Canada federal election 2015 – Final Days

Written by  //  October 25, 2015  //  Canada  //  No comments

When Harper wakes up tomorrow,
Nenshi will be his mayor, Notley will be his Premier, and Trudeau will be his Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, speaks to supporters on election night in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau's Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history. (Kevin Van Paassen/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister-elect and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, speaks to supporters on election night in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept into office with a surprise majority, ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and capping the biggest comeback election victory in Canadian history. (Kevin Van Paassen/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The two lengthy analyses below are excellent summaries of the evolution of the entire campaign and highlight the reasons for the Liberal victory. It would be fascinating to see equally informative pieces from the Conservatives and NDP – but not likely.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals: ‘We Had A Plan And We Stuck To It.’ And They Won.
By Althia Raj
(HuffPost) Monday’s historic Liberal victory may have surprised some Canadians, but it didn’t come as a shock to Justin Trudeau and his closest advisers. It was the culmination of a 2½-year strategy that they say was executed perfectly, a leader who rose to the occasion, and a bit of luck handed to them by the Conservative and NDP brain trusts.
It was also the vindication for Trudeau and those closest to him that positive politics could work, and negative personal attack ads were not necessary to reach 24 Sussex Drive.
Their first task was to fight their way back into the race. Trudeau needed to come out strongly in the Maclean’s debate, the first of five leaders’ debates, held on Aug. 6.
He did.
The Liberals’ second task was to best the NDP on representing change.
They wanted to beat Mulcair on leadership (“do I like the guy?”) and on policy attributes (“what does he want to do?”). The Liberals went about this in several ways. … Trudeau’s decision to run deficits would prove to be the single biggest demarcation point between the Liberals and the NDP.
The third part of the Liberal campaign was aimed at consolidating the anti-Harper sentiment, courting red Tories and mobilizing voters.
— Trudeau also used the Brampton rally to extend an open hand to Conservatives —red Tories — who had enough of Harper. “Conservatives are not our enemies, they’re our neighbours,” Trudeau said. He would repeat this line on the road non-stop for the next two weeks.
“We have the chance to beat fear with hope,” Trudeau said. “This is Canada, and in Canada better is always possible.” The crowd cheered. The ad agency captured it all. This 60-second spot — which aired during the last weeks of the campaign — was designed to make people feel like they were part of a movement.
— The Conservatives were running ads on TV suggesting that Trudeau would get rid of income splitting for seniors. Despite mentioning repeatedly that a Liberal government wouldn’t touch the program, candidates were getting hammered at the door.
The Liberals called in Hazel McCallion, the legendary former mayor of Mississauga, Ont., for some help. The 94-year-old’s video on Facebook, which featured her saying, “Stephen, do I look scared to you?”, reached more than 3.4 million views. It was so popular they aired it on TV. It is credited for reversing the Liberals’ slide among voters 65 years and older.
— One of the main reasons the Liberals won on Monday was they brought new voters to the polls. Elections Canada’s unofficial numbers suggest the Grits received 4,147,060 more votes this year than in 2011, yet the NDP’s support dropped by only 1,051,149 votes, and the Conservatives lost 234,774 votes.

— The Liberals believe their luckiest break — and the Tories’ biggest mistake — was calling a 78-day campaign. The Grits needed a lot of time to execute their strategy.
”The Tories did us a huge favour with a long writ, in that regard. A huge favour. It was so colossally stupid. What they thought they were going to do was basically drain us of money, that we were going to screw up the beginning of the campaign and that we would be out of it by Labour Day. And we knew we needed that time to motivate our voters.”
In the end, the Liberals estimate they spent slightly more than $40 million on the election campaign.

The making of a prime minister: Inside Trudeau’s epic victory
By Paul Wells —with Martin Patriquin and Jason Markusoff
Sunny, sunny ways
How Justin Trudeau’s campaign of hard work and hope landed him a whopping majority
Let us begin, against the mood sweeping much of the land, with a downer. The speech Justin Trudeau delivered on Monday night was long, 24 minutes long, three times as long as the concession his predecessor had just delivered four provinces to the west. It was full of greeting-card generalities and light on hints of first steps for a government that will be drawn from a caucus chock full of rookies who will need a little direction.
The man who will be Canada’s 23rd prime minister delivered his remarks in the exaggerated, portentous cadence his own campaign staff had worked for months to eradicate. As he spoke to a gleeful crowd in Montreal’s Fairmont Le Reine Élizabeth hotel, television screens flashed the names and earnest, smiling faces of squadrons of new Liberal MPs, almost every one a varsity jock, club president or McKinsey consultant, none of them much used to waiting in line for a promotion. Tonight was time for celebration, but tomorrow, the weight of their expectations, their egos, and the pent-up, uncorked yearning of every constituency and interest in the land would start to crowd in on this young man and his untested team.
…  Both Trudeau and Mulcair argued that something is lost when the national government throws off too many of its longstanding functions. Both sought to rehabilitate a belief that taxes are often worth paying, because government can be an agent for positive change. But Mulcair wanted to win the top job by soothing the skittish next voter who had never supported his party. It made him cautious, and made his ideas cautious. Trudeau wanted to move more quickly, to put activist government higher on his list of priorities than balanced budgets. Harper told him he couldn’t do it. He said he’d do it anyway. Voters got to decide. This is what a battle of ideas actually looks like.
There was, of course—spectacularly—also a battle of values. This is where Harper’s admirers make a second mistake when they chalk Trudeau’s success up to charm. It sells Trudeau short, but it also lets Harper off the hook. The most intellectually influential conservative leader of the last 40 years ran the stupidest Conservative campaign since Stockwell Day’s in 2000. It was a vindictive, short-sighted, flighty succession of slights, punishments and baffling sentimental indulgences, culminating in the leader’s astonishing decision to return, twice in the crucial final week, to the side of Rob Ford, a former mayor whose excesses had repeatedly disgraced him. …

Trudeau has been clear enough in projecting an identity and an agenda that he will not be rocked by divisions in his sizable winning coalition. And it’s this true, at least: The Trudeau machine lasted long enough to win an election that looked unwinnable for him 11 weeks ago. Maybe it will cheat fate forever. Better really is always possible.
But never doubt that this young prime minister will face tests. Everyone who ever held the job Canadians gave him on Monday was tested, many times, to the limit of his or her capacity. A stable majority means he needn’t worry about day-to-day political survival, but that is not the only danger in politics. Just ask Stephen Harper.
All we can say for now is this: Justin Trudeau has been written off before—too soon each time. He has a magical name, but all a name does is get you noticed. What happens next is up to you. Trudeau put in more hard work than anyone realized, fielding a ground organization, preparing for his major confrontations with his opponents, learning from criticism. That’s the hard-work part. As for the hope, it turns out that many Canadians had been waiting for some of that.
His arrival ends a fascinating and tumultuous era in Canadian politics. And opens another.

And, in contrast,  a pretty bitter appraisal of Stephen Harper
The Long, Long Ego Trip of Stephen Harper
A one-man show from fringe to power. Our underestimation only fuelled his contempt.
(The Tyee) If Harper built an institution during his regime, it was the Prime Minister’s Office, which has gained enormously in power since 2006. He systematically neglected some institutions (like Parliament), deliberately crippled others (like the Senate and Statistics Canada), questioned some (like the Supreme Court), and treated a few, like the Canadian Forces, as disposable.
… he famously failed to recruit any wise men or women who might be plausible successors. His reliance on the likes of Dean Del Mastro and Paul Calandra as his parliamentary mouthpieces only heightened the contrast between the puppeteer and his puppets. Some speculate that Baird left in hopes of returning to rebuild the party after Harper’s departure, but even he would be a very hard sell — especially against the likes of Justin Trudeau.
So we are left with a quietly appalling conclusion: Stephen Harper was on one of the greatest ego trips in history. He studied the system, gamed it, and gained power over Canadians for close to a decade. It wasn’t to promote some conservative ideology; conservatism was just another throwaway gadget, a convenient utensil. He used it to promote himself, not to promote conservatism. Whether the party survives his departure is of no concern to him. He was a dancer in darkness, dancing for no one but himself.

