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May 02, 2011

Canadian Elections

Looks like Stephen Harper is not only going to remain Prime Minister, he's going to take the Conservatives from a minority government to a pretty strong majority one.

As of 10:45 p.m. ET, the Conservatives had won or were leading in about 160 seats out of the 308 in the House of Commons, five more than needed for a majority, while the New Democrats had soared past 100 and the Liberals had tumbled to about 30.

The Conservative run started in Atlantic Canada, where the Tories overtook the Liberals in the popular vote and added three of the 12 additional seats needed to ensure solid control of Parliament.

The Liberals emerged from the Maritimes scarred but alive, having dropped two seats to the New Democrats and three to the Conservatives. The Tories picked up one seat by a razor-thin margin in Newfoundland and Labrador after being shut out in the last election.

As polls had suggested, the NDP trounced the Bloc in Quebec while the Harper Tories scored big gains in Ontario at the expense of the Liberals who once owned the province federally.

The other major story seems to be the destruction of the Liberal Party and the Quebec separatist Bloc Québécois. The Liberal party which ran the country for over a decade not all that long ago (they led a minority government as recently as 2004) is going to go from 77 seats to the low 30s. The Bloc will go from 47 to about 5.

Basically the NDP is taking over Quebec.

The NDP is going to go from the 4th place party to the Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition with over 100 seats (they had 34 in the last Parliament).

This is a pretty major realignment.

The NDP is running some odd candidates that are going to win like Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

The single mother who lives in Gatineau, Que., and works in Ottawa as an assistant manager of a Oliver’s pub at Carleton University in Ottawa is a classic parachute candidate.

Yet there’s no sign that her parachute ever landed in Berthier-Maskinongé, a Quebec riding near Trois-Rivières that is about a three-hour drive from her home.

Local media say she has not granted any interviews and an NDP spokesman could not confirm whether she ever visited the riding.

“She is both excited and nervous,” said NDP spokesman Marc-André Viau, who has spoken with Ms. Brosseau since she returned from a previously scheduled vacation in Las Vegas. Another NDP spokesman had told The Canadian Press that Ms. Brosseau was “a little freaked out” by the sudden media attention.

“She was not ready to do a press conference, but she’s learning,” said Mr. Viau, who said she will need to “perfect” her French-language skills. “She will be learning in the days to come to be more confident to talk to media and to be a public figure. So if she’s elected, we’ll make sure that she’s ready.”

Thanks to James Schmidt for that link.

Basically the NDP just needed names on the ballots in some ridings where they figured they had no chance to win. And now a bunch of these place holders are going to be Members of Parliament. It's like taking the first 40 names from the English version of the Montreal phone book and throwing them in Parliament.

Amazing stuff.

Update: Hockey Legend Ken Dryden, who went into Liberal Party politics after his Hall of Fame career, apparently lost. That's a shame.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:00 PM

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