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Inviato: 24/01/2006, 17:08
da The Ubbergeek
Harper wins Tory minority government, Martin stepping down as leader</span>
<span style="color:#33CC00">CBC News

Liberal Leader Paul Martin announced early Tuesday morning that he will step down as leader, after Canadians elected a Tory minority government and ended a 12-year reign of Liberal rule.

Martin said he will continue representing his Quebec riding but added he "will not take our party into another election as leader."

Martin's announcement came as Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who will become Canada's next prime minister, led the Tories to victory.

The Conservatives were elected in 124 ridings, the Liberals were elected in 103, the Bloc is elected in 51 and the NDP is elected in 29. One Independent was elected, in Quebec.

"There will be another chance and there will be another time," Martin told a roomful of supporters in Montreal.

He said he called Harper to congratulate him.

The Conservatives picked up more than 36 per cent of the popular vote, nearly a seven-per-cent increase from 2004. This compared to the Liberals with 30 per cent, the NDP with 17.5 per cent and the Bloc with 10. 5 per cent.

The Tories made significant gains in Ontario and Quebec, leading or elected in at least two dozen seats in Central Canada.

The NDP also made major gains, up 10 from the 2004 vote.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said that while Canadians voted for Harper to form a minority government, "they asked New Democrats to balance that government."

Many political observers have credited Harper for running a smooth campaign.

He regularly pumped out policy announcements throughout the unusually long 56-day campaign, leaving the Liberals mostly to react.

Martin campaigned on his record as finance minister and his implementation of eight consecutive balanced budgets. He also promised to lower personal income taxes, create a national child-care plan, ban handguns, subsidize post-secondary students and ban the federal use of the notwithstanding clause.

But he spent the last weeks of the campaign going after Harper. He accused him of having an extreme right-wing agenda that would threaten the rights of minorities and take away a woman's right to choose.

Unlike the 2004 election, the Tories were also able to keep their so-called controversial MPs in check. Indeed, reporters complained the party was purposely keeping some candidates away from the media spotlight.

In this campaign, it was the Liberals who were often in damage control mode.

In the early weeks of the campaign, Martin spokesman Scott Reid said parents would spend Harper's child-care subsidy on "beer and popcorn." Later, the Ontario vice-president of the party resigned after he compared NDP candidate Olivia Chow to a dog.

Martin was also questioned about a series of attack ads, in particular one that suggested Harper would post armed soldiers on the streets of Canadian cities.

And just last week, Martin again was on the defensive, having to declare Harper's patriotism after Canadian Auto Workers head Buzz Hargrove, who endorsed the Liberals, suggested the Tory leader was a separatist.

As Martin was forced to contend with the fallout of the sponsorship scandal, his party was hit with two RCMP probes, one into a possible government leak on income trusts and another into alleged illegal spending through the now-defunct unity lobby Option Canada. Opposition parties jumped on the investigations claiming it was proof of what they called more corruption in the Liberal ranks.

Inviato: 24/01/2006, 17:58
da Kilkenny
Stephen Harper... is Ben Harper's brother? :lol:

So conservatives win... what do you think about this, Ubber?

Inviato: 24/01/2006, 18:21
da The Ubbergeek

It is a so-so result, but it could be worse. I would NOT take kindly, as many, a come-back of the Liberals, and the Conservatives... The problem with the Conservatives, it's that they are not the old Tories of past; they merged with a clear Right regional party of the West, the Reform/Alliance party, and those guys, well... They had some freaks members, and a religious right wing. So, you can imagine the concerns about the merged new party....

By the way, the lone Independant guy is a local personality, André 'King/Sewermouth' Arthur, a controversial trash radio guy and a general bourgeois ignorant, crass low-life if you ask me, close to Conservatives ideology. It's a shame that him and 10 conservatives guys where elected in the proximity...