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Monday, January 23, 2006

Canada Votes Today

Conservative Harper Predicted to be Headed to Victory

Stephen Harper, leader of Canada's Conservatives, was seen as leading his party to victory in today's national election. It is widely expected that Harper will have enough Parliamentary seats following balloting today to be elected Prime Minister.

Randall Palmer, writing for Reuters:
Harper built his campaign on appealing to regular Canadians on the need to clean up government, cut the national sales tax, crack down on crime and cut waiting times for the publicly funded health system.
We are not likely to get much more election news out of Canada until tomorrow. Palmer explains the reason why:
Canadian law bars the posting of news to the Internet until after the last polls are closed so as to keep voters from being influenced.
But you can see and listen to the video of Stephen Harper's rousing speech to the Conservative Party convention here. Conservatives here in the States can learn from some of the Harper lessons. As an added bonus, you get to see a lot of enthusiastic people waving around Harper signs.

Why is the Canadian election important here in Indiana? Well, according to a report:

Indiana exported to 190 foreign destinations in 2004. The state's largest export market, by far, is our NAFTA trading partner Canada. Indiana exported $8.5 billion worth of merchandise to Canada in 2004, almost half (45 percent) of the state total.

and

Indiana's biggest growth market, in dollar terms, is Canada. From 2000 to 2004, export shipments to Canada increased from $7.1 billion to $8.5 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion.

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