Federal election called in Canada

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The minority government of Stephen Harper is hoping to increase its parliamentary representation after calling the 40th Canadian federal election for next month.

However, new research suggests that the gay and lesbian community will not be the source of much support.

Parliament was dissolved on Sunday by the Governor General at the request of Prime Minister Harper and the election will be held on October 14th.

The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) found just 7.3% of homosexual men and 10.4% of gay women supported the Conservatives in the 2006 election.

By comparison, 40.7% of straight men and 32.4% of straight women voted for the Conservatives.

Popular gay website xtra.ca already has a list of 60 reasons LGBT voters should not vote for Harper’s party.

In July 2005, under the previous Liberal administration, Canada became the fourth country to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married.

During the 2006 election campaign, the Conservatives had pledged to re-open the debate about the issue, despite the fact that eight provinces had decided that excluding gay and lesbians from marriage was a human rights violation.

Having won the election, but without an overall majority, Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper carried out his promise, but his motion in defence of ‘traditional’ marriage was defeated in the House of Commons by 175 to 123.

Harper then assured Canadians that he thinks the matter is closed and he will not bring it before Parliament again, even if his party gain an overall majority.

However, he may face challenges this election about his views on abortion.

Going into the election campaign, polling by Environics found that 38 per cent of Canadians would vote for the Conservatives, 28 per cent would vote for the Liberals, 19 for the New Democratic Party, 8% for the Bloc Québécois and 7% for the Green party.