Monday, January 23, 2006

Live Election Blogging

It's about 15 minutes till results should start coming in (10pm EST), and I will be trying to give some of my analysis as they roll in, and if all goes well I'll continue updating this post tonight.

10:19pm - the percent vote is pretty even right now (about 35% for both Liberal and Conservatives), which is somewhat misleading because it will be skewed towards eastern results

10:21pm - the Green Party is leading in one riding right now, which would be a great statement if it held. The GP advocates a pretty balanced approach, actually (they are vastly more reasonable than the NDP, and less captured by the unions). Sadly, the Libertarian Party has only found 239 supporters!

11:08pm - The NDP appear to be big winners, going from 19 seats in '04 to a predicted 32 this year. However, their popular vote is only up a couple of points (from 15% up to 17%), so they are clearly just siphoning off a few close seats from the Liberals (~10). The rest of the Liberal seat losses (~20) have gone to the Tories. Interestingly, the Bloc has actually lost seats (54 in '04, down to 50 this year), which doesn't bode well for the sepratist cause. I'll be interested in seeing their spin on that. Even the Conservatives have picked up seats in Quebec.

11:11pm - The Green Party has lost their potential seat in the one riding where they were previsouly leading. Too bad, I would have liked to see them with a spot in the House.

11:14pm - I expect the Conservatives will be disappointed with the outcome of this election, with the recent talk of their opportunity for a majority. It's a victory, but it rings fairly shallow. It really reveals that Canadians were, on the whole, much more interested in punishing the Grits than endorsing the Conservatives.

11:35pm - Nettie Wiebe is leading in Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar (my hometown riding). My Mom will be pleased. Although the polls from the Conservative-leaning rural areas are likely still to come in, which may move things in favour of incumbent MP Carol Skelton (Conservative).

11:38pm - Surprisingly, Nunavut is going Conservative. I was under the impression that the territories always went Liberal.

11:42pm - Correction from above: Carol Skelton has indeed taken the lead in Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar and has been declared elected.

11:44pm - Anne McLellan, who has managed to hang on to her Liberal seat in Edmonton Center by the skin of her teeth the past couple of elections, has been defeated. Fairly easily, too, by Conservative candidate Laurie Hawn.

11:55pm - The Bloc can take 10.5% of the national popular vote and win 50 seats. The NDP takes 17% and wins 30. The Green Party can take 4.5% of the popular vote and win zero seats. Incredible. I don't necessarily think this is "wrong", but it's time to give proportional representation or some kind of mixed system some thought. The mix of seats in the House of Commons is clearly not representative of what Canadians want. Or an even better idea: an equal, elected Senate!

12:10am - Well, it appears that things have gone essentially as expected: A Conservative minority government will preside over Parliament for the next few months, until we're forced back to the polls again. Overall, I'm satisfied with the result, given the political climate of the day - the Liberals will need to regroup and clean up their act, and hopefully the Conservatives will do some positive governing on economic issues (supported by... the Liberals?), while being constrained by the other 3 parties on making any objectionable social policy.

8:24am - This morning I see that Martin has stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party - not really a surprise there. I feel badly for him, though; I was always a big fan of his work as Finance Minister and wished he could have gotten a better chance to do the same as PM. One thing that's interesting about how the numbers split is that the Conservatives plus the NDP still don't make enough for a majority, falling one seat short (although I have no idea what issue they would build an alliance over). Andre Aurthur, the lone independent MP elected (in Quebec) could play an interesting role.

8:28 - Also, we see this morning that, in contrast to what I wrote last night, Nunavut did vote Liberal, while the NWT went to the NDP.


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