Hey there hosers,
Canada just had an election and the results are interesting. First some background: The large majority of Canadians (and seats in the Canadian Parliament) are from Ontario. Quebec is the second largest province and its politics are heavily influenced by the Bloc Quebecois - a party with the goal of an independent, francophone nation of Quebec. Canada uses the same electoral system as the USA and UK. This tends to mean that in each district (Canadians call them ridings), seats are only contested seriously by two parties. Which two parties are competitive in any riding varies, however.
The big news is in Ontario where the ruling Liberal Party (something akin to the American Democratic party) won 75 out of 106 seats. Sounds impressive but in 2000 the Liberals won 100 out of 106 seats. In a sense, the Liberals had no where to go but down in Ontario. The Progressive Conservatives (aka "the Torries") won 24 seats and the New Democratic Party (a new left party) won 7 seats. Most press is interpreting this as a rebuke for the Liberals and especially Paul Martin, but one could also view this as the Torry party making a solid come back from an annomolous near extinction. In Quebec, Bloc Quebecois won 54 seats out of a total of 75. The Liberals won the remaining 21 seats. In 2000, the BC had 38 and the Liberals had 36. The Torries had 1 seat in Quebec in 2000 and lost it this year. In the Atlantic Provinces, the Liberals made substantial gains going from 19 seats in 2000 to 21 seats in 2004. The Torries won the remaining 7 seats in those Provinces. The Torries (who recently merged with a regional party called the Canadian Alliance) did best in the West.
Total Seats for Parliament: 308
All this means that the Liberals have lost their absolute majority in Parliament. However, Prime Minister Paul Martin will continue as the head of a minority government that will count on support from one or more of the smaller parties on an issue by issue basis. In many respects, this will not matter much to the Liberals in terms of the policy they can pass. They will be able to play the Torries, BQ and NDP off against each other to good effect. Any influence the Torries and BQ will have will depend on their ability to maintain party discipline, something that can be difficult in countries with Canada's electoral system.
If any of you out - sorry - oot there have some special insight into Canadian politics feel free to share!
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Hey there hosers,
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:38 AM