Recount gives Canadian Opposition another seat at expense of Conservatives, largest ever official Opposition to a majority government.

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    May 15, 2011 2:24 PM GMT
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    NDP Leader Jack Layton's parliamentary contingent is now the largest ever Official Opposition to a majority government in Canadian history.

    Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

    The New Democratic Party has captured one more seat in Quebec after a judicial recount of ballots from the May 2 federal election determined its candidate upended a Conservative incumbent by nine votes.

    Conservative Bernard Généreux was declared the winner on election night in the eastern Quebec riding of Montmagny–L'Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup, with a 110-vote lead over the NDP's François Lapointe.

    But a tabulation error awarded about 100 NDP votes to the Green Party, and when the results were validated the next day, Lapointe came out on top by five votes.

    The narrow victory margin prompted a judicial recount that began Wednesday and concluded Friday evening with Lapointe being confirmed the winner by nine votes. Elections Canada calls in a judge every time the margin of victory is less than a thousandth of the total votes cast.

    With Lapointe's triumph, the Official Opposition NDP have 59 seats in Quebec and 103 overall. The governing Tories now have five in the province and 166 overall.

    The extra seat ties the NDP with Joe Clark's Progressive Conservatives from 1980 as the largest ever Official Opposition to a majority government.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper was said to be waiting for the results of the recount before settling on the composition of his next cabinet. He now has fewer options for ministers from Quebec.

    Elections Canada said Friday that there would also be a judicial recount in Winnipeg North, where Liberal incumbent Kevin Lamoureux defeated New Democrat Rebecca Blaikie by just 45 votes on May 2. That recount will start Monday.

    Automatic recounts were already slated for Etobicoke Centre in Toronto, where Conservative Ted Opitz leads Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj by 25 votes, and the Ontario riding of Nipissing–Timiskaming, where Tory candidate Jay Aspin holds a 15-vote lead over Liberal Anthony Rota.

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    May 15, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    The reality is that the NDP will likely be a flash in the pan in Quebec given that it was largely a protest vote over any values the NDP represent which makes them likely to be a weak opposition party. The good thing however is that there will be more of a grand discussion on social policy.

    Noteworthy: http://www.thestar.com/mobile/news/canada/politics/article/986662--ndp-shifts-to-damage-control-over-vegas-mp-ruth-ellen-brosseau?bn=1
    Brosseau beat the incumbent Bloc Québécois candidate by nearly 5,000 votes. Most said they voted not for Brosseau, but for leader Jack Layton.

    Brosseau didn’t once step foot in the riding. Didn’t even have campaign signs. Many didn’t know she could barely speak their language.


    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/support+leap+left+poll+suggests/4761619/story.html
    Quebecers made no great leap to the left and had no sudden desire to wave the Canadian flag in voting for the New Democratic Party in last week's federal election, a new poll suggests.

    Instead, Quebecers - especially the vast middle of the electorate, known as soft nationalists - appear to have decided to shift their traditional Bloc Québécois protest vote to a new vehicle.

    Cynicism, a distaste for the existing political class and the desire for more influence in Ottawa played a far bigger role in their decision-making than the left-right, federalism-sovereignty divide.
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    May 15, 2011 3:21 PM GMT
    Who cares if the NDP won't last in Quebec. It's gonna be very interesting to see the effect on federal politics over the next few years.
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    May 15, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    kandsk saidWho cares if the NDP won't last in Quebec. It's gonna be very interesting to see the effect on federal politics over the next few years.


    It matters because of the question of whether or not they will be taken seriously either by the Conservatives or even the general public. The NDP have always had the luxury of framing the argument in extremist views because they have had no chance of actually being elected. Depending on how interested they are in retaining power, this election could actually end up changing the NDP more than the NDP changes the political landscape in Canada.
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    May 15, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    for the other parties, knowing this to be a protest vote, the challenge will be to swing their opinion again.
    the liberals have a huge task ahead and it might take more than one term to rebuild, but they have a chance of regaining a lot of votes in Quebec and Ontario .. ( not mine, it's taken for granted, ;p ) . As for the conservatives, i doubt they'll ever have a string following in this province, but who knows.
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    May 15, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    Riddler said, " this election could actually end up changing the NDP more than the NDP changes the political landscape in Canada."

    And this, finally, may be the one thing we agree on. (I'm in shock)


    Earlier on , in another topic it was suggested the NDP and Liberals merge. I quietly laughed at this, because they are very, very different.


