Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Day in Canada

It’s Election Day in Canada.

As Canada’s 39th general election campaign came to a halt Sunday night, final polling numbers gave Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party a firm grip on minority government following Monday’s vote.

The final poll results for The Globe and Mail and CTV by the Strategic Counsel showed the Conservatives with 37 per cent support, the Liberals with 27, the NDP at 19, the Bloc Québécois at 11 and the Green Party at six per cent.

Strategic Counsel chairman Allan Gregg said the poll would produce “a solid Conservative minority government with more Bloc and more New Democrats than we have today.”

If you want to follow the election results, the Globe and Mail provides a handy-dandy interaction election guide so you can see how the election turns out and even watch the results change. They’ll have a tally for the results of each of the 308 ridings (a “riding” is the parliamentary equivalent of a congressional district). You can also live stream it from the CBC starting at 10:00 pm ET.

Why does the coverage start so late? Because Canadian law prohibits news coverage of election results nationally until all the polls are closed, and they don’t close in British Columbia and Yukon until then. Wow, can you imagine what Election Night would be like down here with that law? The idea of three hours of network talking heads tap dancing is enough to make you rent Abbott & Costello Meet Hitler.

So, if you’re in Canada, don’t forget to vote. If you’re somewhere else, watch and learn how a civilized nation deals with their leaders, and how a minority can still have a say in the running of their country. How quaint.

Update: C-SPAN will simulcast the election coverage beginning at 9:30 ET.