It’s official: Canada has moved to the right. Canadians last night ended the 12 year run of the Liberal Party by electing the Conservative Party’s Stephen Harper. Via the Washington Post:
TORONTO, Jan. 23 — Canadian voters, saying they were fed up with financial scandals and ready for a change, ended the 12-year run of the ruling Liberal Party on Monday, ousting Prime Minister Paul Martin in favor of a Conservative Party likely to steer a path closer to the United States.
Returns in the national election gave a strong victory to Conservative leader Stephen Harper, 46, a political strategist from western Canada who jokes about being dull. He shrugged off Martin’s accusations that he is too cozy with U.S. conservatives for liberal-leaning Canada, the same accusations that crippled his candidacy in 2004.
But Harper fell short of winning a clear majority in the 308-seat House of Commons. He will need to compromise with opponents to form a government and further his agenda of scaling back social programs, cutting taxes and winnowing the power of the federal government.
The Liberal Party will swap roles with the Conservatives, becoming the largest opposition party. That change is a stinging rebuff of the party, which has regularly dominated Canadian politics since the country’s birth, and for Martin, 67, who has been prime minister for only 25 months. Canadians’ pride in clean government was shaken by a kickback scandal in the Liberal Party, and by their suspicion that the Liberals had grown cocky in office, they said repeatedly in public opinion surveys.
Remember those liberals who said they were going to move to Canada after President Bush was elected to serve a second term? Assuming they kept their word, where will these disgruntled liberals go now that they have a conservative government in Canada now as well as in the US?
Macsmind is thinking along those same lines.
Hat tip for the WashPost link: Betsy Newmark
Michelle Malkin has another good link roundup of post-election reaction in the news and around the blogosphere. Captain Ed, who was a blogging machine last night on the Canadian elections, shares some additional thoughts.
More: Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer blogs about the role of blogs and talk radio in the run-up to the Canadian elections.
Related Toldjah So posts: