May 3, 2011

"The Liberals, the governing party for most of Canada’s history, have been relegated to a third-place rump..."

Michael Barone, on Canada's election, which took place yesterday.
What seems to have happened is that the Conservatives have picked up enough seats, particularly in Toronto and in the 905 area code belt around Toronto, to win an absolute majority....
The New Democrats surged to second place, largely by replacing the Bloc Quebecois in the vast majority of Quebec seats; they will be the official opposition party...

What this looks like is the emergence of a two-party politics in what had been a four-party dominion. Conservatives have a solid majority and the left-leaning, statist New Democrats are the relatively weak opposition...

After the 2008 election I noted that Canada’s large metro areas were very different politically, with different parties competitive and/or dominant in each one in what was a four-party system. Now in what looks like a two-party system, they’re more alike.....

35 comments:

Richard Dolan said...

Too many "it seems" and "looks like" in Barone's narrative. Better just to call as you see it, and take the risk of being wrong. His piece reads like it was dashed off without enough time to write something stronger.

edutcher said...

Barone is an especially astute observer. What he notes is what makes most Parliamentary countries so ineffective. The coalition governments where everything must go through a committee.

I particularly like the line, "Conservatives have a solid majority and the left-leaning, statist New Democrats are the relatively weak opposition". Would that something like that happens here.

And, if things get much worse, they might.

PS Harper is The Blonde's favorite politician. She wishes he could come down here and run things and, no, I'm absolutely serious.

He has done good things for Canada.

Widmerpool said...

Mark Steyn had the most entertaining take:


Steyn

MadisonMan said...

I've lost track of what Liberals and Conservatives stand for in Canada.

windbag said...

Barone is the definitive word on political demographics. Is a safe haven emerging to our north for the discontented conservatives who wonder where to flee as our republic crumbles?

pbAndj said...

They got less than forty percent of the total vote, but almost fifty five percent of the seats.

I don't know anything about the Canadian electoral map. But, maybe all the non-cons are located in super non-con districts.

MikeinAppalachia said...

Yes, it is called "Quebec".

PatCA said...

It's sometimes hard to see it when you are in the middle of it, but the lefty/welfare paradigm is fading away.

Faster, please.

Titus said...

I was listening to a PRI show in Madison and at 8:00 they run some Canadian PRI show. Why is that by the way? Because Wisconsin is close to Canada?

Anyway some conservative party member was on and he sounded like a liberal here. Weird.

tits.

pbAndj said...

"An omen for the others?"

Even Tom Delay probably couldn't dream of a redistricting scenario that gives the Rs a fifteen point edge between the voters preferences and R seats in Congress.

And at some point you'd think the majority (in a supposedly democratic country) would grow weary (not that they could do anything, because they'd be disproportionately shut out) of such a system? Maybe the tipping point is when forty percent of the voters choose sixty percent of the legislators.

Geoff Matthews said...

When the Liberals and NDP split the left-of-centre vote, conservatives can win with 40% of the vote.

Bruce Hayden said...

Yeh, the article by Steyn was great. It was titled: "Liberal Party of Canada Buried at Sea After Dying in Firefight" and goes from there.

A humorous article. It is hard to pick, but I think that one of my favorite lines is: "On the other hand, the NDP (that’s Canadian for the Socialist Loon Party) has near tripled its representation, thanks to a last-minute revelation that its leader, Jack Layton, had been found naked with a “masseuse” during a police raid on a bawdy house. One never knows what will finally cause a party to make a breakthrough with the electorate, but Mr. Layton’s was the money shot heard round the world."

One of the commenters replied that Bill Clinton sent him congratulations, and the “masseuse” his phone number.

Steyn at his best.

Fred4Pres said...

Oh Canada! You cold and liberal land!

True Patriots, were ignored like tar sands.

You were marginalized, by Qubecois, a strong land made quite weak.

Oh Canada, your commedians, went south for jobs to seek.

But finally. You realize you've been wrong. Liberal lies, have made you not as strong.

traditionalguy said...

Ontario has the absolute majority of the population in Canada. Ontario is now bonding together with the Conservative/Christianist western Provinces to carry a combined 71% of the seats in those two areas. What has God wrought?

KyleJL said...

I don't think that we are moving towards a two-party system at all - though it may seem like that from this election. This is because, with the demise of the Liberals and the surge in NDP support that has replaced it, we are seeing not just two parties emerging, but two polarizing parties.

The Canadian people are not fond of polarizing politics, and in the next election I believe it will be ripe for the obliterated Liberals - or even the Greens - two moderate leaning parties, to rise back up and force the Conservative back down to a minority government.

I also think that with the results of this election, that there will be a significant drive for electoral reform from our First Past the Post system to a more Proportional Representation system.

James said...

Off-topic but Rush is on fire today. He's demanding an apology from the Democratic Party/the American Left/and Obama himself for their efforts over the past eight years to hinder the efforts to find Bin Laden.

If there was any question about Rush's position yesterday, he's making it quite clear where he stands today.

Leland said...

Hopefully they will get rid of their speech code.

Alex said...

Doesn't matter. As soon as the conservatives try to implement real austerity measures, the people will be screaming bloody murder and elect the lefties again.

jerryofva said...

The NDP is not a "left-leaning" party. They live to left of Nancy Pelosi. The NDP is an out and out radical socialist party

Carol_Herman said...

Okay. So English speakers opt for the Conservative Party. (Though I doubt they'll introduce a religious agenda.) While, the "opposition" will speak French?

Well, Quebec will still have the best restaurants.

