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City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

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Canada’s big cities
buck election trend

By Andrew Stevens, Political Editor

27 January 2006: Canada’s new Conservative-led minority government will not be able to speak for a single large city, with voting patterns being touted as showing an urban-rural chasm. The results of the 23 January poll show the Conservative Party on 124 seats out of 308 in the Canadian House of Commons, short of a majority. The election, precipitated by a damning report concerning government sleaze, means that Canada’s new union of Conservative parties under Stephen Harper will be invited to form a government by Governor General Michaelle Jean.

Political map of Canada after the January 2006 election

The Conservatives slowly regained their position after the nadir of the 1993 election when they lost all but two seats, having merged the two leading parties of the right in 2003. The Liberal Party’s 12-year dominance of Canadian politics under Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin was attributed to electoral splits on the right, especially during the latter half of that decade. Harper’s Conservatives fought an aggressive campaign on the issue of tax cuts, border controls, crime and closer links with the US.

The Conservative Party was unable to gain any seats in Canada’s three largest cities, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, suggesting an increased polarisation between the parties, particularly on the questions of same-sex marriage and gun control. Toronto remained solidly liberal in its results, returning 19 Liberal Party MPs and three from the left-leaning New Democrats in its 22 ridings. Voters in Vancouver failed to show any enthusiasm for Mr Harper’s challenge to the Liberals, while in the remainder of British Columbia his party polled better, with the blue collar New Democrats outpolling the Liberals also.

Key figures within the Liberal Party, particularly in local government, have expressed concern that the new federal government may abandon recent good relations in the cities, which were shored up by large subsidies from the Liberal government. Jack Layton, a former Federation of Canadian Municipalities president, saw the New Democrats under his leadership substantially increase its number of urban seats, thanks partly to his popularity with the public. Paul Martin has tendered his resignation as Liberal Party leader. The newly elected Toronto MP and prominent intellectual Michael Ignatieff is tipped as a possible successor in the leadership election to be staged later this year.

Mayor Monitor allows you to rate the performance of your mayor More

How good is
your mayor?

City Mayors provides Mayor Monitor (MM) to allow residents and non-residents to rate the performance of mayors from across the world as well as highlight their ‘best’ and ‘worst’ decisions. Mayor Monitor uses the widely understood one-to-ten rating system, where '1' signifies an extremely poor performance and '10' ‘an outstanding one. In addition to rating mayors’ performances, citizens are invited to highlight the best and worst decisions by city leaders.

Over time, Mayor Monitor will provide a valuable track record of mayors’ successes and failures as well as their popularity among residents and a wider public. The results will be published on the City Mayors website and updated monthly.

Please rate your mayor now.

The ratings will become a contributory factor of World Mayor 2010.