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    May 15, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    What does it matter. We have a majority party that cares for no-one but western big-moneyed interests, at the expense of easterners and the environment. And we have an opposition with no realistic proposals for solving large problems that threaten to unravel both foreign affairs and domestic challenges. Meanwhile, the only true centrist party, which for several years has lacked any credible leadership or any recognizable ideology, lies in complete ruins and may never re-emerge. It would seem that Canadians, like Americans, have become more polarized than ever before. What a mess.
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    May 15, 2011 4:24 PM GMT


    Actually, Nivek, I think the Liberal Party has just discovered that Canadians have been listening carefully to them and will now have to truly find a good leader, and set firm policies unlike, for example, Iggy's up-in-the-air words about increasing the GST (and as a result the HST), inflation and raising interest rates as well as taxes. It was, I feel, just too much overload on bad-times-are-coming.

    We would have voted Liberal strategically, but their platform was so vague and muddy, their recent history so dismally vague we decided NDP. It had nothing to do with trying to polarize politics in Canada.

    An interesting tidbit about Liberal past. I was downsized from a great career in '02. 6,000 of us hit the streets looking for work. I could get nothing in my field of work, many employers told me they had been saturated with my ex co-workers so I applied for Unemployment. Hey I'd paid over 15K into it and so had my employers. Under the Liberals, I got a whopping 8K and that was the end of it. Then Harper's minority gov't got in. They not only extended EI benefits (too late for me, but that was OK, I found work by then) but have opened them up to the self-employed. Meaning that the self employed can opt into the plan, pay the monthly, and take advantage of EI's services when having kids and/or doing elder care for a family member, among other things.



  • Cdnontherun

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    May 15, 2011 6:53 PM GMT
    I'm a little hesitant to chalk all of the NDP gains up to a pure protest vote. I do think that there is some of that from the separatists who wanted the Bloc to be more aggressive in that area, but I also think that a lot of people saw it as a way of backing a government that seems to support the bigger social vision of Québec without the separatist slant. I also feel that there were some people who felt that they needed to do anything possible to weaken Harper. Personally, I feel that handing a majority to Harper is a bad thing. I don't have that much against the conservatives per se, but the christianist influence on his government is especially dangerous for the values of Canada as a whole. I also believe that this element is more dangerous for Canadians than the Bush years were for Americans, because Harper truly believes all of the crap he is espousing. He has also gone a long way in reducing personal privacy, controlling the media and access to his government and is quietly undermining gay rights, abortion rights, rights of minorities, basic democratic principals and is a little too in lockstep with the US government. Love both countries, but they need to stay collaborative but different and autonomous. As for the NPD, we have to see what happens. They have a real shot here to become a great party and an alternative to the other parties who have lost their direction. We'll see if they can rise to the occasion. I'm glad to see a unified opposition rather than a splintered one. We are going to need it call Harper on his stuff.
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    May 15, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    meninlove said Riddler said, " this election could actually end up changing the NDP more than the NDP changes the political landscape in Canada."

    And this, finally, may be the one thing we agree on. (I'm in shock)


    Earlier on , in another topic it was suggested the NDP and Liberals merge. I quietly laughed at this, because they are very, very different.




    Like us real gays and our half brothers the bisexuals, giggles too.
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    May 15, 2011 7:02 PM GMT
    Sound to me the left are pulling at straws, to counteract their defeat.
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    May 15, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    It's a majority government. No matter how many seats the NDP hold, it doesn't really matter.
    Harper will do whatever he wants to do, whether you like it or not.
  • Cdnontherun

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    May 16, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    I agree that we can't stop it but at least the howl will be louder.
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    May 16, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidSound to me the left are pulling at straws, to counteract their defeat.


    Then put in your hearing-aid, or better yet, try reading instead of listening to your monitor's screen.

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    May 16, 2011 1:19 AM GMT
    I'm very curious to see how the BQ is going to recover from their absolutely crushing defeat. They clearly didn't reach out to their electorate and they are going to have a tough time rebuilding.

    As for the NDP in Québec, I'm worried that, unless they manage to accomplish SOMETHING during their time in office, they are going to get slaughtered in the next election. As a minority party, they're going to be limited to a certain extent, but ... they need to do make good on their promises.
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    May 17, 2011 1:45 PM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidSound to me the left are pulling at straws, to counteract their defeat.


    60% of the electorate voted for the left. But because the vote was split between 4 left parties, the conservatives won a majority of seats. As an American living in Canada, this just does not make any sense to me. Canadians might want to consider a 2 party system.
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    May 17, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    Nivek said
    True_blue_aussie saidSound to me the left are pulling at straws, to counteract their defeat.