And, ya know what? Nancy Pelosi killed the democrapic party. It's just a matter of time before the political clowns figure this one out!

And, the GOP is still saddled with Lindsay Graham, Orin Hatch, Snowe & Collins. So, the GOP isn't exactly a united front in our minority status, anyway.

Wahrheit said...

windbag said what I was thinking--if Obama wins in 2012 I'm moving to Canada! You know, with Alec Baldwin and the last remnant of the draft dodgers.

Wahrheit said...

One more interesting point: My local dead-tree paper (yes, I still get it) had a story this morning (written yesterday) about how the Conservatives might very well not get a majority, and there was a good chance an NDP/Libs coalition could take over. Even as I picked it up on the doorstep I'd already read the facts on my iPhone.

I think it's time these "journalists" start just reporting on what happened, and/or stick to local coverage like the coed softball league results...

chuckR said...

I also think that with the results of this election, that there will be a significant drive for electoral reform from our First Past the Post system to a more Proportional Representation system.

Isn't that the system that has worked so well for Italy?

If the Liberals ruled Canada for 70 years in the 20th century, might it not be a little premature to change the rules now that they aren't in the drivers seat or even (semingly) very influential?

Glenn Howes said...

If you have 3 relatively strong parties, then 40% of the vote is more than enough. Conversely, it does mean that 60% of the voters wanted something more left wing, but could not get 40% to agree on the same subset of left wing.

The Conservatives have 4 years to prove themselves without fear of early elections. I wish them good luck and a hope they believe in their own principles.

Alex said...

So the system is no good once Conservatives win a clear majority?

I have to admit this news takes a bit of bitter taste off the OBL stuff.

t-man said...

Lefty opinion is so predictable.

1.Conservatives win a majority with 40% of the vote -- time to change the system. (Ignore the fact that in the 1997 election, the Liberals won a majority of 51.5% of seats with 38.5% of votes, or that in 2000, the Liberals won 57.1% of seats with 40.8% of votes.)


2. 60% of the people didn't vote for Harper! (Ignore the fact that 70% of the people didn't vote for Layton and the NDP, and 80% of the people didn't vote for the Liberals, and 96% of the people didn't vote for the Greens.)

It's the same thing here - if a Democrat squeaks by it becomes a mandate for governance! If a Republican wins by almost any amount, the lesson is always that the Republican must abandon "extreme policies" and listen to the Demoncrats.

holdfast said...

If the Libs don't elect a strong leader soon, their members will be siphoned off by the other two parties. Hedy Fry and her freakshow ilk are a natural fit for the NDP, and more moderate Libs from Atlantic Canada and Ontario will join the Torys. Canada had a two party system until 1993 - no reason it can't again. All those new Torys from urban and suburban Ontario will have a moderating influence on the Torys - I could really see them replacing the old Libs as the "natural governing party". Even the rise of the socialist NPD has a happy side in that it has annihilated the traitorous BQ. I'll take a forthright socialist over a traitor any day.

Geoff Matthews said...

Holdfast,
I'd vote for Quebec independence.
But apparently you actually need to live in Quebec to do that.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I also think that with the results of this election, that there will be a significant drive for electoral reform from our First Past the Post system to a more Proportional Representation system.


Funny when the formerly dominant Leftist party loses, under the system that USED to work for it…THEN we need “proportional representation.” Yeah, right…..

Alex said...

Notice Jeremy has nothing to say in this thread. World events just stole his thunder. So much for Obambi's little triumph. The littlest one.

Steven said...

The moaning over the Conservatives running things was plausible back when the Liberals would have been the leaders of a united not-Conservative government. But given a choice between a Tory government and a Dipper government, quite a number of Grits would choose the Tories.

Then, too, the Conservatives got 47.7% of the non-Quebec popular vote, versus a combined 47.0% of the non-Quebec popular vote for the Liberals and NDP. If anybody else wanted their vote to matter, they'd have voted for one of those three, so English Canada was won by the Tories fair and square.

What about inside of Quebec? There, the right-left spectrum breaks down over status issues anyway. It's not particularly easy to determine what party any given voter would prefer nationally based on a local riding vote often cast purely on status issues.

Beau said...

Funny when the formerly dominant Leftist party loses, under the system that USED to work for it…THEN we need “proportional representation.” Yeah, right…..

Your comment pretty much sums up the difference between Canada and the US. There isn't the 'us and them' attitude in Canada. Well, not like you're demonstrating here.

Liberal doesn't mean what you think it does. The newly elected opposition, the NDP are way more to the left than the Liberals. That said, Canadian party politics are more moderate in their governance and ideology than in the US. There aren't the extremes. The government and the opposition will work together. You won't see the NDP opposing everything just to simply oppose it.

Meanwhile Harper will be kept honest by knowing that the majority of the voters didn't vote for him. It's a good system.

Beau said...

Even the rise of the socialist NPD has a happy side in that it has annihilated the traitorous BQ. I'll take a forthright socialist over a traitor any day.

True enough. And to top it off Elizabeth May not having a seat at the debate was moot. She'll have one next time however, good for her.

Steven said...

I still think the debate should be limited to leaders of parties that have enough Parliamentary representation to actually count as parties. Which means the next one would have neither the Greens nor the Bloc.

rcocean said...

Does it really matter? The Canadians missed their big chance when Quebec wanted to secede. They could have broken up into 3 very homogeneous countries (Quebec, the funny little provinces east of Quebec, and the rest)-which would've been good for everyone.

The Canadian Tories are to the left of the US Democrats. They don't stand for anything except the status Quo. That's why Canadian politics are so boring.