Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday called general elections for October 19. Harper’s announcement was made after his meeting with David Johnston, the Governor General and representative of Queen Elizabeth II, when he asked Johnston to dissolve parliament.
"This is an election about leadership on the big issues that affect us all: our economy and our nation's security," Harper said in front of Rideau Hall, the residence of both the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada.
Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) has gone into recession as oil prices collapse and oil companies lay off thousands of employees. The Canadian dollar dropped in value over 20 percent when compared to its US dollar counterpart, in a two year span, while the Bank of Canada cut interest twice in six months.
"Canadians will make a critical decision about the direction of our country, a decision with real consequences, a decision about who has the proven experience today to keep our economy strong and our country safe," Harper said.
Analysts say Harper may struggle to form another majority government, despite the presence of his centre-right Conservative Party has been in office since 2006.
The main opposing parties in the 11-week election campaign will be Tom Mulcair-led New Democratic Party (NDP) and Justin Trudeau-led liberals. A recent poll shows that NDP is slightly below the Conservatives, but some others show that Democrats are in lead.