Keeping an eye on our neighbors to the north, it appears that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicked off an extended election campaign. It will be the longest Canadian election campaign since 1874, and gives the Conservative Party a political advantage, as it is better funded than the other parties.
“Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has called a parliamentary election for October .. kicking off a marathon eleven-week campaign.” — Euro News
The move was most likely spurred by recent polls showing the New Democratic Party (NDP) carrying a slight lead. The NDP is popular with Canadians for its progressive agenda on issues such as jobs, environmental protection, First Peoples’ rights, and universal health care.
Tom Mulcair is the running NDP candidate. Here, he addresses Canadians who are ready for change:
News Links: Canada Elections 2015
The following linked articles provide more information about the Canadian 2015 elections.
“After the last federal election, the New Democratic Party, the most left-leaning of Canada’s three mainstream national parties, held the second largest number of seats in the House of Commons, making it the official opposition for the first time. Its profile and credibility grew in May when the party’s branch in Alberta ended four and a half decades of Conservative rule in that province. Recent polls have placed the New Democrats in the lead, slightly ahead of the Conservatives, although the three major parties have been roughly tied over the past few months.” — Ian Austen, The New York Times
“By law, Mr. Harper had to hold a vote in October. But he broke with Canadian political tradition by formally opening the campaign in the middle of summer during what is a holiday weekend in most of the country. The move appeared designed to give the Conservative Party an edge in campaign spending. The campaign period before the vote on Oct. 19 will be the longest since Canadians all began voting on a single day in 1874.” — Doug Mataconis, Outside the Beltway
“Who’s Stephen Harper? What are the political parties of Canada? What’s a riding? Who’s in the lead? Here’s everything you need to know come October” — Alberto Nardelli, The Guardian