Canada votes on Monday, and the latest polls show the centrist Liberal Party with a slight lead over the ruling Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party. In an email interview, Brian Tanguay, professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, discussed what is a stake in Canada’s elections.
WPR: What explains the emergence of the New Democratic Party (NDP) as a national political contender, and why have its prospects faded recently?
Brian Tanguay: In the early days of this very long campaign, most polls indicated that the NDP would, for a second straight election, sweep Quebec—a phenomenon known as the “Orange Wave,” because of the color of the party’s logo—taking anywhere from 60 to 65 of the 78 seats up for grabs in that province. With pockets of support in the other regions of the country, Tom Mulcair and his party were realistically thinking they could win a majority, which would require 170 seats out of 338, on Oct. 19.