Canada’s conservatives have been re-elected to power but without the majority in parliament the prime minister was hoping for. Stephen Harper will return to office with a stronger minority government than before, but still needing the support of at least one of the three opposition parties.
At a victory rally in his home town of Calgary, Harper appealed to members of all parties to join him in protecting the economy and riding out the financial crisis. If the conservatives enjoyed only a partial success, the opposition liberals endured a miserable night. Stephane Dion’s party lost 19 seats, its worst result for 24 years.
Dion pledged to work with the government, for now at least. “We liberals will do our part, responsibly, to make sure that this parliament works. It is clear that our economy, indeed the global economic crisis, is the most important issue facing our country at this time,” he said during his concession speech.
The separatist Bloc Quebecois picked up two additional seats, remaining the third force in Canadian politics and preventing Harper from obtaining the majority he had called the election for.