New York Times, By Ian Austen, October 19
Ottawa – The nine-year reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party came to a sudden and stunning end on Monday night at the hands of Justin Trudeau, the young leader of the Liberal Party, according to projections by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other networks.
Starting with a sweep of the Atlantic provinces, the Liberals went on to capture 191 of the 338 seats in the next House of Commons. The upset victory occurred 47 years after Mr. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, first swept to power in a pivotal moment that became known as Trudeaumania.
If the projections are correct, Justin Trudeau, who will be 44 on Christmas Day, will become Canada’s second-youngest prime minister and the first to follow a parent into office. The youngest prime minister, Joe Clark, a Conservative, took office in 1979 the day before he turned 40.
The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau, have voted for most of Harper’s signature bills, including C51 (which gutted civil liberties.) If the Liberals get into office, they will be 90 percent as neo-liberal as the Conservatives, but less obnoxious about it.
The best chance now for a decent government is if the Liberals get a minority and make a deal with the NDP for support.
While the results are a stinging rebuke to Harper, who based his party’s campaign largely on questioning Trudeau’s readiness to lead, it’s a total reversal of political fortunes for the Liberals. The party suffered a crushing loss in 2011 and held only 36 seats at the time of Parliament’s dissolution.
Now, the Liberals are leading or elected in more than 180 ridings, having won seats in every province and taking the lead in all provinces except Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Tories were leading or elected in more than 100 seats, while the NDP was at 35. The Bloc, meanwhile, was leading or elected in 10 seats.