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Canada Liberal leader warns of spring election
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13:58, December 02, 2007

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Leader of Canada's Liberal Party Stephane Dion warned Saturday he is seeking a general election in early 2008, almost two years after the Conservatives swept into power in January 2006's election.

"I think each week I feel that (the public mood is) warmer about the idea that maybe we should revisit the kind of choice we have made in (the) 2006 (federal election). And we'll see if it's still the case in February or in March or in April," he said during an interview with Canadian Press (CP).

Dion has had a rough year after being elected last December as the Liberal head, dealing with constant questions about his leadership abilities, crucial by election losses in Quebec and low poll numbers that have forced him to prop up the Conservatives in order to avoid heading to the ballot box.

He vowed that the coming year will be a different story.

"2008 will be another ball game. You cannot keep alive forever a government who wants to die," he said.

Recent survey numbers show Conservative support has dropped while the Liberals have been creeping up in the polls. An Ipsos Reid survey earlier this week put the Conservatives at 39 percent, down three percentage points than in early November. The Liberals was at 29 percent.

Political observers say Dion may be seeing the connection between German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber and former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, which is at the heart of a roiling controversy in Ottawa these days, as motivation to push towards an election.

Dion did not rule out the possibility of forcing an election before the Conservatives release their budget, widely expected to offer up further tax cuts to woo voters.

The minority Conservative government currently only occupies 126 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons and needs the support of oppositions to pass bills or survive. The Liberals have 96. Under Canada's electoral system, a party needs to win around 40 percent of the vote to stand a chance of taking a majority in the parliament.

Source: Xinhua

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