National Newswatch

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper decides to plunge Canadians into full election mode next month, his opponents are all more or less ready to leave the starting blocks with him.

The Conservatives have nominated 291 candidates, the Liberals 294, the NDP 253 and the Greens 176. All are in the throes of completing their rosters of 338 candidates.

The Bloc Québécois, enjoying a bump since the resurrection of Gilles Duceppe as party leader, has nominated candidates in 41 of Quebec’s 78 seats.

(And according to the website punditsguide.ca, Forces et Démocratie, the BQ splinter party with national ambitions, has chosen 10 candidates, including one in Peterborough, Ont. and another in Avalon, NL.)

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