the prerequisite yelling and screaming, finally swallows hard and lets the registry pass into oblivion.
With the Liberal party in disarray and a very heavy cloud hanging over Stephane Dion’s continued leadership, the election has given the Conservatives moving room to implement their legislative plan and to deal effectively with the current financial crisis as it applies to Canada. It could have been better, but it’s not all bad.
We’ll see where it goes from here.