Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the day after the night before - the Canadian Election

So.... there's good news, and there's bad news in Canada today.

The Conservatives won. That's bad news.

But they won a minority government, and a truly smaller minority then anticipated. That's the good news, such as it is.

Minority governments tend to be fairly short-lived and unstable in Canadian governments.

The conservative candidate that I ranted about in the last post won in my riding. That's bad news.

The NDP increased their seat count by a third again, so that's good news.

Neutral but interesting - the Green Party finally qualified for federal funding, even though they didn't win a seat anywhere, because they got 4% of the popular vote, nationwide.

Altogether annoying - the Bloc Quebecois, who only run candidates in the province of Quebec, got 51 seats from their 10% of the popular vote (because the popular vote is calculated over the whole of Canada), while the NDP running candidates all over the country found their 17% of the popular vote translated to 29 seats.

I need to compare the winnings in each and every riding against the Vote Marriage folks who endorsed candidates in 209 ridings so I can get a picture on whether the same sex marriage legislation will stand or not. It's an issue that's important to me.

Overall, the Left has a breathing moment to regroup. Things won't go downhill too quickly because the Conservatives have to play very much to the Centre to keep their government in power. If they govern well in the time that they have, they stand a better chance of gaining a majority rule (and considerably more raw power) in the next election.

Paul Martin, the former Prime Minister, and leader of the Liberals, resigned as leader immediately last night, although announcing that he will continue to serve as the MP for his riding. So it's in the Liberals best interest to not play havoc with the Conservative minority on any given issue too quickly, until they find a new leader and give him/her a chance to get comfortable with the public.

Feel free to ask questions, if you're not familiar with the political system, or something doesn't make sense. I'd be happy to answer what I can.



Diana said...

Bully for the Greens!

Yes, it will definitely be difficult for the conservatives to get much done. Thank heavens.

Karen said...

Well.... the Green Party isn't what it sounds like, so... I can't be terribly supportive right off the bat.

They were apparently being investigated for election fraud (from the previous election) - something about the leader not reporting his expenses correctly. And there's some question about where the funding is coming from. Apparently most of the key people in the Green Party are former Alliance members, and the Alliance is what the Conservatives used to be before they merged with another party.

So... I'd like to know more, and watch them for a few years, before I start endorsing the Greens.


Diana said...


So much for "brand familiarity".