Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Watching the Canadian election results come in right now, and the Conservatives have now obtained a majority, with a huge (for them) showing for the NDP and massive losses for the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. The result is this: the NDP (the favourite party on sites like reddit.com/r/canada) has amassed a humongous number of seats compared to all of their previous showings...but in a majority government this means nothing but noise. Neither the NDP nor the Liberals will be able to threaten to topple the government on bills of confidence, and the Canadian left has five years or so of Conservative bill after Conservative bill to look forward to.
The NDP achieved these gains at the crest of a surge of popularity, and if such a surge had happened to the Liberals they would have won about 200 seats this time around.
A definite possibility in the next few years is a uniting of the Liberals and the NDP (Liberal Democrats), but it's still far too early to say whether this would be possible. It would also leave a certain amount of space in the centre (fiscally prudent, socially liberal) that could easily be filled by a new party - red tories plus middle-of-the-road liberals.
And yes, it is very interesting. Unlike many of those that voted Liberal, I don't have a particular dislike for the ruling Conservatives, but I did think it was time for Harper to go after five years.
Still watching Westmount - Ville-Marie in Quebec to see if Marc Garneau (Canada's first astronaut and former president of the Canadian Space Agency) retains his seat, not that it matters a great deal now that the Liberals have been trounced, as he's now nowhere close to running Canada's space policy.