Conservative majority in Canada

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 pm, May 3rd, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: brand key, First Past the Post - Tags:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have won majority government in the Canadian election with under 40% of the vote on a turnout of just over 58%. We will be able to get an idea of what a second term John Key government would be like as Harper is cut from the same cloth as Key and Cameron.

The New Democrat Party are now the official opposition, and have gone from 37 seats to 103 in the new parliament. It will be a much bigger NDP caucus than the 20 or so  I visited in 2002. The Bloc Quebecois have virtually disappeared from the new Parliament, going from 46 seats to 3.  The Liberals also  lost heavily, going from 77 seats to 34.  Vote splitting between declining Liberals and NDP in Ontario was the main reason for the Conservatives getting a majority under first-past-the-post. Perhaps too the NDP and the Liberals will now seek to build common cause as they will be in opposition together with the NDP in the front seat. The Greens also gained their first seat in the Parliament.

29 comments on “Conservative majority in Canada”

  1. Blighty 1

    A majority, single-party government that 60% of people didn’t vote for. In fact, nearly all of thost 60% voted for parties to the Left of it.

    This is what the First Past the Post and Supplementary Member proponents want to return us to.

  2. KC 2

    What this election demonstrates is not just the failures of FPP, but the extent to which it also risks the fortunes of mainstream parties. Historically, the Liberals always benefited from being able to shore up their voter base by exploiting age-old concerns about voting for minor parties and splitting the left vote. As soon as the NDP scored a rush in the polls and threatened the Liberals’ status as opposition party, however, suddenly the Liberals appeared to be the vote splitters. It could end up being an up hill battle for the Liberals now because of the “don’t split the left vote” mantra that once helped them.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Voter turnout of 58%? Something is very wrong with Canadian politics if 2 in 5 voters cannot be bothered to make enough effort to even turn up.

  4. Bill 4

    What’s to stop the NDP, the Liberals and the Greens forming a majority coalition that can petition the Governor General or who-ever to be the next government?

    NDP – 31%
    Liberals – 19%
    + the token Green = 50%+

  5. Is a 58% turnout normal in Canada?

    Edit: You beat me to it CV. I was trying to find the answer to my question, but couldn’t.

    • Bill 5.2

      I think NZ is the exception.

      I believe I’m right in saying that the UK dropped to 60% of registered voters a few elections ago. And what was the %age turnout in the US in the past few elections? Not that big. Just over 50%.

      And that’s just those who bother to register. As a percentage of population eligible to vote, the turnouts are much, much lower.

      • higherstandard 5.2.1

        USA is about the same as Canada

        http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Americans are desperate now. Those who still bother to vote just vote against whatever party is in power. Its been the same since the mid term Congressional elections in GW Bush’s second term. They haven’t figured out yet that both parties are running absolutely the same pro-corporate, pro-capitalist agenda. (Just one a bit faster and harder than the other)

          • higherstandard 5.2.1.1.1

            Nah, I suspect a great swathe of US voters are tribal just as they are in NZ voting for one or other of the big two and the remainder are fringe dwellers and vote ‘agin’ers

            Certainly they have less ‘choice’ on who/what to vote for than we have in NZ in relation to the general elections and they probably view even ACT as having some suspicious lefty leanings and be demanding to see birth certificates and confirmation of the numbers of chromosomes of the party members.

            • Puddleglum 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Or the number of hairs on the palms of their hands.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Nah, I suspect a great swathe of US voters are tribal just as they are in NZ voting for one or other of the big two and the remainder are fringe dwellers and vote ‘agin’ers

              Uh…almost 3/5 of registered US voters did not bother to vote in the latest congressional elections.

              They don’t think that voting will make a difference to the state of their lives, or the decisions being made about their lives.

              • higherstandard

                So their turnout for congressional elections is about the same/or better than our local body elections.

                ‘They don’t think that voting will make a difference to the state of their lives, or the decisions being made about their lives.”

                Perhaps they’re not as dumb as they’re made out to be.

