Thursday, May 5, 2011

Canada Has a Stable Conservative Government - Finally!

It has been a long journey for Stephen Harper and the conservative movement in Canada since the old Progressive Conservative party was wiped out under Kim Campbell after the Mulroney era. The Western-based Reform Party eventually absorbed the PCs and became the Conservative Party (significantly without the word "Progressive" in the name).

A New "Natural Governing Party"
This election was significant for several reasons. The major story was that the Conservatives captured over 70 out of 106 seats in Ontario including 7 seats in Toronto. This means two things. First, it means that the Conservatives can form a majority government without being beholden to Quebec. This is a very good thing because Quebec is so radically more left-wing than the rest of the country. If it results in Quebec separation, so be it; Quebec should not be the tail that wags the Canadian dog. Second, it means that the Conservative Party is viable in all regions of both urban and rural Canada, which in turn means that the Liberal Party is no longer the only truly national party. We now have a new "natural governing party."

The Conservatives have the most seats of any party in Atlantic Canada, 70% of the seats in Ontario and the vast majority of seats in the four Western provinces and 2 of the 3 territories. They even have 6 seats in Quebec and may have room to grow there. The Conservatives have replaced the Liberals as the party of immigrant minorities and the party that supports Israel. I have yet to see data on how they did among Jews, but I suspect that there was an historic shift away from the Liberal Party. The Conservative Party is ethnically diverse, urban and rural, strong in every part of the country and has no cracks in its Western base. I would say that Stephen Harper can take a great deal of satisfaction in a job well done so far. Now, he has the chance to become a long-serving Prime Minister and re-shape the country for decades to come.

Separatists Wiped Out
Another reason this election is significant is that the Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party in Quebec, was nearly wiped out. This is good news for national unity but I'm not so optimistic as others seem to be. I think that the NDP will disappoint Quebecers for one simple reason: they will be powerless to deliver the pork. Traditionally, this is what federalists are good for in Quebec and the Liberal Party used to win the majority of seats there on a regular basis with the result that Quebec was ensured its "fair share" of government spending. I think the NDP honeymoon will be short-lived. I think the Liberals may do very well in Quebec in the next election if they look like they have a chance to win overall.

NDP Breakthrough?
This brings me to the non-news of this election: the supposed, much-trumpeted by the leftist media, "NDP breakthrough." Watching the Canadian media's coverage of the election, one would be forgiven for thinking that the socialists had won. Yes, they won 102 seats, but 59 are in Quebec and in Quebec it is "easy come, easy go." Outside Quebec, they only won 43 seats, which is something they have done before. Personally, I expect the NDP to recede to historic levels in the next election and be replaced by the Liberals as the official opposition.

In January 2010 I predicted that there would be an election and that it would result in a majority Conservative government. The opposition shrank back from provoking an election in 2010 but they pulled the plug on the Conservative minority government early in 2011 and my prediction (renewed in January 2011) came true.

The result of this election is good for stability, good for the economy, and good for Canada in general.

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