Monday, January 23, 2006

BBC NEWS | Americas | Canadians elect a new parliament

BBC NEWS | Americas | Canadians elect a new parliament: "Canadians have begun casting votes in a general election with opinion polls pointing to a likely Conservative win for the first time in 12 years.

The second election in 18 months was triggered when Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin lost a confidence vote.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has pledged to cut taxes and tackle violent crime and corruption.

Polling stations in Newfoundland were first to open as the election unfolded across Canada's six time zones.

Two last-minute opinion suggested the Conservatives would be 10 points ahead of the Liberals - at 37% to 27% - but they also indicated the party would not secure an outright majority in the 308-seat house.

Correspondents say that although the Canadian economy is buoyant, the Liberals have struggled to shake off accusations of corruption."

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