Canada enters regional election season

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TORONTO, Oct. 4 (UPI) — The third of four Canadian provincial and territorial elections scheduled this week began in Manitoba Tuesday with socialists vying for a fourth term.

The incumbent New Democratic Party faces a major challenge from Conservatives in the election, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Meanwhile Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, re-elected Liberal Premier Robert Ghiz to a second term Monday, the CBC said. Liberals took 22 seats and Conservatives won the other five in the Charlottetown legislature.

Also Monday, the Northwest Territories returned all but one incumbent to its 19-member territorial government, the National Post reported. The territory, like Nunavut, does not have political parties. Its governance is based on aboriginal systems in which the 19 members decide who will be premier, Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor told the Post.

“It’s exceptional in the British Commonwealth system,” he said.

Meanwhile, campaigning was in high gear in the country’s most populous province, Ontario, in the run-up to Thursday’s election. Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is seeking a third four-year term, although various polls have suggested Conservatives under Tim Hudak are in a virtual tie, the Toronto Star said.

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