Grenfell prof calls breakdown of Liberals and Bloc a big surprise

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With a majority Conservative government, an increased NDP presence and two leaders stepping down, Mario Levesque believes there are some interesting times ahead for Canadian politics.Levesque is an assistant professor of political science and environmental studies at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.He wasn't really surprised by the Conservative majority, but said the really significant thing coming out of the election results was the complete breakdown of the Liberal Party and the Bloc Quebecois.

For the Liberals, he said it came down to not having a strong leader and this was especially evident in the leaders debates.

Michael Ignatieff performed adequately, said Levesque, but he didn't come through in key moments.

Levesque said Ignatieff missed an opportunity when talking about crime to draw attention to misspending by the Harper government.

Stephen Harper on the other hand stayed consistent in his message.

The main person to benefit in the Liberal downfall was the NDP's Jack Layton.

The NDP rise was just "fantastic," said Levesque.

He said the message the NDP put out was positive and talked about things that would matter in people's daily lives. "They sold hope." The challenge they have now, said Levesque, is trying to make progress on those things under a majority Conservative government.

Levesque said the NDP support pretty much stopped at the Quebec/Ontario border and Ontario went Conservative blue.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Ontario, Quebec

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