Conservatives won on technicalities, but Canadians rejected the
Several things to note from the Canadian elections.
The Conservatives picked up 19 seats, but only 1.1% of the vote
and the lowest turnout in Canadian history. The most significant
feature of this election was the collapse of the Liberal Party out
west and in Ontario. (they actually beat many polls in Quebec) The
socialist party, the New Democratic Party or NDP, cut into Liberal
margins, giving Conservatives a number of ridings around the
country. Furthermore, the Liberals were reduced to a regional
party, getting virtually no seats west of Ontario.
That said, this election was called before the economy in the US
and Europe melted down. Had this not happened, there would be a
clear Conservative majority.
Look for a leadership election in the Liberal Party. Look for an
extended minority government as the Liberals cannot afford (in the
financial, and also political sense) another election. The big
tests for this government will be handling the economic crisis
(which will inevitably drift into a recession because of a drop off
in US consumer activity) and his handling of the negotiations of
the next international climate agreement.