Panel: Michael Hawes (Queen’s University), Steve Hewitt (Birmingham), Christopher Kirkey (SUNY, Plattsburgh), Jocelyn Létourneau (Laval University). Chair: Tony McCulloch (UCL Institute of the Americas) – The Canadian general election scheduled for Monday 19 October is widely regarded as too close to call. During a very long campaign the three main parties have been neck and neck in the opinion polls and it seems unlikely that any one of them will be able to achieve an overall majority in the House of Commons. The Conservatives led by Stephen Harper have been in government since 2006 and are on the defensive following the recent onset of an economic recession and scandals affecting Conservative members of the Senate. The NDP (New Democratic Party) led by Thomas Mulcair is striving to at least hold on to its position as the Official Opposition and to consolidate its previous gains in Quebec. The Liberals, meanwhile, are hoping that their youthful leader Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Trudeau (Prime Minister 1968-79 and 1980-84), will help them recover their former dominance. The Green Party led by Elizabeth May is hoping to add to its solitary seat in Vancouver Island.
To discuss the results of the election the UCL Institute of the Americas is delighted to host an international panel of experts on Canadian history, politics and foreign policy. Dr Michael Hawes is Chief Executive Officer of Fulbright Canada and a Professor of Political Science at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario; Steve Hewitt is Senior Lecturer in American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham; Christopher Kirkey is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for the Study of Canada and the Institute on Quebec Studies at the State University of New York (Plattsburgh); and Jocelyn Létourneau is Professor in the History of Contemporary Quebec at Laval University and Visiting Fellow at the UCL Institute of Education. The panel discussion will be chaired by Dr Tony McCulloch, Senior Fellow in North American Studies at the UCL Institute of the Americas and the current President of the British Association for Canadian Studies. Refreshments will be available from 6pm, presentations will start at 6:30pm. Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.