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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Paradigm in Canada

Not one but two of the scenarios predicted by pundits as possible outcomes of yesterday’s national elections in Canada turned out to be accurate. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives did win a majority after two consecutive minority governments. And the leftish New Democratic Party will constitute the Official Opposition, displacing the long-dominant Liberals. Additionally, the Bloc Quebecois had a horrendous election, and the Greens finally won a seat in the House of Commons.
In theory, the Liberals could go the way of their British namesake, becoming a centrist third party while ceding pride of place to the NDP. Harper could overreach or screw something up and usher in a coalition government of the Center-Left in the next elections. And for that matter, the Grits (the Liberals’ nickname) could stage a comeback. It hasn’t been that long ago (1993, to be exact) that the Tories–or technically, their forebears the Progressive Conservatives–were reduced to just two seats in parliament, leading to the joke they had finally achieved gender parity in their delegation (one man, one woman).
In any event, the Canadian results can be interpreted as good news from both Right and Left perspectives. Time will tell which perspective really matters.

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