“The Closing of the Canadian Mind” – New York Times op-ed:
The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.
His active promotion of ignorance extends into the functions of government itself. Most shockingly, he ended the mandatory long-form census, a decision protested by nearly 500 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself.
He has been prime minister for nearly a decade for a reason: He promised a steady and quiet life, undisturbed by painful facts. The Harper years have not been terrible; they’ve just been bland and purposeless. Mr. Harper represents the politics of willful ignorance. It has its attractions.
There will be 338 seats in the next House of Commons. A party needs to win 170 seats to form a majority government. Each federal electoral riding corresponds to one seat. The Poll Tracker estimates the most likely number of seats each party could win if an election were held today, based on current polling levels.
The Conservative Party leads with 125 seats and is 45 seats from winning a majority government.
Social democrat New Democratic Party at 118, centrist Liberals at 92. (So, 210 if combined in coalition, which is not a certainty.)
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