From the Document; "Canada's next election is scheduled for October 19, 2015. It is being held at a time of slowing economic growth and ongoing controversies over anti-terrorism legislation and Canada's role in combating the Islamic State. The outcome of the election may have implications for the United States, which is Canada's largest trading partner, largest energy consumer, and NATO ally. […] Canada is a constitutional monarchy (Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada) with a bicameral Westminster-style Parliament that includes an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate. In the upcoming election, 338 Members of Parliament will be elected from individual districts ('ridings') under a first-past-the-post system, which only requires a plurality of the vote to win a seat. The party winning the most seats typically gets the first chance to form a government. A government lasts as long as it can command a parliamentary majority for its policies, for a maximum of four years. If no single party holds a majority of seats, a minority government can be formed that attempts to pass legislation on a vote-by-vote basis. If a government loses a vote of confidence, new elections can be called, or the Governor-General (the Queen's representative) can offer other parties a chance to form a government."
CRS Insight, IN10343
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html