Pretend I’m someone who’s not from Canada and haven’t been following the elections. What are some of the biggest issues?
MCLEOD: Canada’s economy is practically hooked up via an IV to the price of oil so plummeting crude prices are causing a lot of havoc. We’re probably back in a recession. Also there’s the environment and whether we should build new oil pipelines.
Then there are the scandals. The sweet, sweet scandals. Basically one of our two chambers of Parliament, our unelected Senate, has been a factory of expense fraud over the past couple years. They might bring the Conservative government down with them.
Oh and both of our major opposition parties are promising to radically overhaul our electoral system, so that’s fun. But above all this election is a referendum on our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
What’s the likely outcome? What can we expect?
MCLEOD: No one knows. It’s crazy. The Conservative government is unpopular but the two opposition parties — the Liberals and the New Democratic Party — are splitting the progressive vote. For the first time in Canadian history we’ve got the potential of a three-way tie. The NDP has never come close to forming a government before and they’re narrowly leading in the polls.
This is very surreal by Canadian standards. Frogs are falling from the sky. Pundits are ripping each other to shreds. Pollsters are walking off into the sea. It’s going to be a fascinating finish.
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