Canadian opposition parties toppled Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in a no-confidence vote today, triggering the country's fourth election in seven years. The opposition parties held the Conservative government in contempt of Parliament in a 156-145 vote for failing to disclose the full financial details of his crime legislation, corporate tax cuts, and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets.
Opinion polls expect Harper's Conservative Party to win re-election but not a majority, meaning he likely will continue to govern with a minority in Parliament, dependent on opposition votes to stay afloat. But in the latest twist, there is a chance the left-of-center parties might join forces in a coalition. The election is expected to take place May 2. Harper, 51, has spent the last five years emphasizing a more conservative Canadian identity and moving Canada incrementally to the right. He has gradually lowered sales and corporate taxes, increased spending on the military, and made Arctic sovereignty a priority.