by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 10:02:07 PM EDT
Lib: 135 (37%)
Con: 96 (30%)
BQ: 54 (13%)
NDP: 22 (16%)
GP: 0 (4%)
Previously, liberals had 168 seats, the conservatives 73, the New Democrats 14 and the Bloc Quebecois 33. So, as predicted, the Liberal/NDP will likely become the next government, with 157 seats, just 2 seats above the amount needed for a clear majority. This is good news on multiple levels.
First, it is a clear rejection of the conservative agenda in Canada. The marker by which to judge CRAP/PC alliance is what they would have garnered in the previous election, had they not been separated. That would have been 115 seats. So that, even though CRAP/PC combined for more seats than their combined total fom the previous election, the current 96 falls below the 115 total that CRAP/PC would have garnered in in the previous election. The conservatives got beat in Canada. A rejection of their devisive social politics opposing abortion and legalized gay marriage, a rejection of Harper's support of the US invasion of Iraq, and a rejection of Harper's corporate-minded economic agenda.
Second, Canada just took one giant step to the left. The Green Party won zero seats, but gained 4% of the national vote, up from .08% in the previous election. Not only does the Green party qualify for national funding in the next election, they will gain a seat in the debates. The radical progressive agenda in Canada is alive and well.
Third, the Liberal Party must now be reformed, and not through ceding to the right, but to the left of the political spectrum. The Liberal Party will have their choice from which to work with, the NDP being the obvious choice. Canada will move even further away from Bush, and even further away from backing the global positions of the Republican Party of the US.
Fourth, first on the reform agenda will be proportional representation, which will allow the 56% that voted Liberal/NDP/Green their representational majority in the next election.
And fifth, the polls were wrong, overcounting the conservatives, and undercounting the liberals.
In short, a terrific beginning in 2004 for North America for progressive politics. Canada will not increase their military budget or reduce social spending. National healthcare and progressive taxation of corporations will proceed. Now roll the momentum on down south of the border.