Welcome to four years safe from constant elections, Canada. The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, has returned to Ottawa with a much expanded mandate and 167 seats in the House of Commons.
Well over a hundred Members of Parliament were defeated, most from the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberal Party, their seats going respectively to the NDP and the Conservatives. Good luck to all these new members of Parliament, particularly the many NDP "Placeholder candidates" who certainly did not expect to be heading to Ottawa anytime soon. (The $155,000 salary should pay off student debts nicely.)
So when this new Parliament sits, what should be on the agenda first? Obviously Harper will have to pass a throne speech and a budget, neither of which should prove controversial. And after that? Harper has been campaigning to kill the Long Gun Registry for years so hopefully an end to Bill C-68 and its huge expenditures will come quickly.
Besides that, look to see the scrapping of the per vote subsidy very soon. Harper has promised to kill that brand of political welfare, and the sooner he moves on it; the less the NDP's popular vote surge can help them with fundraising. Because though the NDP surged in votes and support in Quebec, they did not pull over a base, they "Merely" took the undecided vote en-mass. Undecideds rarely donate to political parties, even after they choose one to vote for.
The Liberals have essentially two options, merge with the big Orange tent (if they'll still take them) or try to rebuild. While rebuilding is certainly possible, it will require several changes, they will need to shift to the right and push the Conservatives out of the centre, back into Reform territory. (More on this tomorrow)
Everyone has been saying it for days, this election was a game changer, the Bloc is gone, the Liberals are down but not out, the NDP has surged, but this tide may very well recede in the next election, ruined by scandal.
And Stephen Harper's Conservatives? I suspect they are all feeling, in Harper's own words, "Sober Satisfaction"