Another minority government

So once again, Canadians are stuck with a minority government.

Last night, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government “won” the election, grabbing 143 of a possible 308 seats.

So Canadians can look forward to another few years of threats of an election with every single vote, fighting in the House of Commons, and no one really able to do anything.

I will say this, the Americans have a much better system with only two parties. Although the decision on who represents each party takes way too long, you know people are either voting for your party or against it (either Barack Obama or John McCain). There’s usually a clear winner, and it doesn’t handcuff your country because of it.

But now with five major parties on the scene, if you include the Bloc, that’s too much. It will be very difficult for any party to have a majority government in the future as votes will always be split.

This morning though, there will be lots of talk of how the leaders did, and will they still lead the party into the next election, whenever that may be (another benefit of the States, you already know when your next election will be).

Harper has now been through three elections as leader, and has not been able to bring the party to a majority. Can he ever do it, or is someone new needed? Stephane Dion’s Liberals lost almost 20 seats. The Green Party, led by Elizabeth May, never made any new inroads and never won any seats. The only party leader who should feel safe is NDP leader Jack Layton, who has seen the NDP seats go up once again, almost double from the 19 he led the party to during his first election to 37 last night.

No party is going to jump to do anything, as they have time to figure what is best. But anyone in the parties who have hope to lead their party could be calculating night the right way to do it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Another minority government

  1. dave0

    If you’re looking for a better election system, look to Europe or Australia. Don’t look south of the border — theirs is awful.

    The main problem here in Canada is that a first-past-the-post electoral system (where the candidate with the most votes takes the seat) is really only suited to a two-party system. However, the solution isn’t to reduce the system to two parties, it’s to replace first-past-the-post with something else (proportional representation, runoff elections, IRV ballots, whatever).

  2. Graham

    The problem with a conservative minority is that there are no other right leaning parties for them to work with. They have amalgamated into one. However, a minority liberal government with the NDP holding the balance of power would still be effective. A minority government can be very effective as it forces parties to work together to get anything done, and it prevents any extreme positions from being implemented too hastily.

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