        • Puddleglum 5.2.1.2

          At a glance, I’d say Canada is a bit ahead of the US in voter turnout, historically. There are some pretty low turnouts for mid-terms in the US. Makes you wonder why they persist with them. I suppose you could say the same about our local body elections though.

  6. George D 6

    Uninspiring oppositions cause low turnouts.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Anyone reading Canadian political commentary is struck by three things: the viciousness of the right (clearly heavily poisoned by the crudity of the US Republican party), the dysfunctional nature of federal politics (Canada’s east, west and Francophones all seem to loath each other) and the deep, bitter and total disillusionment of the average voter with Canadian democracy. The country is in a deep crisis of political ennui and unless something is done Canada will probably split up this century.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      and unless something is done Canada will probably split up this century.

      Which would probably be for the best.

  8. millsy 8

    A victory for the Conservatives is probably bad news. So far, Harper’s Tories have been constrained by their minority status, however all bets are off now they have a majority. I wouldnt want to be Canadian now…

    Good news is the the surge of the New Democrats, becoming the offical opposition. A large swing to the left by any means, and a Green makes her way into the Canadian Parliament, which means a Green presence in the parliements of Britain, Australia, and of course, New Zealand.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Canada needs electoral reform ASAP, something Harper will block of course.

    • Jono 8.2

      The Tories are nutters. They’re going to go hyperdrive on the tar sands and all the other crazy environmental things they’ve been up to recently.

      I also agree it’s great the NDP are the opposition – but I wouldn’t count on the Liberals to help with any future electoral reform. They’ve always seen themselves as the ‘natural party of government’ (hence their decidedly centrist, pro-business/pro-everything really stance) and I think their thought process is that they will be quite happy to just wait five or ten years for the tide to turn again and magically get swept into power again. it’s a bit like how most of the UK Labour Party is treating their electoral reform there, they don’t want change because it’ll dilute their power: if they wait long enough they’ll get a majority again (even in 2015, or before)

  9. joe90 9

    A 4chaner isn’t happy either.

    Goodbye net neutrality
    Goodbye neutral foreign policy
    Goodbye gay and lesbian rights
    Goodbye balanced budgets
    Goodbye transparent, open government
    Hello new prison spending
    Hello jail for pot smokers
    Hello corrupt MP’s
    Hello American DMCA legislation
    Hello RIAA / MPAA
    Hello multi-billion-dollar fighter jets
    Hello Creationist appointed as Minister of Science

    So not a happy place with some saying Harper is dishonest and worries over the proposed drug and internet surveillance laws and the creationist fundy as a science minister.

    This is familiar too.

  10. Irascible 10

    I read recently (print copy of The Guardian) that the erstwhile Republican candidate in the US, Trump, has nominated to run for president of the US but hasn’t voted in any election, local, state or federal for over 20 years. He obviously thinks that voting changes nothing but buying power does.– sounds like Brash & Key in NZ as they prepare to run NZ as a business to be asset mined.

  11. swordfish 11

    Results from the last 4 Canadian Elections:

    …………………Conservative………..Liberal………..NDP…………BQ…………Green

    2004
    %…………………..30…………………37…………….16…………..12…………….X
    (Seats)……………..(99)………………(135)…………(19)…………(54)…………..(X)
    .
    2006
    %…………………..36…………………30…………….17…………..10……………..X
    (Seats)…………….(124)……………..(103)………….(29)…………(51)…………..(X)
    .
    2008
    %…………………..38………………….26…………….18…………..10………………7
    (Seats)…………….(143)……………….(77)………….(37)………….(51)…………..(0)
    .
    2011
    %…………………..40………………….19……………..31……………6……………….4
    (Seats)…………….(167)……………….(34)………….(102)…………(4)…………….(1)

    2008-2011 Vote Movement

    …………………….+ 2………………….- 7……………+ 13………….- 4…………….- 3

  12. TightyRighty 12

    So the electorate speaks about what it wants from it’s leaders and you consider it a bad thing? Mike, your born to rule attitude makes you the perfect candidate for writing on the standard. your arrogance in believing that only you and your ilk know what is best for people is the best possible qualification. long may your outrage last. It makes me happy.

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