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On 2 May 2011, Canadians watched as the Stephen Harper Conservatives
won their first majority government. Jack Layton led the NDP to its
best performance in history, and Michael Ignatieff and the federal
Liberals had their worst showing to date. For most casual observers,
this election marked a major shift in Canadian politics. In reality,
the country’s political landscape and national party system had
been changing for quite some time.