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How Powerful Is Canada?
Canada is heading into a major election this week. On October 19, Canadian voters will head to the polls to elect the 338 parliamentary leaders in the House of Commons. The country could potentially have a new Prime Minister as well, depending on which party gets the most votes. Under the Canadian parliamentary system, the party that wins the most votes gets to elect the country's Prime Minister. While the U.S. is well into the craziness of the 2016 presidential race, there's a great deal at stake in Canada as well.
For nearly a decade, conservative Stephen Harper has served as Canada's Prime Minster. Harper belongs to the Conservative Party, which has held a parliamentary majority since 2011. However, some analysts say there could be a shift in power after this election. Harper's administration has been accused of fraud and overspending, among other criticisms. After the conservatives, the largest parties are the New Democrat Party and the Liberal Party. Both are on the liberal end of the spectrum with the NDP being very far left. It was largely founded as a pro-union party and it believes in social democracy. In 2011, the NDP surpassed the Liberal Party to claim the second most seats.
Now, there's some movement in Canada to unite the liberal parties' votes together, rather than avoid splitting them. Some feel this is the best way to get a liberal prime minister in power that will advocate for the left. Others say this could be a slippery slope toward a more polarized two-party system. Regardless of which party wins, it will be a clear indicator of just how much Canada's political spectrum has shifted.
Canada's Conservatives in crushing election victory (theguardian.com)
"The Conservative prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has won a majority for his government in the country's parliamentary elections that also marked a shattering defeat for Michael Ignatieff's opposition Liberals."
The 2015 Canadian federal election, explained (vox.com)
"There's a big debate happening tonight, and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump or the Republican primary."
The Prime Minister of Canada (thecanadaguide.com)
"Though the Queen may be Canada's head of state, and the governor general the Queen's stand-in, it is the prime minister who truly rules Canada."