The Conservatives have taken 166 seats, with 39% of the vote; the NDP have 108 seats (including 60 in Quebec). The Liberals are down to 33. The Bloc only has four seats, so they no longer have official party status.
Harper to move fast to use his new authority
Mr. Harper’s long game, as he’s discussed in years past, is to shift Canada rightward politically so that the Conservatives replace the Liberals as the “natural governing party” in the eyes of voters. That’s not going to occur overnight and it’s not going to happen by spooking voters with radical changes from a party the Tory Leader has acknowledged is more conservative than the Canadian public.
The Conservative Leader will likely seek to change Canada more incrementally.
As pledged, the Tories will move rapidly on a far-reaching rewrite of Canada’s crime laws. They’re planning to bundle 11 pieces of law-and-order legislation they’d failed to enact as a minority government into one omnibus bill that will be passed within 100 days of taking power.
Measures would include an end to house arrest for serious and violent criminals, tougher sentences and mandatory jail time for sexual offences against children and a crackdown on the handling of violent and repeat young offenders.
Say goodbye to the long-gun registry and $2-per-vote subsidies for political parties now that Stephen Harper has full control over the levers of power in Ottawa.
And get ready for term limits on senators and greater foreign ownership of companies that offer telecom services such as cellphones.