A man named Trudeau will once again be Prime Minister of Canada.
After three terms in office, Canadians ejected the Conservative government of Stephen Harper and have elected a Liberal majority government. Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre, will become Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.
As of this writing, the Liberals are leading and elected in 188 seats, the Tories are leading and elected in 104 seats, the NDP leading and elected in 35 seats, the Bloc Quebecois leading and elected in 10 seats with Green Party leader Elizabeth May retaining her seat.
The odds were against the Tories winning a fourth consecutive election. But at the outset of the election, the NDP under Tom Mulcair was posed to form its first ever government. Little was expected of the Liberals who were reduced to 34 seats in 2011 under Michael Ignatieff.
Instead, the Liberals swept every seat in Atlantic Canada and have done well everywhere in the country (save for Western Canada). Toronto voters wore blue and voted red. The Liberals not only gained at the expense of the Tories, but of the NDP. Long time NDP MPs like Megan Leslie, Jack Harris, Paul Dewar, Pat Martin, Peter Stoffer (who nearly hired some guy named Goldstein to work for him) and Olivia Chow (the widow of the late NDP leader Jack Layton) lost their seats decisively to the Liberals. It appears that Mulcair will retain his seat, but will likely resign as NDP leader. However, he did not speak to his future tonight. What a difference four years make. The NDP won a record 103 seats in 2011, mostly in Quebec. Not only did the NDP lose to the Liberals, but they also lost to a resurgent Bloc Quebecois although Gilles Duceppe appears to be trailing in his riding.
As for Harper, it appears likely that he will resign as Tory leader although he did not make any such announcement tonight. However, a Tory official has issued a written statement asking the new Tory caucus to select an interim leader. Whether he remains an MP remains to be seen. I’ve written a piece about Harper which I hope to have up tomorrow morning. So I’ll save my comments about Harper for now.
A month ago, Trudeau had a terrible debate performance and was trailing the NDP in his own riding. But he had his hair, a ripped bod and a winning smile. This was apparently sufficient for Canadian voters.
Trudeau conveys idealism and new politics. But it is only a matter of time before we hear of massive corruption, massive deficits and the same old Liberal politics.
UPDATE: Here is the final tally: Liberals – 184 seats, Conservatives – 99 seats, NDP – 44 seats, Bloc Quebecois – 10 seats, Green – 1 seat.
The Liberals garned 39.5% of the vote while the Tories earned 31.9%. The NDP returned to its usual showing of 20% (19.7% to be precise) while the BQ and Greens received 4.7% and 3.5%, respectively.
So Trudeau will be Prime Minister, Harper is stepping down as Tory leader and Mulcair is staying on as NDP leader – for now. The Bloc is back, but Gilles Duceppe won’t be joining them and Elizabeth May is a party of one again.
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