39th Parliament Dissolved. Election Called for August 26

OTTAWA, July 22 - Prime Minister called a press conference after meeting with Governor General Michaelle Jean to confirm that the Governor General had dissolved parliament, and a general election has been set for Tuesday, August 26th.

“I am eager to go before the Canadian people, and place my record alongside that of my opponents, and let Canadians decide,” said Harper.

The government fell late last week when, frustrated by a year of fruitless negotiation, the Conservative Party brought forward a bill to abolish the Canadian Wheat Board and declared it a confidence issue. Despite last minute talks, the bill went to the floor for first reading and was soundly defeated by the opposition.

“This election is more than just about the future of the Canadian Wheat Board,” said Harper. “We have a campaign platform ready and we’ll go to the Canadian people with a sound plan to lower taxes, maintain a balanced budget, and reinvest in infrastructure. Canadians will have to decide what they want for the next four years: more gridlock in parliament, or a government with a strong mandate to get things done.”

Opposition leader Stephane Dion fired back in a press conference of his own. “Canadians are well aware of the record of this government. They are well aware that they handed this government tight restrictions in which to work, and now Stephen Harper is chastising them for their decision. Canadians will get to decide how to react to that.”

Jack Layton, after speaking to supporters at a campaign rally for Peter Dewar, MP for Ottawa Centre, spoke to reporters and predicted a strong showing for the NDP. “Canadians are getting used to the idea of minority parliaments. Thanks to the NDP, we’ve kept the big, mainstream parties on the hook and responsive to the needs of their constituents, and I think voters everywhere will want to continue that.”

Opinion polls show a dead heat between the governing Conservatives and the opposition Liberals, with the NDP just over ten points behind. A representative for pollster Ipsos Angus cautioned, however, about a large number of undecideds in the most recent samples. “The mainstream parties have got to be careful,” he said. “The voters seem particularly volatile.”

Campaigning begins in earnest tomorrow.

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This page contains a single entry by James Bow published on July 22, 2008 12:43 AM.

Polls Show Dead Heat, Volatility is the next entry in this blog.

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