After a number of years of minority governments, the Canadian electorate has finally decided they want stability, and have given Harper’s Conservatives a twelve seat majority. Results from election Canada, here. Big changes in Quebec (Which has rather the same relationship to the other Provinces as Scotland has to the rest of the UK) where the separatist and spendthrift Bloc Quebecois got toasted.
As a matter of interest there’s been a ‘Red shirt’ smaller Government movement campaigning for less debt etc who must have helped convince Quebeckers to ‘drop the Bloc’. Everywhere else the Liberals (For UK readers, think Labour) lost big time. The Greens have won one seat in the lower Gulf Islands. Although their victory is hardly surprising out here on the hippy drippy West coast.
From observations based on other countries it has to be said that Green MP’s tend to have the electoral life span of Mayflies. Especially when the voters find out what all those eco-friendly policies really mean. With an overall Conservative majority in power the Greens are still pretty much irrelevant anyway.
Down at the low end of the political food chain we have candidates for Parties like the PC Party (Nooo, not that kind of Political Correctness, but Progressive Conservative), the Pirate Party (Nothing to do with Johnny Depp and “Ahar, me hearties, shiver me mainbrace” they’re about reform of Canadian Copyright). As a matter of interest, the Libertarian Party candidates scored slightly more votes than the PC Party.
Then we come to the wierd and wonderful end of the political spectrum with the Rhinoceros Party (I kid you not), the Radical Marijuana, the FPNP, WBP (Who want independence from Ontario and Quebec, don’t think they’re all that keen on the Maritime provinces either). Then there’s the anti abortionist CHP, the Animal rights Movement, Communists and Marxist-Leninists who obviously didn’t get the memo.
It’s worthwhile noting that up until 2004, a Liberal passed law said that a political party had to run 50 candidates at $1000 dollars a candidate to be considered ‘registered’. Now anyone with the odd thousand to burn can form their own political party with only one candidate. For someone currently without a vote this meets with my amusement. At least this way everyone gets a chance. It’s about as representative as democracy gets.
Regarding AV, over here in Canada the briefly adopted Alternate Voting system was ditched after one election, and a Single Transferable Voting system proposed. Although we’ve still got first past the post as the 2005 referendum to adopt STV missed it’s mark by 3%.