As the Canadian federal election heats up, here is a quick thumbnail guide to the parties, leaders,and issues surrounding this historic election of 2011.
The Conservative Minority Government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper was toppled after a Liberal non-confidence motion from Liberal House leader Michael Ignatieff won in the House Of Commons.This is the reason for the election.
What was historic was not that The Harper Government has been found in contempt of Parliament but that a vote of non-confidence was created on that supposition.
One of the fantastic things about this election is the fact that many of us do not have to rely solely on televised and print news to follow this election. All of the parties have created state of the art websites with which we the voters can hear their story directly from the source, comment and interact with them in real time.
Prime Minister Harper must defend his government
in Canada's federal election 2011
Michael Ignatieff is the leader of the Liberal party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada are also seeking a majority under Leader Michael Ignatieff
Jack Layton is the leader of the New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party led by Jack Layton says that they will cooperate with all parties to make Parliament work.
Gilles Duceppe is the leader of the Bloc Qubecois
The fourth major player in this election is the Bloc Quebecois, which is led by Gilles Duceppe.
This party was originally founded to represent Quebec in a scenario which would see the province separate from Canada and become a independent country.
In the last few years it has modified it's position to represent the sole interests of Quebec, and because it does most of it's business in the french language has gone on to have very great strength in the province.
All of the above had Members of Parliament sitting in the House of Commons when the 41st federal election was called.
Our next group are federally registered parties which will be either running candidates across the country or in selected areas, each of these parties are hoping to have at least one candidate enter the House of Commons as a MP at the end of the election.
Courtesy Green Party of Canada
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party and is running in the 2011 election to represent Saanich-Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Currently she is very upset not to be included in a televised debate with the leaders of the aforementioned parties.
The leader of The Canadian Action Party is Christopher Porter, this party is dedicated to the sovereignty of Canada .
The Christian Heritage Party led by Jim Hnatiuk are a pro-life, pro-family federal party.
Blair T. Longley is the leader of the Marijuana Party which is dedicated to ending the prohibition of cannabis in Canada.
Anna Di Carlo is leader of Canada's Communist Party, which is registered federally as the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.
William R. Morin is the interim Leader of First People's National Party Of Canada which is dedicated to preserving rights and cultures of Canada's aboriginal peoples.
Dennis Young is the leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada which is dedicated to reducing the responsibilities and expense of the federal government.