The Federal Government successfully passed this years budget and the Prime Minister no longer has the right to call an election. As a result the huge ramp up for an election that never happened. Since Stephan Dion took over as leader the Liberal Party seven seats have been vacated. Five of them belonging to Liberals including MPs making seats available for the runner up of the leadership convention.
The Liberals have been complaining for months that Harper waited the full 6 months (which he is entitled to) before calling the first by-election in the riding of Outremont. The by-election has been called and things are getting very interesting considering the riding has been Liberal in all but one election since it's creation in 1933.
When the hand picked Liberal candidate has already been condemned by B'nai Brith for his open anti-Israel views. Dion responded by criticizing the Conservative foreign policy. The candidate called himself a "critical friend of Israel" He justified is position by the fact that former Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler attended his nomination announcement. The riding is 10% Jewish so this could become significant.
The NDP who have finished 3rd the last two elections are hoping to have a shot with the increasing focus on the environment and other social issues. The Green Party has the same hope as the environment has started cropping up as the number 1 issue for Canadians. Governments never do well in by-elections. Picking up seats in any of the by-elections would be significant in reaffirming their mandate and getting the Senate to finally approve legislation they have been holding up, in some cases for more than a year.
Today the Rhinoceros party announced their return to politics. Their self appointed party leader (who has legally changed his name to Satan) will be making a run in the Outremont riding. They have also launched a $50 million lawsuit "Satan versus Her Majesty The Queen" to strike down the 1993 legislation that lead to their parties extinction. The legislation required a $1000 deposit for all candidates who seek legal office. In order to gain party status they must run 50 candidates in an election. The courts should do away with the lawsuit fairly easily. It is good to see some political campaigning that are not arrogant and take themselves too seriously. Personally, I would have liked to see a return on the Lemon Party but this will do.