Monday, October 20, 2008

Prime Minister Harper (Mostly) Wins Canadian Elections 2008

On October 14, 2008 Prime Minister Steven Harper gained more seats for his Conservative Party in the Canadian Federal Election. While the fourteen extra seats give him more padding at one-hundred forty-three seats he is twelve seats shy from fifty-percent plus one and therefore remains a minority government. The elections are a victory, a minor one, but still a victory for Harper and his Conservative Party.

The big news is in the other parties.
  • The center-left Liberal Party lost big losing twenty-seven seats. It now only has seventy-six seats. The Liberals have been in the political wilderness unable to find a strong leader or winning political platform.
  • The sovereignty-seeking, left-center Bloc Quebecois only lost a net of one seat as it continued to win votes from French-speaking socialists to French-speaking rural conservatives.
  • The social democratic left New Democratic Party jumped eight seats to thirty-seven. Popular vote-wise it earned eighteen percent compared to twenty-six for the Liberals. The constantly in opposition New Democratic Party has attracted left-leaning votes by staying true to principles while the Liberals are forced to compromise when both in and out of power. The New Democrats are rebuilding since their collapse in the early 1990s and may pose a threat to Liberal dominance of the left once again.

The election is a moderate win for Harper. His conservative yet distinctly Canadian outlook remains popular with voters. His skepticism with the ongoing war in Afghanistan should neutralize any anti-American backlash on him. The main reason he did not win a majority is the sudden downturn of the world's economies which he is in part blamed for because of being in office.

Map Room blog has featured several good maps of results from the election including a Google Earth layer. Be sure to check them out.

No comments: