Election 2004: What Happened and What Happens Next?

We have been through a frantic six weeks. The election campaign seemed to change direction several times, obliging us to think about some rather curious possible political futures; and eventually landed us in a state that appears stable and secure only in comparison with the outcomes we didn’t get.

So, how did we get here, and why were so many of the pollsters and pundits (including our guest speaker) so wrong? How long can we expect this government to last? What will it have to do – or to avoid doing – in order to survive? What are the special problems of minority governments with no margin for error? And has a “new” party system finally emerged from the chaos of the 1990s, or will we have more such chaos to look forward to? After all this, who can say (as we often do) that Canadian politics is boring?

Speaker: Dr. Peter McCormick has been teaching at the University of Lethbridge since 1975, and is currently the Chair of the Political Science Department. In his spare time Peter is the Executive Director of Maple Leaf Web (http://www.mapleleafweb.com), an independent political information and education website housed at the U of L which can be accessed any time to keep visitors up to date on political issues in Canada. Peter has addressed the Council many times over the years, and is always an interesting and entertaining speaker.

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