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The Significance of the 2011 Canadian Election in Numbers

by Candice Walsh May 2, 2011
It’s been one hell of a week in worldwide news, and although many of you have been riveted by the stories unfolding around Osama’s death, perhaps you didn’t know that one of the most significant federal elections in Canadian history just took place this evening.

FROM HERE, IT’S BEEN a mesmerizing few months watching excitement around the election coming from new places, like social media. Vote mobs swept through campuses across the country to encourage young voters, and tonight people gathered in pubs, homes, and other venues to watch it all go down.

The Conservatives won with a majority government, despite Stephen Harper being the first Prime Minister in Canadian history to have his government fall for being ruled in contempt of Parliament. This means he’ll be around for another 4 years. The New Democratic Party also took opposition for the first time in Canadian political history, and the total destruction of Bloc Quebecois means separatism in Canada might as well be dead.

But the numbers say it best.

2-million: The number of advance voters who cast their ballot on April 26th…a 34.5 per cent increase since the 2008 election

25,000: The number of dollars Canadians could be fined with for posting election results on their Facebook or Twitter feeds before the polls closed in all Canadian time zones.

155: The number of seats required for majority government.

166: The number of seats won by the Conservatives.

104: The number of seats won by the NDP, up from a measly 36 in 2008.

54: The percentage of nationwide voter turn-out. Not good. UPDATE: CBC reporting 61 per cent turn-out as of May 3.

40: The percentage of the popular vote won as a majority by the Conservatives, meaning 60 per cent of Canadians were not in favour.

34: The number of ridings won by the Liberals…the lowest ever, down from 77 in 2008.

4: The number of seats with Bloc Quebecois leading.

2: The number of party leaders who lost their seat in parliament: Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

1: The number of resignations…by Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe. UPDATE: Ignatieff also resigns as leader of Leader party, May 3.

1: The number of Green Party candidates elected for the first ever in Canada. Well done, Elizabeth May.

What does this mean for the future of Canada? Hell, I hardly know. Canada has a lot to work on, but the political landscape has most definitely taken a drastic turn. What do you think?

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