What follows is the briefest of briefs on how our system works. Canadian readers might want to scroll down to the second part of this post. I don't want to contribute to your election fatigue, which probably set in within minutes of the no-confidence vote on Friday.
First things first. We do not directly elect our prime minister. When we go to the polls on May 2 we will be voting for an MP (Member of Parliament) for our riding. No more, no less.
There are three main parties throughout Canada, and a fourth party that exists only in Quebec. The party that exists only in the province of Quebec is called the Bloc Quebecois. You might be wondering why this party has not expanded beyond the borders of its province of origin. A quick look at their party goals reveals that they are devoted to the protection of Quebec's interests in the House of Commons and to the promotion of Quebec sovereignty. My guess is you aren't wondering any more.
The other three main parties are the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP (New Democratic Party). After the election the party that elects the most candidates is asked by the Governor General to form a government. The leader of that party becomes the prime minister. Which brings us to the current situation.
In the last election the Conservative party won the most seats, i.e., had the most MPs elected. The Conservative Party's leader is Stephen Harper, so he became the Prime Minister. However, his party formed what is called a minority government. This occurs when a party has fewer than half the total number of seats, but more seats than any other single party. Remember, unlike places like the US that only have two viable political parties, we have four major players here.
If the parties that do not currently form the government
Now on to what was to be the original content of this post, which is pumpkin scones. These are the same knock-off Starbucks pumpkin scones I mentioned last fall. By the way, if you are Canadian you most likely just read the word scones with a short "o" sound. This would hold true for residents of other Commonwealth countries as well. If you are an American my guess is you pronounced the word with a long "o". (Since this is supposed to be a post about Canadian culture I thought I should point that out.)
Throw all the dry ingredients into the food processor
Use the best kitchen gadget ever to measure out the butter (seriously, if you don't have one of these you need to get one!)
Pulse the butter and dry ingredients until crumbly
Beat the eggs, pumpkin and half & half together; add to the mix in the processor
Mix until the dough looks like this
Roll out a 9" X 3" rectangle, cut in three parts, then cut those parts diagonally
Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper
Ice the scones and brew a pot of tea
Share them with someone you love
2 cups flour (I used half spelt)
7 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp. half & half
1 large egg
Heat the oven to 425F. Mix the dry ingredients, then cut in cold butter. In a separate bowl mix the egg, pumpkin, and half & half. Add the liquid mix to the dry/butter mix and mix until you get a proper dough consistency. Caution - do not over mix! Form into a ball and roll on a floured surface into a 9 X 3 X 1 inch rectangle. Cut into thirds, then cut each third diagonally. Place on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for ~ 15 minutes. Cool on rack. While cooling mix 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1 Tbsp. milk together. Ice scones, make tea and enjoy.