Canada Holds Federal Election Again.

by Mike on May 2, 2011

in Politics

I don’t remember when Canada turned into Italy without the history, but here we are.  Canadians went to the polls today for their fourth federal election since 2004.  The election came about because a collection of left-wing opposition parties brought down Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government through a vote of no confidence several weeks ago.  Apparently, the lefties were upset that Harper didn’t give them access to information on some fiscal legislation so they also voted him in contempt of Parliament.

Will the Liberal and NDP hissy fit pay off?  Can Stephen Harper’s Conservatives finally win a majority government?  Or will it be the same result as the last couple of foreign elections in parliamentary systems, with the right winning the greatest number of seats while falling just short of total control?  The results will begin to come in on C-Span in a few minutes if you’re as big a dork as I am and are interested in this sort of thing.  If you can’t tune in tonight, don’t worry.  They should have another election in a month or two.

UPDATE: It looks like C-Span jumped into the CBC coverage already in progress.  The Conservatives are projected to win the largest number of seats.  They have about the same level of support as in 2008, but their seat count is much higher.  A majority is within reach and that should make heads explode at the AP.  The Liberals, the other major party, look like their falling into third place behind the NDP (think Bernie Sanders/Howard Dean).  So, the hissy fit appears to have paid off for the NDP but backfired on the Liberals.  A Tory majority would be wonderful because Harper is no squish.

More updates after the jump

UPDATE 2: This election is historic.  According to the CBC, “we’re watching the near destruction of one of the great founding parties” of Canada.  The NDP, historically a barely significant minor party, is comfortably in second.  In Parliamentary systems, a shift that dramatic can spell doom for a party.  In the UK, the Liberal Party was one of the two major parties for over a century, until they were overtaken by a socialist party known as Labour.  No one can know if the NDP is doing the same thing to the Canadian Liberals, but the Liberals can’t be too comfortable with the question being asked.

UPDATE 3: The CBC projection shows the Conservative Party at 165 seats; that’s enough for a majority.  The split left-wing opposition vote made it happen.  The Liberals were so desperate to create political theater that they may have just surrendered their major party status to another.

UPDATE 4: It’s official.  Stephen Harper has his majority!

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