Just over five years ago, when Canadian voters ousted the anti-Bush government of Paul Martin, Tory Stephen Harper was able to form a minority government in the Great White North. His conservative party won again at the hustings in October 2008, but he still led a minority government. At the time of his first election, Mer, one of our readers, corrected my misunderstanding of how governments in Canada are formed and offered, “So we’ll see what this means. Watershed or blip? Let’s check back in a few years.”
For the past five years, Harper has been able to form a government without having formed a majority in parliament.
Results from yesterday’s election suggests that Harper’s 2006 victory was not a blip. Voters finally gave Harper a majority, with his Tories winning 167 of the 308 seats in the Canadian House of Commons: “Canadian voters have delivered Conservative Leader Stephen Harper his first majority government after five years of governing in a minority situation, with the 41st election bringing a dramatic and unpredicted realignment to the country’s political landscape.”
UPDATE: Michael Barone breaks down the results and offers some thoughts on their meaning.