The Liberals were returned with a minority government. That means they won in the most ridings and thus have the most seats in Parliament. But they don’t have half the seats. To pass any legislation, they must convince one of the other parties or some of the other Members of Parliament (MPs) that it will make a good law. Some of the best Canadian legislation was passed by minority governments.
There’s the usual grumbling about proportional representation–a sure recipe for splinter groups, one-issue groups, and unstable government. As it is now, parties have to be a “big tent” that welcomes compromise and many points of view.
And there are some odder rumblings from the West: that Canadians would rather have a corrupt government (meaning the Liberals) than one with its roots in the West (meaning the Reform-based, reconstituted Conservatives). That’s odd, because the NDP has its roots in the West, too, and it did rather well. The real message is that Canadians would rather have a tolerant government (with some sleazy practices), which has been given a slap on the wrist, than an intolerant one that demonizes homosexuals and the unwillingly pregnant. Think about changing your sexual orientation and you’ll realize it’s not really a voluntary option. ‘Nuff said.