Tag Archives: Bloc

Harper wins again, gaining 16 seats and some in the precious 905 region around Toronto


By ROB GILLIES Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press

Oct. 15, 2008, 4:05AM

Harper wins big in the election

Harper wins big in the election

OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he will reach out to all parties during the global financial meltdown after his Conservative Party won in national elections but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

Harper had called Tuesday’s elections early in hopes of getting his party a majority, and in doing so he became the first major world leader to face voters since the financial crisis.

Instead, the Conservatives will once again be forced to rely on opposition support to pass budgets and legislation — as it has had to since a 2006 election victory.

Harper sought to put a good face on the results Wednesday, pointing to an increased number of seats and pledging cooperation.

“We have shown that minority government can work and at this time of global economic instability we owe it to Canadians to demonstrate this once again,” Harper said. “We hold out a hand to all members of all parties asking them to join together to protect the economy and weather this world financial crisis.”

With nearly all the returns in, Canada’s election agency reported on its Web site that the Conservatives had won or was leading in races for 143 of Parliament’s 308 seats, an improvement over the 127 seats the party had in the previous Parliament.

The Conservative Party needed to win 155 seats to govern on its own.

The Liberal Party, long Canada’s top party, suffered a severe drubbing, dropping to 76 seats from 95 in the previous Parliament, according to the election agency. Bloc Quebecois won 50 seats, the New Democrats 37 and independent candidates 2.

Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion, in his concession to Harper, offered his “full cooperation in these difficult economic times.”

The party winning the most seats generally forms the government, with its leader becoming prime minister. The opposition parties could unite and topple Harper if they won enough seats for a majority, but analysts said that was unlikely because the parties have no tradition of forming such coalitions.

The opposition Liberals have typically been the party in power, forming the government for most of Canada’s 141 years. But the left-of-center vote was divided among four parties, giving an edge to the Conservatives.

Dion’s campaign was hindered by his unpopular plan to tax all fossil fuels except gasoline and by perceptions he is a weak leader. A former professor from French-speaking Quebec, Dion also suffered in other regions because he frequently mangles English grammar and his accent makes him hard to understand.

Dion said Canadians have asked him to be their official opposition leader, a signal that he’s not ready to step down at this point.

If Dion was ousted as leader after a loss, he would be just the second Liberal leader to fail to become Canada’s prime minister. The only other was Edward Blake, who led the party to defeat in the 1882 and 1887 elections.

Many Canadians complained Harper was slow to react as the global credit crisis worsened. He hurt himself by saying during a debate that Canadians were not concerned about jobs or mortgages. A few days later, he said stocks were cheap — just before Canada’s main stock exchange had its worst week in almost 70 years.

Harper later said he knows Canadians are worried and stressed that Canada’s economic and fiscal performance contrasts to the more dire situation in the United States.

Voter turnout Tuesday about 59 percent, the lowest in Canadian history. It was unclear how much stringent new proof-of-identity requirements affected the turnout.

Voter turnout is heavy in Durham and York region, the middle class is voting for Harper and splitting the vote to Layton. Dion’s leadership maybe in question?


Update (7:56pm):Just came back from voting and turnout is heavy. I had to wait in line for a long time as it went outside of the High School and into the parking lot. Durham residents are voting, are you?

Update (10:14pm): It will be a Conservative win for Harper. The question is how large of a win? In Durham region there are some tight races in Oshawa. There is no way to declare a winner at the moment. Tonight is definitely a strange night. The Conservatives are doing well across the board. However, the Liberals are actually looking strong in Quebec, which is a definite blow to Jack Layton and the NDP. It will be interesting to see the numbers from B.C as they come in. However, no matter how you  put it, at the moment this is the Conservatives night. Albeit, still a minority at the moment they are picking up seats in Ontario. Dion has helped in Quebec, however strangely they are hurting in Ontario, which is there base. An interesting note is Ontario’s north has gone NDP. I am not sure if this is a pattern for Jack Layton to go on, however it’s an interesting note for the future. The NDP vote is definitely up in percentage, however he must be disappointing with the seat total. Also, the Conservatives are doing well in Thornhill with Peter Kent. Better thank Peter Shurman for that pick up! Dion will definitely have to explain the Carbon Tax to his caucus. Canadians were either in fear (a general lack of understanding) of the Carbon Tax. Or is this a message from Ontario on his leadership?

BIG NEWS: Oh my! Garth Turner has been defeated! Harper must be happy….

Update: Voter turnout may have been heavy in Durham, however across the Country it seems NO ONE CARES. Voter turnout was the lowest in Canadian history at only 59%.