Last Thursday, we attended a very interesting lecture sponsered by the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta titled "Back to the Future? Examining the Election."
The lecture included presentations by Gerald Baier of the University of British Columbia; Claude Denis of the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa; and Steve Patten from the University of Alberta.
All of the speakers had some very interesting insight on last week's election and the implecations and non-implications it may have on the near and far reaching future of Canadian politics.
Though they all had a number of interesing comments, there were two that stuck out for us:
- When you take a look at it, the Conservative victory was fairly unimpressive. Even with the Gomery Inquery, a mid-election announcement of an RCMP investigation, and the disaterous Liberal campaign, the Conservatives were only able to increase their popular vote by 6% (roughly half of this coming from Quebec) and increase their seat count by 26.
The fact that they weren't able to drastically increase their support under these circumstances would suggest that perhaps the Conservatives have reached a ceiling of support under their current leadership.
- Nationally and provincially in Alberta, Conservative support is still lower than the combined Reform/PC vote in 1997 and Alliance/PC vote in 2000.
Here's a spiffy little chart we've drawn up...