It's official -- federal election set for Oct 14
"Between now and Oct. 14, Canadians will choose a government to look out for their interests at a time of global economic trouble," Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today, shortly after asking Governor General Michaelle Jean to dissolve parliament.
The move came amidst questions over whether or not such an election call would be illegal according to Harper's own fixed date election law.
In calling this election, Harper has pulled the trigger on what he's predicted will be a "nasty" election.
"To be really honest, I anticipate a very nasty, kind of personal-attack campaign," Harper mused. "That's just what I'm anticipating; that's what the opposition's done in the past. I think that whether Canadians agree with what we're doing or not, I don't think they're going to believe the kind of personal attacks and scare tactics that we've seen in the past."
For his own part, Liberal leader Stephane Dion has already started the partisan ideological wrangling typical of his party at election time.
"Stephen Harper formed the most conservative government in our history," Dion insisted.
Which, unfortunately for Dion, is historically untrue. In terms of conservatism, Harper's government could never hold a candle to the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King, among others.
Certainly, Harper's government has been the most Conservative seen in more than fifty years, but that's really only in contrast to what many would consider the runaway statism of previous governments -- including previous Conservative (Progressive Conservative) governments.
Jack Layton, fresh off his visit to the Democratic National Convention, has taken a page out of Barack Obama's playbook and promised to be the candidate for change.
"I'll act on the priorities of your kitchen table not just the boardroom table," he promised.
Last (and least) Elizabeth May portrayed her party as an alternative to the three national parties that have actually managed to -- you know -- actually elect Members of Parliament.
Her race against Deputy Prime Minister Peter MacKay will be one of the key battlegrounds in the election. Ironically, she'll be depending on heavy support from partians of one of the mainstream parties, as the Liberals will not run a candidate against her.
Many Canadians likely find themselves somewhere between disappointed and angry to be facing an election right now.
However, there is one bright side to this election. Not only will Canadians elect their leaders before the Presidential race is settled, one can safely assume that Michael Moore will be keeping his mouth busy with American politics for the duration of the Canadian election.
Thank god for small favours, one supposes.