The political landscape in Canada is murky. Over 12 or so years ago, the old Progressive Conservative Party disintegrated and split off into three factions: the Reform Party based in western Canada (primarily Alberta), the Bloc Quebcois based in Quebec and the miniscule remnants of the PC scattered throughout Canada. Eventually, the Reform Party became the Alliance and then "merged" with the Progressive Conservative Party to create the Conservative Party of Canada, led by Stephen Harper. The Bloc continues to thrive in Quebec.
The Liberal Party became the defacto national party in Canada, though most of it's power is concentrated in Ontario (which has the largest number of seats in Parliament).The Liberals are coming off a term as a minority government and a 12 year reign as the government. They have gone through countless scandals including the Sponsorship scandal that saw government money directed towards Liberal Party supporters in Quebec, all in the name of selling Canada in Quebec. The spoilers, aka the New Democrat Party, retain their 3rd place position.
We are in the throes of election campaigning here in Canada and it never ceases to amaze me the extent to which politicians will go to get elected. The polls are too close to call, but all seem to point to one thing: a minority government, be it Liberal or Conservative. Despite the scandals, the Conservatives have been unable to overtake the Liberals in the polls. Some Canadians, especially in Alberta, like to blame Ontario, or specifically, the immigrants in Ontario. Others blame the Bloc Quebcois - which has a stranglehold on the next biggest block of seats in Parliament.
Harper likes to harp (pun intended) on the scandals and on the point that the Liberal Party does not have the moral basis to form the next government. Fine and dandy. But Harper, the economist and so-called leader of a conservative party, has been talking about how he is going to spend money here, there and everywhere. One press release from the Conservatives stated that they will spend more money than the Liberals on child care. Since when do Conservatives spend more money - our money? When will a politician stand up and say: My goal is to make government less intrusive or my goal is spend less so that you can have more money to do whatever you want? Our political leaders lack vision.