Michael Ignatieff, a former Harvard professor and one of Canada's leading public intellectuals, says he is stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party after a crushing defeat.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper won his coveted majority government in Monday's elections that changed Canada's political landscape, with the opposition Liberals suffering their worst defeat in Canadian history.
Ignatieff said Tuesday that Conservative attack ads had a major impact and said Canadians deserve better.
The Liberals dropped to 34 seats from 77. Ignatieff even lost his own seat in a Toronto suburb.
Former colleagues of Harper say his long-term goals are to shatter the image of the Liberals as the natural party of government in Canada, and to redefine what it means to be Canadian.