Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government fell after the Liberal Party and other opposition parties shepherded a no-confidence vote through parliament on Friday. Parliament will now be formally disslved, and new elections will likely be held in May.
Here's how different groups are taking the news:
The Conservatives: Harper's party argues that an election could threaten Canada economy, which "is outshining those of most industrialized nations but is still fragile as it recovers from recession," Reuters explains.
Opposition parties: Opposition legislators apparently "threw papers in the air in glee" after the no-confidence vote, according to Reuters. The opposition believes Harper's minority government, which has been embroiled in a series of ethics scandals, is "tainted by sleaze, has mismanaged the economy and is overly secretive," the news agency explains. Earlier this week, a parliamentary committee ruled that the minority government was in contempt of parliament because it had hidden the full costs of its crime legislation, corporate tax cuts, and plans to buy stealth fighter jets.
Analysts: Analysis of the government's fall has taken a number of different forms:
- Election-Focused: Polling indicates that the Conservative Party is more popular than the opposition parties and it's "likely to emerge from the May election in power, with some polls indicating it could even gain seats," the BBC explains. Soon enough, then, Harper may be serving another four-year term as prime minister and his party could even find itself with a majority in the House of Commons. But the Associated Press notes that the left-of-center parties might counter the Conservatives by forming a coalition.
- Politics-Focused: "The political calculations driving this election have nothing to do with making Canada a better place for Canadians," CTV television political analyst Don Martin declared before the vote, according to the BBC. "The opposition parties see a moment of weakness."
- History-Focused: CBC News notes that Canada has only experienced five other no-confidence votes in its history, and this is the first time it has taken place because the government was deemed in contempt of Parliament.
- Middle East-Focused:. Given the headlines about Canada's government "falling" or getting "toppled," some analysts can't help but make a connection to the uprisings in the Arab world. "Rebels take Ottawa as Stephen Harper flees into exile...or something like that," Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating joked. Paul Kedrosky had a similar interpretation: "Apparently Canada is toppling its government in sympathy with Egypt. That's so nice."
- Portugal-Focused: The media, the Business News Network's Linda Nazareth says, will inevitably draw comparisons between Canada and Portugal, since both countries are preparing to hold new elections after their governments fell this week, in part because of disagreement over the budget. But Nazareth points out that while politically the two countries are similar, economically Canada is in a much stronger position than Portugal.