The writ was actually dropped on September 11, which made some of the right-wing posters in CBC.ca's comment sections start fuming about how rude it was of Justin Trudeau to call an election that day - didn't he have any consideration for the Americans? As I said in reply, I'm fairly certain that most Americans didn't even notice, and in any case, they don't bother consulting us to see if we're upset about their electoral issues and what day they do things. At this time in 2015, the campaign had already been going for quite some time. The writ had been dropped in August, and the campaign was an excruciating 78 days long. This time it's only 40, but the attack ads started appearing on TV several weeks before that. Unlike some other countries represented here in OT, Canada has at least 4 major federal parties, 5 of them in Quebec, and there's a new one that's a spinoff. These parties are: Liberal Party: This is the incumbent party that is currently (still) in charge. Our government doesn't shut down just because we're having an election. Things still need doing, although for some issues there might be a different procedure involved, since the House isn't sitting right now. The leader/Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau. Conservative Party of Canada: This is the Official Opposition that is supposed to question everything the governing party does. They have a shadow cabinet that monitors what the actual cabinet ministers do - the policies they put forth, what they say (or don't say) to the media, etc. The leader is Andrew Scheer. New Democratic Party: The traditional role of this party is "the third party" that tends to hold the balance of power when the governing party is a minority (or at least doesn't have such an overwhelming majority that their bills can't be defeated). The NDP actually did form the Opposition in 2011, when they came in second, in the number of seats won. They're in third place now. The leader is Jagmeet Singh. Green Party: As the name implies, this is the party that advocates for environmental issues as a major part of its policies and platform. This party is usually in 4th place, among the federal parties that run candidates in every riding. The leader is Elizabeth May. The next two parties are federal, but fringe, as far as I'm concerned. However, they will have an effect on how some federal ridings vote and could be spoilers in those places. Bloc Quebecois: The federal separatist/sovereignist party. It only runs candidates in Quebec. I'm honestly too lazy to look up the leader's name (full disclosure: as an Albertan, I don't have any respect for any separatist party, including the ones that want to take Alberta out of Confederation). There was a bizarre situation back in 1993, when the Progressive Conservatives were decimated, the BQ actually formed Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition - at least until the votes in a few close ridings were recounted. People's Party: New conservative-type party, formed when Maxime Bernier didn't get chosen as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He's the leader of this party. More disclosure: I loathe, detest, and despise the Conservative Party of Canada. You have seen me refer to them as "Reformacons" - a portmanteau term describing the other party names these people have used over the years (Reform/Alliance/Conservatives - when they hijacked the old Progressive Conservative Party). I voted NDP in 2015. This time I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for. There will probably be some contentious opinions in this thread, but please let's not stoop to bashing the leaders' families and children. Some posts about the election have already been made in other threads. Feel free to copy/paste them here, or link to them where they are.