Brief summary: the Conservatives have won 95 seats and are leading in 29 for a total of 124; the Liberals have won 73 seats and are leading in 29 for a total of 102; the Bloc Québécois have won 46 seats and are leading in four for a total of 50; the NDP has won 14 seats and is leading in 16 for a total of 30; and, there's an independent seat. Nothing for the Green Party, unfortunately.
What does this mean? The Conservatives under Stephen Harper will form a minority government, true, but they will be weak. They will emerge from this, the 2006 Canadian federal election
, with 124 or so seats to the Liberals' approxiamtely 102. Compare this to the results from the 2004 Canadian federal election
, where the Liberals led the Conservative 135 seats to 99. The Tories have a much weaker hand than the Liberals under Paul Martin, and collaboration will be key?
Who can they collaborate with, though? The Liberals are out of the question, as is the social-democratic NDP (up 11 seats to a total of 30). The Bloc Québécois is a logical partner, given the strong roots of both parties in regionalism, but BQ leader Gilles Duceppe has warned of the imposition of made-in-Calgary policies and rejected any talk so far of a coalition government. It isn't as if this coalition government would necessarily work, what with the Conservatives being right-wing federalists and the Bloc being left-wing separatists, in this a mockery of Brian Mulroney's 1985-1991 coalition of Western regionalists and Québécois soft separatists.
Will we have another election this year? Hell yes. Unless the Tories and the Bloc can hammer out some sort of viable system of cooperation, Prime Minister Harper is going to have a shorter reign than Martin.
What will things look like in the meantime? Think Battle Royale
. Canadian politics are getting vicious. Am I so wrong to be amused?UPDATE (11:17 PM) : james_nicoll comments
"Harper can't cut a deal with the Liberals. There aren't enough NDP to matter, quite, and adding in the IND only gets them to 154 seats, one short of a majority (plus, dealing-cutting with Socialists? That should last a long time). That leaves the Bloc, who Harper has refered to as "not really Canadian." I'm a-popping the popcorn now, for the election in March."