Trudeau’s party claims overwhelming majority
By Laura Marchand
On Oct. 19, Canadians elected a Liberal majority government, ending nearly a decade of Conservative power and electing Justin Trudeau as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister with 184 seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal party surged from third-party status after taking only 34 seats in the 2011 federal election.
“Sunny ways, my friends—sunny ways,” said Trudeau, addressing an exhilarated crowd of supporters in Montreal. “Canadians from all across this great country sent a clear message tonight: it is time for a change. A real change.”
The “crimson tide” that swept across the country left few standing, with a media release from the Conservative Party of Canada announcing that the party would begin the process for selecting a new leader.
Stephen Harper did not address that he would be stepping down from the leadership during his concession speech. “I had the incredible honour of serving as your Prime Minister,” said Harper, surrounded by supporters from the party’s base in Calgary. “The disappointment you feel is my responsibility and mine alone. When the time comes, we will offer a strong alternative, based on our conservative values.”
“We put it all on the line,” added Harper. “We gave everything we have to give, and we have no regrets.”
Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party, entered the campaign the front-runner. The NDP ended the night in third place, holding onto only 44 seats and losing 59 from the 103 they held in 2011. “The roots of the NDP continue to develop,” said Mulcair, who added the NDP offered “historical contributions to this country.”
“The next chapter begins in our effort to build a better Canada,” he said.
Mulcair did not announce any plans to resign as leader of the NDP.
The Bloc Quebecois took an additional six seats to 10 (from four), and Green party leader Elizabeth May held onto her seat in British Columbia.
During his speech, Trudeau credited his party’s lack of divisive and negative politics for their overwhelming win.
“We can appeal to our better angels, our better nature, and win while doing it,” Trudeau said. “Conservatives are not our enemies, they’re our neighbours. Leadership is about bringing people of all perspectives together.”
At a glance: party leaders’ performances
By Michelle Gamage
Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May won her riding, Saanich—Gulf Islands, with over 35,000 votes (54 per cent). She beat out Conservative candidate Robert Boyd (20 per cent), Liberal Tim Kane (17 per cent) and NDP candidate Lisa Cormier (9 per cent). May is the only Green party candidate to win a seat in the House of Commons. She’s represented this riding since 2011.
The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, lost in his riding in Laurier—Sainte-Marie. He only received 28 per cent of the vote. Duceppe was ousted by NDP candidate Hélène Laverdière who won 38 per cent of the votes. However, Bloc Québécois won 10 seats in Quebec—4.7 per cent of the total votes—a sure improvement from their previous four seats from the 2011 election.
The leader of the New Democratic Party won his riding in Montreal’s Outremont with 25.57 per cent of the votes. He was challenged by Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan coming in with 20.37 per cent of the votes. The NDP party suffered a crushing defeat at the poles, only winning 43 seats after holding 103 seats from the 2011 election, which is a decrease in 60 seats. This means the NDP have dropped from the official opposition to just holding 19.7 per cent of the votes.
Stephen Harper won in his riding of Calgary Heritage in Alberta with 63.7 per cent of the votes, beating out Liberal candidate Brendan Miles who won 25.9 per cent of the votes. Despite winning 99 seats in this election, 31.9 per cent of the total votes, an official party letter was sent out during the prime minister’s concession speech announcing his resignation as Conservative party leader. Harper neglected to comment on the letter before exiting the stage.
The Liberal Party of Canada leader—and new Prime Minister of Canada—received a majority of votes in his riding, Papineau (51.79 per cent). He beat out NDP candidate Anne Lagacé Dowson (26.07 per cent), Bloc Québécois candidate Maxime Claveay (12.19 per cent), Conservative Yvon Vadnais (4.86 per cent) and Green party candidate Danny Polifroni (2.82 per cent).