Minority governments are basically unstable and this one lasted only two and a half years. In a parliamentary system, a government and the Prime Minister only continue if the "House of Commons" gives them a "vote of confidence". If it's a vote of non-confidence as it was a couple of days ago, an election usually follows.
From left to right, here are the leaders: The Prime Minister (Conservative, Stephen Harper), the Leader of the Opposition, (Liberal, Michael Ignatieff), the Leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, the leader of The Green Party, Elizabeth May, last and least, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois (a separatist party) Gilles Duceppe.
The biggest knock against Michael Ignatieff is his inexperience. He only joined the Liberal Party five years ago. He spent considerable time out of the country teaching and writing books. The most recent poll has him running a distant third on the question: "Who would make the best Prime Minister?"
The Conservative's minority government was almost overthrown in 2008, by a coalition of N.D.Ps, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois. Harper is making a big thing out of that because he wants a majority government in 2011. A majority government could last four or even five years.
It is highly likely that Harper will win his majority because there's been been too many elections in this decade (4 in 7 years to be exact). Each election costs taxpapers about 300 million dollars.
I'm not enthusiastic about Harper, but the other party leaders have said nothing about Canada's increased debt burden coming out of the recent recession. What would they do about it?
I have a pretty good idea where Conservative Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty is going with his budget.