Harper Dion Layton Election Call

It's Official: Harper Calls Election

After weeks of speculation and posturing, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called an election this morning, officially kicking of the campaigning that will culminate in Canadians going to the polls on October 14.

The election call comes on the heels of a new CBC poll indicating that 38 percent of Canadians would vote Conservative if the election were held today, enough to retain power, and that both Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, NDP leader, are viewed as better possible PMs than liberal leader StĂŠphane Dion (polling of blogTO readers is so far telling a very different story - see still active poll below). The Green Party and Bloc poll at similar levels, well below the other three parties, with Elizabeth May's strength in Ontario.

Each party is pushing hard for GTA votes, traditionally a left-wing stronghold but more in play for the Conservatives than years past, according to the poll.

Several Toronto ridings will be hotly contested, as the Liberals are working hard to keep and gain seats amidst Dion's controversial Green Shift plans. The Liberals announced that Christine Innes, the wife of former MP Tony Ianno, will run in the Trinity-Spadina riding, a seat now held by popular NDP candidate Olivia Chow since 2006.

There is some concern that the Candian elections will be overshadowed by the campaigning south of the border, but unlike the Americans who have been on the trail for 18 months, everything will be wrapped up here by the day after Thanksgiving.

Hopefully this time Canada can set the leftward trend.

Photos by (left to right): Shawn Fuller, ItzaFineDay, and Joshua Tusin.

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