The 2011 Canadian federal election will be held on Monday, May 2, 2011 to elect members to the House of Commons of the 41st Canadian Parliament.
The writs of election were issued by Governor General David Johnston on March 26, at the request ofPrime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Conservative government was defeated in the House of Commonson a motion of non-confidence which declared the government to be in contempt of Parliament. This is the first time in the Commonwealth of Nations, that a government has fallen on a contempt motion and it is without precedent in countries governed by a Westminster-style parliament.Issues
- Political honesty – government fell on motion of non-confidence after being found in contempt of Parliament. This was the first time in the British Commonwealth that a government was found in contempt. The New Democratic Party (NDP) stated that both the Conservatives and the Liberals cannot be trusted. The NDP accused the Conservatives for creating “Liberal-style scandals“  and accused the Liberals for flip-flopping on issues such as corporate tax cuts, and the Afghanistan mission.
- Internet surveillance and Warrant-less Wiretapping – The Conservatives have promised to re-introduce Internet surveillance legislation that they were not able to pass, and bundle it with the rest of their crime bills. They said they plan to fast track the legislation within 100 days after taking office.
- The Conservatives plan to purchase sixty-five F-35 Lightning II jet fighters through a sole-source, untendered contract. Stating “Our defence policy is broken” the NDP announced that they would prioritize investment in naval ships over new fighter jets. The NDP stated that this would be a good opportunity to keep shipbuilding expertise and jobs in Canada.
- Health care - The NDP have pledged to train 1,200 more doctors and 6,000 more nurses.
- The NDP promised to hire 2,500 more police officers to patrol the streets. The Conservatives plan to expand the prison system.
- Conservatives and Liberals promise $4.2 billion in loan guarantees to support the Lower Churchill River power project.
- Due to outcry from Quebec over the pledge to provide loan guarantees for the Lower Churchill project, the Conservatives promise Quebec a $2.2 billion transfer to ease the QSTto HST transition.
- Improved internet – both the Liberals and NDP have made statements stating that they will try and improve internet services in Canada, either by removing usage based billing or by improving internet infrastructure, especially in rural communities.
- Liberals propose the establishment of an “Immigration Fairness Commissioner” to provide oversight on the entry of immigrants with professional qualifications (doctors, engineers, etc.), and to increase the number of family reunification visas.
- If BC voters were to reject the HST in the upcoming referendum, the NDP promises to ensure that the penalties to be imposed by Ottawa on the HST agreement will be cancelled.
- Conservative assertions that the Liberals will form a coalition with the more left-leaning NDP and Bloc Québécois have played a large role in Conservative rhetoric.
- Balanced budget – the Conservatives promise to eliminate the budget deficit by 2013. Critics and political analysts, however, argue that Paul Martin’s Liberal government left a $13 billion budget surplus, before the Conservatives took power. The Liberals and the NDP have released platforms promising a balanced budget by 2015 (within 4 years).
- Recession – Many Canadians credit Harper’s handling of the economy during the 2007-2010 global financial crisis. Economic analysts counter that Harper’s Liberal predecessorsbanking regulations and Paul Martin’s blocking of proposed bank mergers is what actually sheltered Canada from the worst effects of the recession.
- The Conservatives plan to cut corporate taxes from 18 to 15% The NDP have promised to lower the tax rate for small business from 11% to 9%, while at the same time increasing the tax rate for bigger corporations to 19.5%.
- Personal taxation – Conservatives have promised income splitting for tax purposes for families with children to be delivered with the balanced budget.