    60% of the electorate voted for the left. But because the vote was split between 4 left parties, the conservatives won a majority of seats. As an American living in Canada, this just does not make any sense to me. Canadians might want to consider a 2 party system.



    ...then we'd end up with the exaggeratedly polarized Hatfield-McCoy mindset and ugly fights Bill and I see on RJ's US political topics. No thanks. You're seeing 4 left parties - Canadians aren't. The Liberal Party is sometimes more conservative than our Conservatives. The Green Party is often more Conservative than the NDP. The Conservatives are sometimes more left than the Libs etc. icon_wink.gif
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    May 17, 2011 2:35 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Nivek said
    True_blue_aussie saidSound to me the left are pulling at straws, to counteract their defeat.


    60% of the electorate voted for the left. But because the vote was split between 4 left parties, the conservatives won a majority of seats. As an American living in Canada, this just does not make any sense to me. Canadians might want to consider a 2 party system.



    ...then we'd end up with the exaggeratedly polarized Hatfield-McCoy mindset and ugly fights Bill and I see on RJ's US political topics. No thanks. You're seeing 4 left parties - Canadians aren't. The Liberal Party is sometimes more conservative than our Conservatives. The Green Party is often more Conservative than the NDP. The Conservatives are sometimes more left than the Libs etc. icon_wink.gif


    I thought the Conservative Party was the result of merging the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. If they wouldn't have merged they wouldn't be where they are today. It's true that all parties in Canada have a lot in common like you stated but Canada is slightly under the influence of a big middle eastern demographics who hate the gays and hate women rights and that's all it takes for them to vote right. To some people politics is just black and white. The fact is that most Canadians voted left and as a result we got a Conservative majority government.
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    May 17, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    charlitos saidI thought the Conservative Party was the result of merging the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. If they wouldn't have merged they wouldn't be where they are today. It's true that all parties in Canada have a lot in common like you stated but Canada is under the influence of a big middle eastern demographics who hate the gays and hate women rights and that's all it takes for them to vote right.


    Do you have any evidence to back up this extraordinary claim? I'll be the first to point out that there are those who are intolerant in Canada, and that immigrants are more socially conservative, but the percentage of middle eastern immigrants is most certainly not significant enough to swing elections and I doubt they vote as a block. Further, most first generation immigrants for a variety of historical reasons have tended to vote Liberal. Secondly, if you go further back, you would find that the Reform Party was the result of disenchanted Conservatives as a result of regional lines - so you could also make the argument that had they not broken off, we would still have the same result.
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    May 17, 2011 5:01 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    charlitos saidI thought the Conservative Party was the result of merging the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. If they wouldn't have merged they wouldn't be where they are today. It's true that all parties in Canada have a lot in common like you stated but Canada is under the influence of a big middle eastern demographics who hate the gays and hate women rights and that's all it takes for them to vote right.


    Do you have any evidence to back up this extraordinary claim? I'll be the first to point out that there are those who are intolerant in Canada, and that immigrants are more socially conservative, but the percentage of middle eastern immigrants is most certainly not significant enough to swing elections and I doubt they vote as a block. Further, most first generation immigrants for a variety of historical reasons have tended to vote Liberal. Secondly, if you go further back, you would find that the Reform Party was the result of disenchanted Conservatives as a result of regional lines - so you could also make the argument that had they not broken off, we would still have the same result.


    That was a complete exageration on my part by stating that the country is under middle eastern influencie but some communnities are, specially here in Toronto. Not enough to determine the future of any election but a clear example on how certain groups can behave towards one party or the other in contrast to what MeninLove was saying that it's hard to define whats left and what's right. I thought that main goal of the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance was to eventually merge with the PCP, so it was basically a strategy to get conservatives the majority government but I might be wrong on this one.
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    May 17, 2011 6:38 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    kandsk saidWho cares if the NDP won't last in Quebec. It's gonna be very interesting to see the effect on federal politics over the next few years.


    It matters because of the question of whether or not they will be taken seriously either by the Conservatives or even the general public. The NDP have always had the luxury of framing the argument in extremist views because they have had no chance of actually being elected. Depending on how interested they are in retaining power, this election could actually end up changing the NDP more than the NDP changes the political landscape in Canada.


    other than his characterization of us framing the argument in "extremist" views, I am pretty much in agreement with riddler on this.

    I'd argue those who voted NDP would not call it extremist at all, but sensible.