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Canadians to go to the polls on Monday

Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 02:11

Apr 30 - The New Democratic Party is set to make gains in Monday's (May 2) election but could split the left-leaning vote with the Liberals, clearing the way for the Conservatives. Sunita Rappai reports

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Canadians going to the polls in early voting for the nation's 41st general election. The majority of Canadians, however, will be heading to the nearest polling station on Monday for their chance to shape the next Canadian government. Since 2006, the Conservatives have ruled with two successive minority governments - until Prime Minister Stephen Harper was controversially forced to dissolve parliament in March. SOUND UP (Canadian Parliament) 'All those in favour of the motion will please say Yea' (cheering) The campaign season that's ensued has often been contentious, featuring rowdy debates as well as the emergence of the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) under Jack Layton. His party is now threatening to overtake the traditionally powerful Liberal Party. SOUNDBITE (Englsh) JACK LAYTON OF THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY SAYING: "Do you think it's time to fix Ottawa?" Harper, meanwhile, argues that only a Conservative-majority government can guarantee economic stability. SOUNDBITE (English) STEPHEN HARPER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY SAYING: "Friends, the NDP approach to issues like trade has not changed since the Cold War. It is an ideological throw-back - bad for the economy, bad for Canada." Unsurprisingly Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is also attacking the NDP, saying it lacks heavyweight political experience. SOUNDBITE (English) MICHAEL IGNATIEFF OF THE LIBERAL PARTY SAYING: "The federal NDP has never formed a government in the history of Canada" The NDP's gains have also hit the Bloc Quebecois party hard. The Bloc, led by Gilles Duceppe, shares similar economic policies but favours independence for the province of Quebec. SOUNDBITE (English) GILLES DUCEPPE OF BLOC QUEBECOIS SAYING: "It's a hard fight for each of us." Polls released on Friday show the NDP closing in on the Conservatives. But the NDP and Liberal Party also risk splitting the left-leaning vote, paving the way for a Conservative comeback on Monday. Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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Canadians to go to the polls on Monday

Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 02:11