12:08 – One last snippet before I go to bed: Dawn Black is back in Parliament, and that makes this whole damn election worthwhile. Paul Forseth will long be remembered for his… uh… for bringing forward… umm… for championing… well, he marginally raised the ambient temperature of any room he was in, and isn’t that what politics is really all about?

(By the way, you know what they say about history being written by the victors? Same goes for Wikipedia entries; I just updated the Dawn Black and Paul Forseth articles.)

Congratulations to the winners, condolences to the losers, I’m pretty sure that Harper misread the last line of his speech (I have the text right here, and it says “God help Canada”) and I’m off to sleep.

23:18 – Sam Bulte and Liza Frulla defeated? It’s a hell of a night for Michael Geist, Cory Doctorow and us little people.

22:30 – The CBC translator on Harper’s speech sounds eerily like the mad scientist who chased Bugs Bunny through the castle, trying to get Bugs’ brain for his monster. Not completely inappropriate.

The man can speak. Too bad about the content, but the man can speak.

Headline: Strategic Counsel defeated in the riding of Hype–North Pushpoll.

22:20 – Check out the e-night thread at The Tyee. It’s a nifty, provocative mixup, and frankly an improvement over most of the talking heads (CBC TV’s collection is especially disappointing, although I’m an Ed Broadbent fan). Steve Burgess: “It’s John Turner Syndrome all over again. The great Leader-to-Be who waits in the wilderness for coronation, only to find that his moment passed while waiting in line.” Moderator David Beers: “I think I’m the first to coin the term for a coming political malaise: ‘Eastern Alienation’.”

Harper just said “Merci beaucroup.” Oh, god, it begins.

Nina Grewal was re-elected. As a stand-up comic, my profound gratitude to the people of Fleetwood–Port Kells.

22:10 – Just heard Duceppe’s speech, which was an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Despite his triumphant tone, there must be some pretty disappointed people in the BQ, and I’m not sure he’ll be around next time. I like Duceppe, but starting his big entrance while Martin was giving his speech lacked the kind of class he usually demonstrates.

21:51 – No surprise: none of the candidate blogs I’m tracking at Confeederation have been updated since the polls closed. Everyone’s out election nighting. I formally abandon my plans to head out as well; it’s too late, and this is the first federal election night in years I’ve spent at home.
Big hand for Jack’s mention of Olivia. The crowd looks psyched. He’s really warming to the speech as he goes. Classy reference to Martin’s farewell and Harper’s victory.

It’s one of the funny things about political life that you end up watching the speech as much for recognizing the folks on stage behind the leader as you do to hear what the leader’s going to say (and how he’ll say it).

I just noticed how Paul Dewar did in Ottawa Centre: a big, big margin. Great work, amigas and amigos.

21:37 – Jack’s using “In a Big Country,” bless him.

21:35 – At the time of writing, the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc all have a substantially higher representation in the House than their share of the popular vote. Here’s how it breaks down:

Share of vote36.430.110.517.4
Share of seats40.333.416.69.4

21:20 – Am I the only one who thinks of lobster whenever the riding “Lasalle-Émard” is mentioned? “Might I interest monsier in tonight’s special, the homard lasalle? A lovely red shellfish, much diminished in size.”

It wasn’t a bad speech, but there were a few moments that made me wince. Suggesting that the Liberals came to office at a time when our national spirit was “nearly broken” — it was the kind of rhetorical unctious overkill that works well for the party troops, but would make anyone else burp-barf… or at least remind us why we voted for someone else.

Alex wonders if Tony Martin gets a free WestJet flight to Ottawa. I wonder if it counts now that PM’s stepping down. (The offer is now extended instead to anyone whose last name is “Interim.”)

Hey – Irene Mathyssen in London-Fanshawe! Awesome!

21:14 – As I write this, Paul Martin is giving his swan (dive) song, and the NDP is elected in 22 seats and leading in seven.

Is Martin about to bail? It sounds like it. He’s doing the what-an-opportunity-it-was-to-lead-you thing. Yep, there it is: “I will not take our party into the next election as leader.”

We tried to go to the UBC election-watch party, but it was jammed to the rafters. So we’re sitting at home instead, fuelled by Topanga takeout.