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Canada PM Stephen Harper announces October 19 election

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Canada PM Stephen Harper announces October 19 election
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Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has called a parliamentary election for October .. kicking off a marathon eleven-week campaign.

He announced the election after visiting the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state, to formally request the dissolution of parliament.

“The debt crisis in Europe shows no sign of abating, China is in the midst of a significant slowdown, recovery in the US remains slower than expected,” said Harper after announcing the vote. “Once again, these trends abroad impact our life here, in our country.”

Harper’s right-of-centre Conservative Party which has been office since two-thousand-and-six are trailing behind the left-leaning New Democrats (NDP) who have never governed Canada.

The Liberals of Justin Trudeau are well behind in third place.

Both parties say Canada needs a change.

The country’s eleven-week campaign is the longest in modern Canadian history and the third longest on record.

Opposition parties say this is an abuse of the system.

Most of Canada’s most recent campaigns lasted the minimum length of just over five weeks.