Monday, October 13, 2008

Canada Goes To The Polls

Tomorrow, or later today, Canadians are going to the polls to elect a new parliament that may or may not increase the Conservative party's hold on power.
The latest polling data shows that the Conservatives are favored by roughly about 35% of Canadians followed by the Liberal party at about 25%. There are three minor parties that will prevent an outright Conservative majority. The next party is the outright socialist New Democrat party that has the allegiance of about 20% and then the Greens with about10%.
Because Canada follows the Westminster parliamentary system, there are 300 seats, or ridings, up for grabs. Thus, it is an election in all 300. What ever candidate wins a majority in any riding wins that seat for the party they represent. If any party gets 151 seats, they have an outright majority. But, it is unlikely that any party will get that magic number.
At the time of the election, the Conservatives had 127 seats, and the majority of seats, but not an outright majority. Thus, they have had a minority government since they were elected.
And, the Conservative leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, called the election early so to add more Conservative seats. And early on it appeared that he would and that the Conservatives would have a majority government.
But a funny thing called a financial services meltdown put a crimp in that.
So, maybe the Conservatives end up along the lines of 135 seats. Still not a majority.
We shall see if the Conservatives can hold on to the majority of seats and be able to form a government. And, could a Conservative victory now be good news for the Republicans here in the United States? We shall see.

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