Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thoughts on the election so far

My first thought is it has been rather dull.  It almost seems that the parties are not really on a full election footing yet.  Heck, I have not seen a single lawn sign in my riding yet or the ones they usually post at major intersections.

Some of my other thoughts.

The debate was a bust.  Dull, lifeless, pointless.  I agree with many of the professional pundits that no one was hurt or helped by the debate.

I am impressed that the Liberals seem to be sticking to their message of pounding the economy during the early going.  They are ignoring all of the other stuff going on and focusing on it.  They virtually ignored the Wright testimony.  There has been some hay made of the "economy of the heart" statement of Mr. Trudeau, by the usual suspects, but if that is all they have then it is thin pickings indeed.  It is a message that could resonate as the Conservatives suddenly appear vulnerable on the economy, the NDP have no experience running the national economy and the Liberals have a very recent stellar track record.  It is apparent that the Liberals want to make the economy and their plan to make it more beneficial for ordinary Canadians the ballot question.  If it does indeed become that the other parties could be in trouble.

I am biased but I believe the Conservatives are a tired, old government that has run out of ideas and the first couple of weeks of the campaign seem to bare that out.  Everything they have promised is more of the same and it does not seem to be resonating with Canadians at large.  Their plan so far seem to be to just attack Justin Trudeau, otherwise their campaign so far has been underwhelming. Also the Duffy trial is the proverbial wild card. The Conservatives were at their lowest ebb during the height of that scandal and the trial could remind Canadians as to why they were very unhappy with the government at that time just in time for the election.  

The NDP seems to be disjointed.  I have yet to discern a central message for their campaign. They are doing a good job of attacking their opponents but they have yet to provide any real reason why Canadians should vote for them.  They are trying to overcome a 150 year old voting pattern so they are going to have to do more than give reasons why voters should not vote for the other guys.  They need to give compelling reasons to vote for them.  I would say this is most true for the NDP.  The other parties can get away with not doing so to a certain extent because they are known quantities to voters.  The NDP is not.  They need to convince Canadians that they can be trusted to govern and so far they have not done so.

The polls are not changing much although you can see some hints of where things might be headed.

The gap between first and third is about five points.  That is an extremely small gap and it means that it is still anybody's election.

The Liberals are dominating the Eastern provinces.

The NDP is leading in Quebec but the Liberals are leading amongst Anglos and federalists, which if it holds could mean big gains for the Liberals.  You can expect the Liberals to pound the NDP promise to scrap the Clarity Act in that province so that they can solidify their support amongst these groups.

The most recent Nanos poll seems to indicate the NDP has fallen to third place in Ontario.  I firmly believe that as the campaign unfolds in that province it will become a two way contest between the Conservatives and the Liberals.  Could this poll be the first hint of that dynamic beginning to develop?

The position of the parties in the Western provinces are exactly where you would expect them to be so there are no surprises there.  

So far there is nothing to become overly excited about but there is still nine weeks to go so I am certain that will change.

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