Canada to go to polls Oct 14September 8th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Sep 8 (IANS) Canada will go to the polls Oct 14, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced after he met Governor General Michaelle Jean and requested her to dissolve his minority government. This will be the third general election in the country in four years.Speaking to the media, Harper said Sunday: “Between now and Oct 14, Canadians will choose a government to look out for their interests at a time of global economic trouble.
“Voters can’t vote for a minority or a majority. They can’t vote 60 percent for one party and 14 percent for another. They have one vote. They should vote for the party that they want to lead the government.
“They will choose between direction or uncertainty; between common sense or risky experiments; between steadiness or recklessness.”
In the outgoing parliament, the ruling Conservative Party had 127 MPs, the main opposition Liberal Party 95, the New Democratic Party 30 and Bloc Quebecois 48.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has complained that his minority government cannot carry out its legislative agenda, and hinted at a snap poll.
Sunday’s announcement came despite the ruling party enacting a fixed-date poll law under which the next general election is due Oct 19, 2009.
The prime minister has been encouraged to go in for an early election as opinion polls show his Conservative Party is leading the Liberal Party by almost 10 percent.
An overwhelming number of Canadians also favour Harper as prime minister against Liberal leader Stephane Dion.
Opinion polls also show that the ruling party may do well in seat-rich Quebec province where the fortunes of pro-sovereignty Bloc Quebecois are in decline.
Kicking off his election campaign in Quebec, the prime minister hit out at Bloc Quebecois, saying the party had lost its relevance.
Hitting back, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe said the prime minister’s move to order a snap poll was “illogical and inspired” by US President Bush.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion said the election offered an opportunity to Canadians to reject the the “most Conservative government in our history”.