Tuesday, January 24


Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper prevailed in Canada's national election, turning Prime Minister Paul Martin out of office and erasing the Liberals' 12+ year hold on Ottawa, albeit with insufficient gains in the legislature to give Harper and the Conservative Party the kind of strong mandate needed to push our northern neighbor genuinely to the right in law, rather than simply in spirit. Harper is from Calgary, Alberta, which, if you've traveled in Canada, is the difference between day and night in political thinking from that found in the eastern provinces. And Harper, to his credit, is pro-life and opposed to gay marriage. That's the good news ...

The bad news: conservatives in Canada are not conservatives as we know them in America. Newspaper headlines today trumpeting a "Conservative" victory in Canada may wrongly suggest to many Americans that a Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan equivalent will be riding into Ottawa on horseback ready to restore political order to North America's version of effete France. Well, don't hold your breath. Canada is a country that anytime it tacks to the Right politically, finds the Left wanting out of the regatta altogether and threatening to secede.

Meanwhile, the Left-dominated MSM in America has wasted no time in turning its guns on Harper, terming his politics extremist, as Frank Laughter perceptively notes in pointing to an Associated Press piece on the election.

FOLLOW-UP: The inimitable Mark Steyn on Canada's election results!

FOLLOW-UP II: Speaking of "inimitable," don't miss Bulldogpundit's observations on our northern neighbor's election results.

FOLLOW-UP III: Peter Brimelow reminds readers of his prescience and offers insights on what the Canada election results may usher in in time.

FOLLOW-UP IV: Human Events looks at what defines conservatism in Canada (H/T: Free Republic).

Canada today is more liberal (in the American sense) than the United States: with no laws regulating abortion, legal same-sex marriage, no death penalty, high income taxes and a federal sales tax, a financially-strapped military and a deep reverence for the United Nations.

But the problem with defining Canadian conservatism exclusively in the above terms is that it overlooks the fundamental issue plaguing Canada since the 1960s: the separation movement in the French-speaking province of Quebec.