The NDP’s orange surge has brought a dramatic shift to Quebec, demolishing the separatist Bloc Québécois and toppling Conservative cabinet ministers by capturing more than 40% of the vote. The Conservative party has a majority and probably will not an election for 5 years. Each Parliament has a maximum term of five years. There will not be any fast union of the anti-conservatives. Liberals will try to rebuild. Having any partial revival of the Liberals will probably hand the next couple of elections to the Conservatives. Just when there were two center right parties (Conservatives and Reform – gave elections to the Liberals.)
Recognition in Canada’s parliament allows parties certain parliamentary privileges. Generally official party status is dependent on winning a minimum number of seats (that is, the number of Members of Parliament or Members of the Legislative Assembly elected). The federal parliament has two houses with different requirements. In the House of Commons, a party must have at least 12 seats to be recognized as an official party. Recognition means that the party will get time to ask questions during question period (proportional to the number of seats) and money for research and staff (also proportional to the number of seats). In the Senate, a party must have five seats and must be registered by Elections Canada.
The Bloc can no longer claim to be the legitimate voice of Quebecers in Ottawa. There is a new voice, a federalist voice, the New Democratic Party, to speak for Quebec and Quebecers. This does not mean separatism is dead — as Pierre Trudeau declared it to be, prematurely, back in 1975. But it does mean that Quebecers, weary of the tired sovereignist games, are once again prepared to explore a federalist route to Ottawa.
The NDP promises to be tougher opponents for the Harper government than the Liberals were. Anxious to avoid an election, the Liberals voted with the minority Conservatives on roughly 100 occasions — including the three Harper budgets preceding the 2011 one. It is hard to imagine a Layton NDP opposition voting for a Tory budget or most other major legislation.
The Liberals will have to go into rebuilding mode. They take some comfort from history. They managed to rebuild and return following the Diefenbaker and Mulroney landslides of 1958 and 1984, respectively.
Leading/Elected 155 needed for majority
CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY PROJECTED. NDP projected as opposition.
by Ron Nurwisah, National Post at 5/3/2011 4:03:08 AM9:03 PM
The “Here for Canada” plan focuses on five key priorities:
* Creating jobs through training, trade and low taxes.
* Supporting families through our Family Tax Cut and more support for seniors and caregivers.
* Eliminating the deficit by 2014-2015 by controlling spending and cutting waste.
* Making our streets safe through new laws to protect children and the elderly.
* Standing on guard for Canada by investing in the development of Canada’s North, cracking down on human smuggling and strengthening the Canadian Armed Forces.