Election 2008: Future uncertain for Liberal leader

Liberal leader Stéphane Dion conceded his race for prime minister to Conservative party leader Stephen Harper late Tuesday night in the federal election, with promises to make the economy a top priority in Parliament.

“It is clear that the global economic crisis is the most important issue facing our country at this time,” Dion said during his concession speech in Montreal. “We Liberals will do our part responsibly to make sure that this parliament works.”

The Liberals managed to win 76 seats to the Conservatives’ 144. A defeated Dion told supporters that the Liberal Opposition hopes to work with the government to ensure that all Canadians are protected from an “economic storm.”

“I have spoken to the prime minister this evening,” he said. “I assured him of my co-operation on this issue, which is so important to all Canadians.”

Although Dion focused on the state of Canada’s economic outlook, he refused to speak of his own future as the Liberal party leader.

According to The Canadian Press, this is the second worst showing for the Liberals since John Turner’s time as party leader in 1984. The party lost more than 24 seats in Tuesday’s election.

Still, Dion maintained his optimism with hopes that all parties will work together to make Canadians and their needs a priority in Parliament.

“We stand ready to work with all political parties to make this parliament work, because we have serious work to do,” Dion said. “We must ensure that our country continues to progress and continues to be a beacon for the world.”