A dirty election goes down to the wire – and the West Coast – tonight

In elections past, western Canadians were wont to complain that geography, time zones and the electoral system conspired to devalue their votes on the big night. With the outcome clear by the time ballot-counting crossed the Ontario-Manitoba border, eastern Canadians were snugly – smugly, to western eyes – asleep in their beds before polls closed in British Columbia.

It is going to be different tonight. It may well take west coast votes to whether the next government will be Liberal or Conservative – and majority or, more likely, minority.

This brutish election is almost over – and not a moment too soon

Six more days to go. Six days in a federal election campaign that, to borrow a thought from the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, has been “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Well, not short. It seems as though the campaign has been going on forever. Certainly, nasty and brutish, especially the outright fabrications and character assassinations peddled indiscriminately on social media.

Does anyone know what makes Andrew Scheer tick?

Andrew Scheer has a real shot at becoming prime minister. The polls have his Conservatives in a statistical tie with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, and the Liberal lead in seat projections seems to be shrinking daily.

At moment, a minority government of one or the other appears likely, but if change is in the wind, no pollster or pundit can predict how far the change may go. A close race could turn into a runaway.

It’s a nasty campaign with the leaders afraid to say what they really think

A few impressions as the federal election campaign heads into its second official week.

It is shaping up to be a nasty, brutish campaign with negatives drowning out positives, the kind of campaign that misleads more than it informs and will turn off more voters than it inspires.

It’s election time – time to put credit cards and cellphones away

A veteran political strategist/organizer of my acquaintance has a blunt caution for candidates who come to him for advice.

Bundle up all your credit cards, he tells them. Bury them in your home freezer. Bury them deep, beneath the frozen peas and broccoli and that mince pie left from Christmas. Do not thaw them out until the campaign is safely over.

This is good advice for politicians in the Oct. 21 election campaign, which will begin for real within a week, whenever Prime Minister Trudeau drops the writ.

He’s back! Stephen Harper comes to the aid of Andrew Scheer

In this era of fixed-date federal elections (on the third Monday in October), political strategists work on premise that most voters snooze through the summer pre-campaigns and only shake themselves awake and pay attention after Labour Day.

Now with Labour Day in the rear-view mirror and the prime minister poised to drop the writ in 10 to 12 days, the electorate is presumably becoming focussed. So, here is a small political quiz. What are these three sets of numbers? What do they mean?

162-143; 153-146; 158-135

An alarming exercise in poor judgment, but will it hurt Trudeau?

Americans are starting to worry about a recession. So what does Donald Trump do? The maestro of diversion, he changes the channel. The United States, he proposes, should buy Greenland.

What? Buy Greenland? Absurd!

Of course, it’s ridiculous, but the distraction works. Historians, economists, climatologists and political scientists rush to join the Buy-Greenland debate as the inane idea floods the airwaves and social media.

Bianca Andreescu’s empathy and poise would be a fine model for politicians

Bianca Andreescu is the real deal. Not only is she a great tennis player – perhaps the greatest this country has produced – she possesses qualities of poise and empathy rarely found in one so young.

Bianca is just 19 years old. Yet there she was on Sunday afternoon, on her knees, consoling her weeping idol, 37-year-old Serena Williams, who had just been forced by recurring upper back spasms to withdraw from the Rogers Cup final.

How the Liberals mangled their gun control promise

“We will take action to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets” – Liberal Party of Canada, election platform, 2015.

Over the past four years, some controversial promises have been kept -- the legalization of recreational marijuana being a prominent example.

Some major promises have been broken – the Liberals having abandoned their pledge to replace the first-past-the-post electoral system when it became clear there was no national consensus for change.

In the backroom: Polls that drive political insiders

Does it matter what the polls say in late July about a general election that will not happen until late October?

For most folks, the answer is a resounding No. Just about anything that occurs today, barring some ghastly gaffe, will be long forgotten before voters bring their minds to bear on their Oct. 21 ballot decision. It’s summer, for Pete’s sake. Enjoy it while it lasts. There will be plenty of time – in the last 10 days or two weeks of the campaign – to worry about what Justin, Andrew and the rest are going on about.

Opinion-Policy Nexus is a forum of opinion and commentary on topics related to public opinion and public policy. Views expressed in any blog entry are those of the author and do not reflect LISPOP's positions.

Authors

  • Ailsa Henderson
  • Andre Perrella
  • Anna Esselment
  • Anthony Piscitelli
  • Barry Kay
  • Ben Margulies
  • Christopher Alcantara
  • Christopher Cochrane
  • Geoffrey Stevens
  • Jason Roy
  • Jorg Broschek
  • Loren King
  • Manuel Riemer
  • Matthew Arp
  • Nikolaos Liodakis
  • Robert Williams
  • Simon Kiss
  • Timothy Gravelle
  • Zachary Spicer

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