Stephen Harper called an election for a new mandate from Canadian voters. He got it, but it was not the majority Harper or myself expected. Questions now arise as to why he called the election, why he failed to defeat the weak Stéphane Dion, and his carbon tax policy, and will his leadership be challenged. Minority Harper has successfully delivered minority governments and has failed to win a majority government.
Harper has no one to blame other than himself. He personally lost conservative votes in Quebec over cuts to Arts and Culture. He personally lost conservative votes across the country over his insensitivity to Canada’s troubled economy suggesting that it presented some good buying opportunities in the stock markets. In short, Stephen Harper personally lost control of the conservative campaign and the majority government he was seeking.
In his election night speech Stephen Harper raised the white flag and called on all parties to set aside partisan political considerations in favour of building a strong and united Canada. This may be Harper’s biggest challenge when parliament resumes. Harper is a strong leader, but sometimes that works against him. He will have to learn how to ask for support as opposed to ordering it with conditions like non-confidence votes. I believe he can do it, but will he?
Regardless, Stephen Harper faced strong opposition across the country from his opponents and a very troubled economy that peaked during the campaign. In spite of all these conditions Harper still managed to gain a stronger mandate to govern and serve as Prime Minister. He should be congratulated and I hope we don’t have another federal election any time soon.
Here in Saskatchewan the conservative campaign once again proved to be invincible winning every seat except Wascana. And liberal Ralph Goodale, against all odds, once again proved he is invincible in Wascana. Regardless, the conservatives mounted a strong campaign against Goodale and have positioned themselves for an even stronger performance at the next election.