Conservatives Win Majority
And with a fairly decent margin. The collapse of the Liberals in Ontario, and the choice of BC to go largely Conservative seem to have been the key. Looking closely at the results, I don’t think the robocalls were the deciding factor in enough ridings to have changed the overall result. Hopefully the courts will show their independence and investigate this question aggressively, but with a majority government, Harper will be in a position to shut down such investigations and has show in the past that he has no qualms using such power.
Southern Ontario, outside the city cores, went hard Conservative, in most cases over 50% (call them Alberta South). This continues the trend of Ontario suburbs thinking that the man who has presided over the destruction of Canadian manufacturing is going to save them by keeping their housing values high and driving Toronto into the ground, because suburbs don’t need healthy cities. This bet on the part of Canadian suburbanites will work out as well for them as it has for American suburbanites.
Going forward this is probably good for the NDP. Their job now is to be a good opposition, and to make the case that everything Harper does is wrong, destructive and will be rolled back by an NDP government. As for the Liberals, job 1 is to ditch Ignatieff, job 2 is to make the case to Ontario that they are the party that can actually run government properly, and make the economy work again. “You had it pretty good in the 90s, didn’t you?” should be their mantra. Especially as it looks to me like Canada is about to go into recession, certainly it’s in danger of doing so. Of course, Harper has 4 to 5 years to try and ride it out, but I’m going to say that now that he has full power, he will screw it up. He’s that sort of guy.
For Canada? Not so good. But, under the rules as they exist (minus the robocalls), the Conservatives won. Even if Harper did cheat (and I would be highly surprised if the Conservatives weren’t behind the robocalls), it’s highly unlikely that the Courts will call him to account, since he will be in a position to shut down police investigations. Still, there is nothing he can do that can’t be undone by another majority government, and apparently Canadians need to learn what happens when you let someone like Harper have a majority. That learning will be unpleasant, but I guess it’s necessary. In particular for Ontarians, who have voted against their own self interest. It’s one thing for the Prairies to vote for “loot now, worry about the hangover later”, it’s another for Ontario to vote “make Dutch disease permanent and destroy our industrial base.”