Canada is to face a parliamentary election soon. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had asked Governor General David Johnston to dissolve the parliament. He made this announcement after meeting Mr Johnston, Canada’s head of state, who represents Queen Elizabeth II. Mr Harper said the election would be about “leadership on the big issues that affect us all, our economy and our nation’s security”.
Mr Harper’s centre-right Conservative Party has been in office since 2006. It would be an uphill task for him to form another majority government.
Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, and the left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) under Tom Mulcair are the main opposition parties. A new poll released on Sunday put the Conservatives only slightly ahead of the NDP, with the Liberals close behind – all of them at about 30%. Other polls have put the NDP slightly in the lead.
The 11-week election campaign will be one of the longest in Canadian history. If successful, Mr Harper would be the first Prime Minister since Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1908 to win four consecutive elections.