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Election called

Web posted on September 07, 2008

As was widely expected, Prime Minister Stephen Harper this morning (Sunday) asked the Governor General to dissolve parliament and call a general election. Canadians will go to the polls on October 14. By-elections, including the one in Guelph, are cancelled and there will be no vote on Monday, September 8.

In calling this election, Harper has gone against his own legislation which set a fixed date for elections to be held every four years. His critics are maintaining that, while there are loopholes in the law which allow for calling an early election, Harper is breaking a commitment to parliament in calling this election prior to the fixed date which would be in the fall of 2009. Harper's rationale is that parliament is dysfunctional and thus a new mandate is necessary to allow him to govern.

At this moment, polls show the Conservatives leading in popular support. In addressing the media following his visit to the Governor General, Harper stated that he expects another minority government. He also stated that he expects to be the target of opposition attacks.

All parties have been preparing for this election call and, in fact, campaigning started in advance of the call.