Who here can give a crash course in Canadian politics?

DCDepository's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 3,233

Been reading about the provincial elections in Quebec and how once again there is a push for a referendum on Quebec independence. Started investigating Canadian politics and I realized that I understand absolutely nothing--zero--about Canadian politics. Wondering if someone can give a crash course here in Canadian politics.

So, Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party has been Prime Minister for over 8 years now. In the 2011 elections, his party received 39.62% of the popular vote but 53.90% of MPs. How can a party have so many more MPs than popular vote? How does the parliamentary system work in Canada? I always assumed that it was basically proportional representation.

Is the Canadian Conservative Party basically as liberal, say, as mainstream American Democrats or is it more complicated than that? Looks like a disproportionate amount of support for the parties on the Left come from Quebec. Why is it then that the conservatives seem to be so opposed to Quebec independence? Wouldn't Quebec's independence turn Canada into a single-party state, more or less, with the Conservative Party ruling without resistance?

Just looking for some Canadian insight.