Sarmīte “Sam” Bulte, a Latvian-Canadian member of parliament from the Parkdale-High Park riding of Toronto, has lost her seat in the House of Commons in Canada’s general election.
Bulte, a member of the Liberal Party, lost to Peggy Nash of the New Democratic Party in an election that ended 13 years of Liberal rule in the federal government. Nash earned 40.3 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results reported by Elections Canada, while Bulte got 36 percent.
Two years ago, Bulte easily led a pack of six candidates to retain her seat in the House of Commons. Nash came in second in the 2004 vote in Parkdale-High Park.
Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin’s minority government, plagued by scandal, fell on Nov. 29 after a no-confidence vote in Parliament. Now Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper will lead a new minority government.
As the Canadian campaign began in late autumn, Martin’s Liberals seemed assured of a victory. But the Conservative Party, according to media reports, benefitted in part from Canadians simply being tired with Liberal rule. The Conservative Party, according to Elections Canada, received 36.35 percent of the national vote and captured a total of 124 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons.
Bulte was first elected in 1997 and re-elected in 2000 and 2004. Among her other political and cultural activities, Bulte has served as a member of the board of the Latvian National Federation in Canada (Latviešu Nacionālā apvienība Kanādā).
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