Thursday, January 05, 2006

Stephen Harper will be the next Prime Minister of Canada

It's been obvious for some time now. No, the Conservatives probably won't get a majority Government (though surprises always happen). But they never needed to. All they need to do is get 1 more seat. In the last term, Conservatives + Bloc Québécois = 154 seats, 1 short of a majority. In this current election, it seemed apparent that the Liberals would probably suffer, at least a little bit. Even if the Conservatives had a net loss of seats, if the Bloc gained a sufficient amount to overcome that, they could still form a minority Government.

Why would the Bloc support a Conservative Government? They are ideologically social democratic and would seem to fit more with the Liberals. However, the underlying goal of the Bloc is Quebec Sovereignty. While hardly supporting secession, Harper has indicated varying degrees of independance, such as representing itself at international functions. This seems like a promise that can be easily stretched further if Bloc support is necessary. While the Bloc probably won't get everything they want from the Harper-led Conservatives, they'll find it much harder to get anything out of the Martin-led Liberals.

It's in the interests of the Tories for Quebec to secede. Their greatest hurdle in winning power has always been the inability to win seats there. If Quebec no longer has any seats in the House of the Commons, a party will only need 120 or so seats for a majority, rather than the 155 it is now.

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