How minority rule ends.

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Canada just had an election, and the minority Conservative administration gained almost twenty seats while the Liberals lost about the same amount. The Greens got nearly a million votes, but no seats (for comparison the Bloc Quebecois got 1.3m votes and 49 seats).

And Stephen Harper stayed as Prime Minister, full of evil schemes to pollute the planet, to close down the opposition, stifle the economy, and probably strangle kittens (left). 

The opposition funding issue has proved, as Sir Humphrey would say, a brave move, especially in a minority Parliament.

Now the opposition Liberals, NDP and BQ look likely to cooperate (which makes sense, given that the Conservatives are significantly to the right of the centre of gravity both in and out of Parliament). Their plan is to throw out Harper a week today and install either a Liberal or an NDP Prime Minister. If you want to read the transcript of the NDP's conversations, they've been leaked, disgracefully.

Harper's trying to force another election instead, but there's no need if the others can agree terms. He looks likely to be sacked as party leader, too.

Closer to home, Salmond could in theory be turfed out in just the same manner by any three other parties in Parliament working together. However, the Unionisht Conshpirashy don't have enough confidence right now that a subsequent election wouldn't swing even further the SNP's way. But Canada certainly shows what minority hubris looks like.


All the cool kids call them the 'Bloc'

I think Canada (and former Canadians) should just be grateful that I'm paying them this much attention.

Pah. Also, in terms of electoral fairness. I'm not convinced PR would change things toooooo much. There's probably need to be an additional Member system that would probably some sort of provincial breakdown. The Bloc would likely either monopolise the constituency seats, or they'd still have relatively high levels of support at the provincial level. And I think that's fair. Measuring the Bloc's support across the country as a way of determining their representation would be unfair to Bloc supporters who only have candidates in their own province...

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This page was published on December 1, 2008 8:42 PM.

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