Canada’s national election on Tuesday strengthened the country’s Conservative Party minority in Parliament and summarily killed hopes for a national carbon tax to fight global warming. The carbon tax plan, which would have levied a tax on most fossil fuels but would have been offset by income-tax reductions, was a main plank of Liberal leader Stéphane Dion’s environmental platform. However, the plan proved too easy of a target for Conservatives who painted it as a costly new tax increase at a time of economic uncertainty. Much of the Liberal defeat was also due to a divided left; the Liberals failed to unite with the New Democratic Party and the Green Party to defeat the Conservatives’ majority. (Green Party Leader Elizabeth May failed to win her party’s first parliamentary seat.) Tuesday’s election also dealt a huge blow to the Liberals’ leader, Dion. Formerly the country’s environment minister, Dion made a name for himself as a champion of the Kyoto treaty, but he’s widely expected to be replaced as party leader soon due to the huge election losses.
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