In typical fashion I stayed up too late to watch the “talking heads” and the election results from last night’s 40th general election in Canada. I am very excited to say the least! As a devout Conservative supporter (and member!) I was encouraged by the final count of 143 seats for Harper and the Conservatives. While this is not the 155 needed to form a majority government, this is a strong mandate from Canadians that they approve of the Conservative approach to leadership and policy. The Conservatives at dissolution held 127 seats. The increase of 16 seats and the fact that the Conservatives won 37.6% of the popular vote shows that Canadians were not willing to embrace Dion and the Liberal platform at this time. The Liberals actually lost 19 seats in the 2008 election and actually sunk to the lowest level of popular support since 1867! What facinates me is that in the United States they are bracing to elect one of the most liberal governments ever, while here in Canada we have elected a Conservative “muscular minority” (Bruce Cheadle, “Tories with Muscular Minority,” The Canadian Press [October 14, 2008]).
I continue to think that Harper is the man to lead. Strong experience and education with a track record of consistent level-headed governing. But, what I am most encouraged about is in two particular Ontario ridings.
First, my old electoral riding of Essex, where I grew up, had been a Liberal and NDP stronghold since at least the 1960’s. But in the 2004 election, Conservative candidate Jeff Watson had ousted long-standing Liberal Susan Whelan, daughter of former MP and Senator Eugen Whelan by only 829 votes. Whelan had thought it too close and ran again in the 2006 election figuring the people would rally back to the Liberals. Instead, Watson won again by an even greater margin of 3617 votes! And yet again, Whelan ran in the 2008 election and lost to Watson for a third time with Watson receiving a hefty 5634 votes over Whelan. Encouraging times for my old home area as they consistently move more and more Conservative even though it so closely borders Windsor which is traditionally NDP.
But, even more encouraging were the results in my new home electoral district of Brant. It too had been a Liberal and NDP stronghold since the 1960’s. But in the last election of 2006, the Liberal candidate, Lloyd St. Amand, only won over Conservative canadidate, Phil McColeman by 582 votes. In the 2008 election, voters, dissatisfied with the Liberals, voted in Conservative McColeman by 4789 votes! This is an incredible leap over the last election. People connected with McColeman and the Conservatives in our area especially over issues of jobs, agriculture, and Native issues.
I am greatly encouraged by the progress we are seeing in Canada to a more and more Conservative government. Lord willing, in the next election, we will see a Conservative majority! For now, please support your MP, and as Christians pray for them and the Harper government that the Lord would use them to further His Kingdom here in Canada and all over the world.
For more on Phil Coleman click on the picture below of Phil and his family.