Live-blogging the Canadian election. Above: Stephane Dion
11:00 EDT: Stephen Harper called this election to get a majority and didn't get it. The Liberals, under Stephane Dion, were running a campaign based on very strong environmental positions that didn't resonate. Was it the market meltdowns of the last two weeks that made people afraid to take a risk? Was it his poor communication skills in English? Was it the shift of power in Canada from Ontario and Quebec, formerly Liberal strongholds, to the West, with its oil and population growth, which is solidly Conservative?
Nobody won this election; the Conservatives wanted a majority and didn't get it; the Liberals wanted back in as the Natural Governing Party and didn't get it; the NDP did extraordinarily well but didn't really change anything; the Green Party made no impact at all.
But in the end the real loser is the environment. We have a government that does not support strong measures to reduce carbon emissions, that is in thrall to its base in Alberta, the home of the tar sands. We have a government without a single seat in the largest city in the country- it is a suburban party. We have a splintered opposition. And I have run out of wine.
We are live-blogging the Canadian Election. Above: NDP Leader Jack Layton
10:30 EDT: Jack Layton is sinking all his shots but can't clear the table, and is taking most of his new votes from the Liberals. Why, oh why, are there four parties with strong environmental credentials challenging the Conservatives? This entire election looks like it will change nothing, but there are a lot of close races and it is still too early to call a minority or majority. Harper needed a breakthrough in Quebec but blew it a few weeks ago by cutting arts funding and making some very stupid right-wing statements. Jack Layton? He ran a great campaign and picked up a lot of seats. In honour of Jack, it's time for a beer.
Liveblogging the Canadian election...
10:00 EDT: Polls close in British Columbia, everyone has voted, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation declares that the Conservatives will form the next government. The question now is whether it will be a majority government or a minority, which puts some controls on how conservative they can actually be. Conservatives elected or leading in 115, to only 68 for the Liberals, 35 for the Bloc in Quebec and 25 for the NDP. The Greens leading in none. The knives are already out for Stephane Dion, losing seats in Manitoba, he is not doing well.
Conservatives running better in Ontario than expected in the 'burbs around Toronto. Traditionally liberal ethnic ridings have been targeted by the Conservatives and it may be working. In Alberta, the Conservatives are painting the province blue, wall to wall conservative and partying already. It may come down to British Columbia. I need a glass of Ontario cabernet.
We are live-blogging the election results as they roll across the country.
9:36 EDT: Television blackout in Ontario is over and we see the results from Atlantic Canada. Elizabeth May of the Green Party is conceding defeat in her riding after her crazy suicidal attempt to run against Defense Minister Peter Mackay, who between him and his father has owned it for decades. Conservatives wiped out in Newfoundland because of their fight with Danny Chavez over oil revenues. On the other hand, the Liberals did not manage to pick up much, even on the Rock. Still: Liberals leading with 30 seats, NDP doing very well, Conservatives doing better than expected. As predicted, the split vote among the left is helping them, with their popular vote down but their seat count up. Results from Quebec and Ontario beginning to dribble in. Time for a shot of Newfie Screech.