Foreign Policy Watch

Geopolitical musings through a progressive lens …by Matt Eckel and Jeb Koogler

Quick Hit: Canadian Government Falls

I imagine most people focused on geopolitics are currently focused on the various socio-political-humanitarian catastrophes around the world, which make for interesting if consistently horrific reading. I’ll just point out, then, that the Conservative-led governing coalition* in Canada lost a no-confidence vote today, setting the stage for new elections. The AP analysis predicts an election leading to basically the same parliamentary coalition, slightly re-jiggered, though notes the possibility that a coalition government led by the opposition could also emerge, even if the Conservatives retain a plurality of the national vote.

The article also notes that Harper is “counting on the economy to help him win re-election.” The recent economic crisis hit Canada far less seriously than the rest of the OECD, and as any political scientist will tell you, a growing economy/falling unemployment rate helps incumbents. What’s interesting is that the recent crisis was weathered comparatively well precisely because Canada’s Liberals avoided the deregulatory orgy in which the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world enthusiastically participated during the ’80s and ’90s. Now it’s helping the Conservatives retain power. Politics, it seems, brooks neither consistency nor justice.

*Update: It’s been pointed out that this is badly put. The Conservatives have been leading a minority government that until now has enjoyed the confidence of the Commons, not a formal parliamentary coalition.
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  1. Hello from Canada.

    Just to point out that the Conservative government which was defeated last week was in fact not a governing coalition, but rather a minority Conservative government. The last time Canada was led by a coalition government was from 1917 to 1920.

  2. Very true. Poorly phrased.