Canada Has Voted and It Isn’t Pretty: Conservative Majority

It is May 2, 2011. Canadians voted in a federal election today and the votes are being counted. As of now (11:00pm EST), it looks like there will be a majority Conservative government with the New Democratic Party (NDP) as the strongest opposition party. The Liberal Party’s seat count has never been so low in the history of the country and the Bloc Quebecois has been decimated. Both of those parties had seat counts lower than the lowest of predictions.

Shifting Seats
Prior to the election, the make-up of the House of Commons was as follows:

  • Conservative: 143
  • Liberal: 77
  • Bloc Quebecois: 49
  • New Democratic Party: 37
  • Independent: 2

The seat projections prior to the election (, Election Prediction Project, EKOS,, Laurier Institute) ranged from:

  • Conservative: 130 to 148
  • Liberal: 36 to 63
  • Bloc Quebecois: 10 to 33
  • New Democractic Party: 65 to 123
  • Independent: 0 to 1
  • Green: 0 to 1

Essentially, that meant that going into Election Day, there were still many close races across the country and we really didn’t have a good idea how things were going to turn out. 
Worse Than Expected
While the ballots are still being counted in many parts of the country, several of Canada’s national news networks are calling the election at this time as a Conservative majority government. The expected final tally (with +/- change in brackets) is:

  • Conservative: 166 (+23)
  • Liberal: 34 (-43)
  • Bloc Quebecois: 2 (-47)
  • New Democratic Party: 105 (+68)
  • Independent: 0 (-2)
  • Green: 1 (+1, but very early result in this riding)

What does this mean? 
This means that a government that fell because it eschewed the rules of democracy can now push through its agenda. It means that a government that is secretive and puts gag orders on public servants, scientists and Members of Parliament will be ruling our country. It means that a party that 40% of Canadians voted for can do whatever it wants with our country.

Everyone expected the Conservatives to have the strongest showing, but a majority government seemed like a long shot. If they had been handed a minority government and no other party supported them, a coalition of opposition parties could have been possible. But that possibility is now moot. We are stuck with Stephen Harper and his agenda for the next four years.

The New Democratic Party are also clear winners tonight, but it is unclear whether they will be able to do anything with their significant success given the Conservative majority.

We will certainly post more on the consequences of this surprising upset in the days to come.

Related posts:

Canadian Voter Participation Expected to Hit New Lows

Canadian Women ‘Mom The Vote’

Canada: Coalition Is Not A Dirty Word

From Government to Campaign Trail: Harper’s Control Tactics Continue

Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.

Photo credit: TeddyBoy on flickr


William C
William C5 months ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. C5 months ago


Jim D.
James Diotte5 years ago

We need to get Stephen Harper out! We
could start a PETITION!! We have to do

Marina R.
Maureen Raike6 years ago

If you're a Canadian, vote NDP!

KARLOLINA G6 years ago

Please do not vote for a CONSERVATIVE, they are like the REPUBLICANS in the USA. When will people understand that neither one of these parties are in gov to benefit the people. Well maybe even the other party is slow to respond. Imagine letting pedophiles back on the street at all! Pot never hurt anyone. I have never heard anything so stupid! It is true, there is no $$$ in it for them regarding pot. I wonder if they have their little child porn hidden in the closet?

peter Stockdale
peter Stockdale6 years ago

Harper ran on an election promise to build more prisons to house more inmates. This new Crime Bill is consistent with that promise ie create more laws that will produce more inmates for His new prisons. Harper is the first neofascist to have been elected in the old British Commonwealth. He is more of a Republican than those down South. He, as Prime Minister, is selling asbestos to India knowing full well that this will cause cancer (mesothelioma) in a certain number of people. He is pushing for transport of bitumen to Asia ( Enbridge) and Texas out of Alberta in spite of the risks for serious environmental damage. The safest way would be to process it all in Alberta but this would not satisfy his election payroll backers in the Corporations. His second big platform was to build more fighter planes (armaments). Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex some 45 years ago. Harper is their stooge. He must go down in history as the worst Prime Minister in our relatively short history. Hail Harper

Marina R.
Maureen Raike6 years ago

Hey Don, Firstly, I'd like to thank you for your appreciation of my country's beauty and natural resources. I am opposed to the Harper Conservatives because I care about the environment and this administration has a shameful record in regards to these issues. I care far more about it than I do about the economy, because as Elisabeth May (leader of the Green Party) so wisely said, "The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment."
As far as it goes for the Liberals, well, many of us used to vote for them in the past, just to keep the Conservatives out - even though we may have preferred the New Democratic Party. That's where my vote went. Jack Layton was a great leader and a rare kind of politician; one with integrity and one who was happy to work with any member of parliament from any party. He was about "getting the job done". I'm very sad he died so prematurely, but I celebrate his achievements. He and his team brought the NDP to official opposition status. He made history in Canada, and especially in my province, Québec. His party swept this province and clobbered the Bloc Québequois (the party of those who want Québec to separate from the rest of Canada). This was another great achievement for Canadian unity.
There was a time when I supported the Liberals, and that was when Stephan Dion was their leader. He was an awkward speaker and wasn't as slick as Harper and so he lost. I supported him because he cared the most about the environm

Don Isaksen
Don I6 years ago

It's pretty obvious that what was being done by the liberals in power wasn't sitting well with most of the Canadian citizens, so they are now hoping a more conservative approach will accomplish what the people feels needs to be done.

@Michael O,
I can't believe you can blame your Harper and the new majority for a deminished position on the world stage. Could be wrong, because I haven't really followed Canadian politics very closely, but it seems highly unlikely.

I'm not a Canadian citizen, so my opinion of what happens with your politics has no bearing on anything Canadian. But I do have family members who have lived in Canada since 1969. I know they weren't real happy with the liberal approach of what was going on. I suppose they must be a little happier with the change to a more conservative governments. Only time will tell.

You Canadians have one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in the world. I've spend a LOT of time enjoying your countries vast beauty and outdoor resources. I'm part of the Independent voters in the U.S.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L6 years ago

My condolences to all Canadians, specially those with a brain. That means, those that didn't vote for the winner.....

Sue Griffiths
SUE Griffiths6 years ago

Harper, Harper,Harper,
Out, Out, Out!