In Canada, science campaigns for attention from voters

Opponents of Prime Minister Stephen Harper try to make his record on research an issue in election.

Science is making a rare appearance in Canada’s election. As candidates make their last push before Election Day on 19 October, the nation’s leading opposition parties have taken aim at Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s science policies, which have alienated large segments of the nation’s scientific community.

Science policy isn’t a top concern for most voters in the election, which could send new members of Parliament and a new prime minister to Ottawa. But some research advocates hope the issue could move enough ballots to sway what appears to be a tight three-way race between Harper’s Conservatives, the New Democratic Party (NDP) led by Tom Mulcair, and the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau. “Science could be the sleeper issue,” says Kennedy Stewart, the NDP’s spokesman on science issues and a member of Parliament. Read more in Science (if you have a subscription).