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Canadians voted in a new prime minister and completely changed the makeup of parliament

Reuters/Chris Wattie
The polls turned his way.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Canada’s Liberal Party won an outright majority in parliament, ousting the long-serving Conservatives and forcing former prime minister Stephen Harper to resign as leader of his party.

Voters swung behind the Liberal Party late in the election process, but they did so with so much enthusiasm that the party beat the record for the biggest jump in the number of seats won in one election compared to the last.

“My friends, we beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together,” Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau told supporters in Montreal.

Ousted prime minister Stephen Harper had campaigned on austerity to compensate for a plunge in oil revenue to the government, a result of low global prices, in addition to a continued standoff with the United States over the Keystone Pipeline. He warned that a vote for the Liberal Party would usher in frivolous spending.

But Trudeau spoke of reigniting the economy using deficit spending, favoring foreign aid instead of military attacks against ISIL, and restoring Canada’s relationship with the US. He also benefited from dissatisfaction over numerous scandals involving the Harper government.

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