It's official. Prime Minister Harper met with Governor General Michaëlle Jean today, and she dissolved Parliament, triggering an election. Canadians will vote on October 14.
The American election machine has been rumbling away for the better part of a year now, and we have called and will be finished our federal election before the Americans even get to vote. :D I love Canada's electoral system.
What I don't love is the lack of any charismatic leaders and the lack of any compelling candidates in my riding. The Conservatives have already begun airing these obnoxious ads that consist of Harper sitting in a chair, wearing a vest--very "casual" indeed--and talking about how he enjoys being a father, how he is proud of Canada as a country, and how he wants Canada to have a greater role on the world stage. The tagline of the commercials is: "We're better off with Harper." I, for one, find this tagline hilarious.
The CBC has spent most of the day focusing on voters' response to the election call: are we ready for the election? The response has been mixed. Many people have expressed disapproval, since Harper was a proponent of the fixed election date law that the government passed in 2006. They see this premature election call as a betrayal of his promise for fixed election dates. They also see it as a waste of time, that not many seats will change hands, and the election will result in essentially the same government at great expense to taxpayers. Others, like myself, feel that the election is necessary.
My dad and I listened to CBC's Cross Country Checkup today, and it seemed like most of the people who phoned in to talk about the election supported the Conservatives! Could it be true? Could we end up with a Conservative majority? Perish the thought. On the CBC website, comments lean more toward the anti-Harper side of things. From a demographic standpoint, this makes sense. To illustrate, I've prepared the below Venn diagram. I don't actually have any statistics, and I'm too lazy to make them up (as most statistics are), so I've decided to just insert some random animal names instead. You can make up numbers if you like.
My riding has three candidates running, one from each of the three major parties. I've yet to see if the Green party will be floating a candidate. The incumbent MP, Joe Comuzzi, who ran as a Liberal and is sitting as a Conservative now, is not running again. It'll be interesting to see who wins my riding, and in turn, if Thunder Bay will benefit from this election, no matter what it holds for Canada in general.