Despite the fact that the Conservatives continue to claim that Canadians gave them a stronger mandate in 2008, the numbers tell a different story.
Only vote splitting and apathy, brought on by the horrendous Conservative attack ads, gave them more seats.
After the story broke about the "In and Out" scheme, Harper's Party was in serious trouble. Breaking the rules may have put his legitimacy into question, but alleged fraud was a criminal matter.
So how did he deal with it?
He abused his executive powers to hamper the investigation, shut down the ethics committee and called an illegal election. He then launched a ridiculous civil suit, that put the case on the back burner.
However, the allegations are still there and hopefully soon Canadians will get their day in court. They cheated US and Harper is now suing US. What does that tell you about this government?
But back to the numbers and why I believe a coalition or an alliance of the left, is the best option for our country; if we want to get on track to solving the multitude of problems we are facing.
A serious attempt was made during the last election to initiate strategic voting. Sadly it didn't work, and the Conservatives ended up with more seats, despite the fact that they received less votes.
The election also saw the lowest voter turnout in our history. On election night it was felt that this would play in favour of the incumbents because by and large, Conservative voters were said to be older and wealthier and more apt to get out and vote. Do we really want old rich guys having all the power?
But lets compare the results from 2006 to 2008.
2006 - Total votes 5,374,071 which represented 36.27% of ballots cast for 124 seats
(Note: This was the election where they broke the rules and the alleged fraud involving 66 candidates is still on the table)
2008 - Total votes 5,208,793 which represented 37.63 of ballots cast for 143 seats
Their percentage went up slightly but despite the fact that they were able to drive voters away from the Liberals, none of those were driven in their direction, because they received 173,210 fewer than in 2006.
2006 - Total votes 4,479,415 which represented 30.23% of ballots cast for 103 seats
2008 - Total votes 3,627,890 which represented 26.24 of ballots cast for 77 seats
(The horrendous attacks on Dion led to the Liberals downfall, but ironically their numbers were climbing until Steve Murphy and Mike Duffy created a mini scandal with the Liberal leader's false starts. Both men have been charged with ethics violations, but Duffy was rewarded with a senate seat and Murphy a one on one interview with the PM during the Parliamentary crisis. Is their a senate seat in his future too, since he did what the Conservatives couldn't at that time .... knock Mr. Dion out of the race?) As a result the Liberal numbers were down by 851,525 but none of them went to the Conservatives.
2006 - Total votes 2,589,597 which represented 17.48% of ballots cast for 29 seats
2008 - Total votes 2,512,886 which represented 18.2 of ballots cast for 37 seats
(The NDP were down by 76,711 votes but still managed to get a few more seats)
2006 - Total votes 1,553,201 which represented 10.48% of ballots cast for 51 seats
2008 - Total votes 1,379,991 which represented 9.97 of ballots cast for 49 seats
(The Bloc were down by 173,210 and they lost two seats)
2006 - Total votes 664,068 which represented 5.2% of ballots cast for 0 seats
2008 - Total votes 940,297 which represented 6.8 of ballots cast for 0 seats
(The Green Party was the only one to gain votes and yet they still have no seats.)
This is why we need either proportional representation or a coalition of the left, because as it is, the majority of Canadians are without a voice.