The 2011 election saw many interesting developments. The Conservatives winning a majority was the immediate story, but the long-term story was one of party realignment. Realignment elections (1921, 1957, 1993) are few and far between, but when they occur they are significant. 2011 was a realignment election. First, we have seen the destruction of the Bloc Quebecois. Second, the Liberals – the Natural Governing Party of Canada – suffered a historic (and possibly fatal) defeat. Third, the NDP, largely due to an orange surge throughout Quebec, is now the official opposition. Fourth, the Green Party won its first seat ever. As a result of these changes, the Canadian Parliament will look like most other parliaments: a right wing party, a left wing party, and a group of small centrist, nationalist, and movement parties.

Duane Bratt will explain the significance of the realignment election and what it means for the future of Canadian politics. He will also offer some thoughts on the policies that the new Harper-led majority government will pursue as well as some of its challenges. Speaker: Professor Duane Bratt, Mount Royal University

Duane Bratt is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Policy Studies at Mount Royal University. Duane was educated at the Universities of Windsor (BA 1991, MA 1992) and Alberta (PhD 1996). His primary teaching area is international relations, with specialties in the sub-fields of international organizations and Canadian foreign policy. His primary research interest is in the area of Canadian nuclear policy.

Duane is a regular guest on Access Television’s Alberta PrimeTime and CBC-Radio’s Alberta at Noon, as well as a general media commentator on political matters. Recent publications include: co-editor, Readings in Canadian Foreign Policy: Classic Debates and New Ideas 2nd edition (Oxford University Press: Toronto, 2011). Prairie Atoms: The Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Power in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Canada West Foundation, 2008), and The Politics of CANDU Exports (University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 2006). He is currently working on a book entitled Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival.

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