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Cry in your Molson

We have a new PM up north: Stephen Harper
 
 
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Conservative: 124 (99)
Liberal:103 (135)
Bloc Québécois: 51 (54)
New Dems 29 (19)

Mark steyn, one of the great twits of conservative opinion journalism, called it , "A SAD day for Michael Moore." The Sydney Morning Herald's headline screamed: "Poll result sends Canada on swing to right," and The Age's read: "Canada takes a right turn."

In the final weeks leading up to the poll both the Washington Post and the New York Times ran stories about the "backlash" against the Libs' "anti-Americanism." Because, you know, everything's all about us really.

Harper ran against the corruption plaguing the Libs. Dogged by the "sponsorship scandal," the Libs took a late hit at the end of December, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced a criminal investigation into a possible leak of a key federal decision on income trusts ahead of a public announcement by the Finance Ministry (leak-gate?).

Harper kind of ran against gay marriage, but not too loudly. And he ran on crime, helped by a shooting incident in Toronto that shocked many Canucks. He said he'd pull Canada out of the Kyoto Accord, like his buddy Georgie W, and he was just all filled with manly excitement about a continental missile defense shield. Wouldn't want to waste those dollars (pronounced doh-lers) on healthcare and the like.

So now there's a Tory government, and the libs are out for the first time in 13 years. Paul Martin announced he'd step down from the party leadership.

I only follow Canadian politics casually, and you all can read the newspaper. So I want to throw this open to our many Canadian readers. I got questions.

Harper's going to have a minority government - no other party is likely to join a coalition. Can he get his agenda through? Will there be new elections quite soon? Who's next to lead the Libs? To what extent is this going to shake up the party? The biggest winners, proportionally, were the lefty New Dems (went from 19 to 29 seats), so is Canada in fact turning rightward? What else should we be watching in the next six months?

What's going on? Inquiring minds want to know.

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .