Conservative PM Stephen Harper.
The new Leader of the Free World.
Triumph of the Conservatives in Canada...
Who’s the most powerful conservative leader in the Americas, north and south? That may sound like a trick question, but it’s not. The answer is Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister who triumphed last week in an election that all but destroyed two opposition parties, the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois (BQ).
A more immediate result of the election is the demise of the Liberal party, the party of Pierre Trudeau, Lester Pearson, and Jean Chrétien. It hadn’t fallen to third-party status since the 19th century. BQ was massacred at home, in Quebec, by the NDP, which won 58 of the province’s 75 seats, the BQ only 4. The BQ’s role in the national parliament has always been conflicted, given its aim for the province to secede from Canada and become a sovereign nation.
For Harper, the NDP is the ideal opposition. It’s leftwing but also flaky. Many of its Quebec seats were won by placeholders or college students. One NDP candidate spent part of the campaign in Las Vegas and won anyway. With 102 seats, the NDP might seem formidable. It’s not. With their majority, Conservatives won’t need NDP votes.
For Harper and Conservatives, it doesn’t get any better than last week’s election.
"I think, for Canada, the best is yet to come..." -Stephen Harper