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Canada Conservatives win second minority government
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The Conservative Party won another minority government in Canada's general election Tuesday, to the disappointment of leader Stephen Harper who had triggered the election in hopes of achieving a majority.

The Conservatives garnered 143 seats out of a total 308 seats of the House of Commons, considerably stronger than the 126 seats that they got in the 2006 election. They need at least 155 seats to form a majority government.

According to preliminary results from Elections Canada, the Liberals stand at 76. The separatist Bloc Quebecois has won 49 seats, the leftist NDP 38.

Harper called the election on Sept. 7 on the grounds that the parliament had run into a deadlock and that his government has lost confidence from opposition parties.

Harper held a comfortable lead over his Liberal rival Stephane Dion at the early stage of the campaign, with a majority government well in the reach. But a sudden downturn of the economy saw his fortunes down turning too.

He had not been able to suggest any fundamental measures to face the looming economic difficulty throughout the campaign, while only arguing that a steady hand would get Canada through the turbulence that has hit world markets.

With his reserved character, he has been accused by opponents as been aloof from ordinary Canadians' concerns.

The Liberals suffered huge losses in the election, as it was hampered in the campaign by the ineffective performance of leader Stephane Dion and his insistence that despite tumbling markets and fears of a recession, the party would impose a carbon tax designed to cut greenhouse gases.

Before the dissolution of the parliament, the Conservatives held 127 seats in parliament while the Liberals had 95.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2008)

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