Sorry about the headline. Just trying to liven up the other news of the day. I think it’s fair to say the death of Osama bin Laden has reduced U.S. coverage of today’s Canadian election from 0 percent of network airtime to 0.0000 percent of network airtime. So, in the interests of driving down Corner traffic to near undetectable levels, I thought I’d provide an update:
Canada’s Conservative party has been returned to office, and for the first time Stephen Harper’s ministry will enjoy a parliamentary majority. Always good to have one nation on the North American continent with a Conservative head of government.
On the other hand, the NDP (that’s Canadian for the Socialist Loon Party) has near tripled its representation, thanks to a last-minute revelation that its leader, Jack Layton, had been found naked with a “masseuse” during a police raid on a bawdy house. One never knows what will finally cause a party to make a breakthrough with the electorate, but Mr. Layton’s was the money shot heard round the world.
Meanwhile, the Liberals, the most successful electoral organization in any Western democracy and a party that governed a G7 nation for an unprecedented 70 years during the 20th century, has been reduced to third place for the first time in Canadian history. And a very distant third, too: 33 seats versus 168 for the Tories and 104 for the Dippers. As things stand right now, Michael Ignatieff, former Harvard prof, my sometime BBC colleague and Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, is on course to lose his own seat in Parliament — thereby conveniently accelerating his return to Harvard and/or the Beeb, and a speedy end to his ill-advised foray into Canuck politics.
Mr. Ignatieff’s only consolation is that the Bloc Québécois, the separatist party, suffered an even more catastrophic repudiation by the voters, being reduced to two (or possibly three) members. Its leader, the agreeably insane Gilles Duceppe, lost his seat. Not as bloody as a SEAL assault, but, upshot-wise, pretty much the same.
I believe the White House plans to release a dramatic photograph of Obama, Biden, and Mrs Clinton sitting around in shirt-sleeves anxiously watching Canadian election results in the situation room.