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Copyright © Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
Thursday January 26, 2006
extremeright
Winning the election may have been the easy part for the
Conservative party. Managing Parliament, given its slim
minority, looks to be far more difficult.

With its 124 seats in a 308-seat House, the Conservatives
need the support of 31 MPs to ensure elements of their
election platform are endorsed. The options: win over the
Liberal party and its 103 votes; persuade the 51 Bloc
Quebecois MPs to co-operate; or attract a few votes from
the 29 NDP MPs and the lone Independent, Andre Arthur
from Quebec.

It will prove tricky, political observers and Ottawa insiders
agree.

"This will be a very interesting government to watch," said
David Docherty, a political science professor and dean of
arts at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. "This is
really going to be a case-by-case government with no
natural allies."

One factor in the Conservatives' favour is that the
opposition -- in particular the Liberals and Bloc -- are leery
of fighting another election.

The Liberals will be busy searching for a new leader after
Prime Minister Paul Martin's resignation. The Bloc needs
to regroup from a disappointing performance that saw its
popular vote and seat count shrink.
Tory policies face several hurdles
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