Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Island goes Liberal

By Michael J.W. Stickings

In case you were wondering, the Liberals are back in power on Prince Edward Island. In yesterday's provincial election, they won 52.9 percent of the vote and 23 of the province's 27 districts to secure a solid majority in the legislature. The Progressive Conservatives, who were going for a fourth straight majority victory under Premier Pat Binns (first elected premier in 1996), were reduced to 41.4 percent of the vote and just four seats. The new premier will be Robert Ghiz. Voter turnout was 83.4 percent of registered voters.

Although the Conservatives looked unbeatable when the campaign kicked off, the Liberals ran a strong campaign, promising new spending on health care and education, a reduction in the gasoline tax, and a balanced budget. Meanwhile, the Conservatives made what were seen as desperate promises -- a new junior high school and health center in Stratford, as well as a new convention center in Charlottetown, without explaining where the money would come from. The province's main newspaper, The Guardian, had predicted a Liberal victory, but the magnitude of the victory comes as something of a surprise.

See The Guardian for more. As well, see Wikipedia (which includes the image below).

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