Glenn Reynolds has a whole host of reactions to yesterday’s Conservative victory in Canada. The Tories even did surprisingly well in Quebec, which was certainly unexpected. However, Ed Morrissey notes that incoming Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s mandate is a limited one – the Tories only captured 124 seats to the Liberals 103, which means that Harper will have to reach out to parties like the Bloc Quebecois in order to form a government. However, the BQ is likely to trade some exemptions for Quebec for a coalition partnership that could last for a few years.
The Canadian people were rightly sick of the corruption on the Liberal side of the aisle, and Paul Martin’s boundless arrogance in dealing with those allegations. The Gomery Inquest was one of many points where the levels of Liberal corruption in the Quebec sponsorship program and other sordid affairs were made clear to everyone despite attempts at publication bans.
And like many leaders, Martin hoped that anti-Americanism would be enough to keep him in power. As in Germany, the UK, Denmark, and elsewhere, that strategy failed. Harper’s victory undoubtedly means stronger Canadian-American relations, and likely more cooperation on economic, political, and military matters. Canadian troops are part of the International Stabilization Force in Afghanistan, and while it’s almost certain that Harper wouldn’t commit Canadian forces to Iraq, Canada is likely to be less of the odd man out in the Anglosphere now.
Harper has a lot of work ahead of him, and must work to form a coalition government stable enough to rule, but with Canada clearly looking for change and reform, the 12-year-long domination of the Liberal Party has finally come to an end, and Harper has a historic opportunity to develop a strong and cohesive Canadian Right.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds also sees some parallels between the Liberals and the GOP. There are some disturbing ones, but the difference between Canada and the US is that the Tories were a responsible political party, while the Democrats keep moving further and further towards the radical left. Then again, that is absolutely no excuse for Republican complacency on cleaning up Washington DC.