Elections are a process in which Canadian citizens express their preferences about who will represent and govern them. Those preferences are combined to decide which candidates will become Members of Parliament. Elections are fundamental to the operation of democracy in Canada as they are the central means by which citizens grant authority to those who govern them.
His party had taken almost three years to admit the obvious - that it could not find a way to fulfil its pledge to scrap the Goods and Services tax. And the least his colleagues could do, in John Nunziata's opinion, was to wait another week for his explanation of why he had broken with them.
Among political strategists, it is sometimes known as "the barbecue factor": the manner in which a once-hot candidate ends up cooked on election day. The principal example, one that many of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's strategists recall with a shudder, is former Ontario Liberal leader Lyn McLeod.
It began as a mini-war against a specific target with a limited goal: securing Israel's northern border from Hizbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks, and doing it quickly - in time to influence the May 29 Israeli election in favor of Prime Minister Shimon Peres and his ailing peace process.
In the end, Andrew Cunanan chose to go out the way he had lived: dramatic, elusive and in control. When he was discovered last week in a houseboat in Miami Beach - just 41 blocks from where he shot Gianni Versace dead and vaulted into instant notoriety - Cunanan did not hesitate.
Not infrequently, elections in Canada produce results that surprise. A volatile and unforgiving electorate can quickly humble parties and politicians that take its support for granted. The 1993 federal election is one such example of a sudden and dramatic reversal of political fortunes.
Could cautious, mild-mannered Romano Prodi really be an Italian political leader? Italy's politics are so colorful, so chaotic, so unpredictably fun. This is a country that has elected a porn star to parliament and had to ban cellular phones from the floor of the Chamber of Deputies.
It was not the tunnel itself so much as the timing. The opening of a new exit to an underground pathway in ancient Jerusalem last week was like "throwing a burning match into an area filled with flammable material," wrote the influential Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz.