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Just Some Post-Election Comments
24/01/2006

I don't have much to say. So many have said it already anyway. If you haven't seen them, visit Andrew Coyne, Paul Wells, James Bow, Brett Lamb, Adam Radwanski (today's posting), Andrew Potter, Ian Welsh and Kevin Brennan.

Things look all right. I'm happy that we have a new government, but that it is also a minority government. The Liberals will have a new leader, and that's good too. Harper will govern for at least a year, but the next election could be as early as 2007 or as late as 2009. The situation isn't stable, but I think that if Harper concentrates on his five priorities, he should be able to hang in there and establish a positive foundation for himself in the next campaign. (Here's some speculation on that.) No one should be in a hurry for a new election, least of all the Liberals.

With Martin out, the Liberal Party will be rebuilding. Leadership possibles include McKenna, Manley, Stronach, Tobin, Ignatieff and several lesser names. I've always had a soft spot for Dion, as a strong federalist and a competent cabinet minister. Colby Cosh says we need to keep him in mind, although I have no idea how good a campaigner he'd be.

Whoever the Liberals choose, the Conservatives aren't going to have an easy time building a majority. It is hard to imagine the Liberals doing much worse than they did this last time. (30.2% is their second lowest share of votes ever, second only to 1984.) The fact is, with the right reunited and the Bloc sitting on 50 seats in Quebec, majorities just don't look easy for anybody.

Anyway, in the end, I think things are looking up. We should have decent governing by the Conservatives, at least during this trial run, and the next election should be a real battle with even better choices on the table.

Interesting Trivia and Observations

  • SES Research and the Election Prediction Project rule.
  • 50.5% of all Liberal votes cast were cast in Ontario (vs. 37.0% of all Conservative votes cast). 12.6% of all Liberal votes cast were cast in the City of Toronto.
  • 17.3% of Conservative votes were in Alberta, even though they only cast 9.7% of ballots nation-wide
  • Liberals were 3rd place in Quebec, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. The NDP nearly passed them in Manitoba, too. And in Alberta, Greens + NDP exceeded the Liberals.
  • Canada-wide, the NDP gained about 470,000 votes compared to 2004. The Liberals lost about 470,000 votes. The Conservatives and Greens had gains, the Bloc took a big hit, and turnout was up almost 5 percentage points.
  • Conservatives were up 6.6% which translated into 25 seats. The Liberals were down 6.5%, which cost them 32 seats. The NDP gained 10 seats by increasing their vote a mere 1.8%.
  • The Green Party's highest support was in Alberta, 6.6%.
  • People interested in Proportional Representation need to understand that the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc will never support it since they are the big beneficiaries. They took over 90% of the seats on 77% of the vote. There is some hope with Conservatives since PR would mean they always have a say, but PR also removes the only real chance they have at a right-wing majority.

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