The Independent party doesn't really exist, of course. But before Parliament was dissolved, nine seats in the House of Commons were occupied by members who belong to no particular party. They are a diverse group, with not much in common. They come from all the major parties, and arrived in those chairs under different circumstances.
Joe Clark and Andr� Bachand were the only members remaining from the former Progressive Conservative caucus who weren't affiliated with another party. Clark and Bachand both say they will not run in this federal election.
John Herron was also a PC, but sat as an Independent after refusing to join the Conservative Party of Canada. He says he will seek the Liberal nomination in his riding.
CBC LINK: More on John Herron
Keith Martin once ran for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, but also says he doesn't feel comfortable in the new Conservative party. He sat as an Independent, and will run as a Liberal in this election.
CBC LINK: More on Keith Martin
Ghislain Lebel left the Bloc Québécois over differences of opinion, although he went of his own accord.
CBC LINK: More on Ghislain Lebel
Not everyone left of his or her own volition.
Jean-Guy Carignan, former Liberal MP for Quebec City, has been sitting as an Independent since his 2001 conviction for a hit-and-run. He resigned from the party right after his sentencing. He returned briefly to the party in 2003, but left two days later after admitting he had lied to Prime Minister Jean Chr�tien about having finished serving his full sentence.
Jim Pankiw and Larry Spencer were excluded from the Canadian Alliance for expressing views the party didn't agree with. Pierrette Venne was banished from the Bloc Qu�b�cois for questioning the abilities of leader Gilles Duceppe.
You need a scorecard to keep up, so CBC.CA has provided one.