Canada federal election 2015 – Part I
Platform comparison: Where the parties stand on the top campaign issues
The Conservatives, NDPs and Liberals have all unveiled their full platforms,
here are some of the highlights in eight different policy areas
(9 October)

 

Justin Trudeau pledges ‘real change’ as Liberals leap ahead to majority government

Justin Trudeau will be Canada’s next prime minister after leading the Liberal Party to a stunning majority government win, dashing the hopes of Stephen Harper, who had been seeking his fourth consecutive mandate.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will form a majority government after capturing 184 seats. The Conservatives will form the Official Opposition. Find detailed ridings results in our map, see where each party gained and lost support and view the demographic split by party and riding. A total of 88 women were sent to House, see how the vote splits by party. And, track the Liberals surge in the polls over the course of this 78-day campaign.
(Reuters) Underestimating Canada’s Justin Trudeau proved fatal for Conservatives ; (CNN) Canada votes first new leader in 10 years as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party wins ; (NYT) Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party Prevail With Stunning Rout in Canada ; (BBC) Canada election: Liberals sweep to power ; (NYT) After Win in Canada, Trudeau Finds Mostly Votes of Confidence Online ;  (Bloomberg) Pugnacious Trudeau Steps Out of Father’s Shadow and Into Power ; (The Guardian) Sunny side up in Canada as Justin Trudeau’s light touch revives Liberals ; (Al Jazeera) Will Trudeau’s victory make a change in Canada? — Justin Trudeau’s resounding victory ushers in a new era for Canada ; Cleo Paskal’s long Background pre-election Briefing interview with Ian Masters

JUST WATCH HIM
(Globe & Mail) It’s official: The Trudeau Liberals have won a majority government, and the Conservatives will be looking for a new leader as Stephen Harper’s decade in power comes to an end. Canadians have a lot of questions about what that means, and what comes next – so we’ve organized our full election coverage to answer them

Canada Voter Turnout In This Election Was The Highest In 2 Decades
Monday’s federal election saw the biggest voter turnout in the country in over 20 years, according to preliminary results from Elections Canada.
The government organization said 17.5 million of 25.6 million registered voters cast a ballot — a turnout of 68.3 per cent.
The early count doesn’t include Canadians who registered to vote on Monday, but the crowds are still the biggest since 1993, when 69.6 per cent of eligible electors cast ballots.

Stephen Harper to step down as leader after Conservative defeat
Tories performed strongly in the Prairies, but bled support elsewhere
Stephen Harper was upbeat in the face of a one-sided election defeat, but will step down as Conservative leader following the result.
Conservative Party president John Walsh released a short statement shortly before Harper took the stage in Calgary, indicating Harper had instructed him to reach out to the elected caucus to appoint an interim leader and begin the next leadership selection process. The party is expected to issue a further statement on that process Tuesday morning.
Harper, who was seeking a fourth consecutive term as prime minister since 2006, enthusiastically greeted supporters before taking the podium in “our home, our Calgary” for his concession speech.
Jenni Byrne tossed from Stephen Harper’s inner circle
There are two main things that will happen right away — Harper will resign as leader, but stay on as an MP. The party’s much smaller caucus will vote for an interim leader. Former cabinet minister Diane Finley’s name is an early name being floated.
Then, the party’s national council will appoint a “leadership election organizing committee,” which will set the ground rules for the impending contest.

Tom Mulcair says Canadians have rejected ‘politics of fear and division’
New Democrats suffer crushing loss after leading in polls as campaign began

Voters cast ballots as election day arrives after 78-day campaign
Polling stations across the country are open, and many of the 26.4 million eligible electors in Canada have begun casting their ballots in an election that is expected to have a high turnout.
The 20,000 polling places and 66,000 polling stations in the six time zones are open for 12 hours throughout the day.
Nanos tracking 18 October
Nanos tracking: Liberals hit 39.1% support, Conservatives 30.5%
(CTV News) The Liberals have nearly a nine-point advantage over the Conservatives heading into Election Day, the latest tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and the Globe and Mail shows.
In the one-day poll conducted on Sunday, Oct. 18, respondents were asked, “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?”
New Democrats, Liberals should team up to oust Tory minority, former NDP leader says
Polls suggest a minority Parliament is the most likely outcome of the Oct. 19 election, but the stage is set for an unusual sequence of events should the Conservatives have the most seats.
Abacus poll reveals what the 2015 campaign was really all about
Survey finds more voters combined think Oct. 19 election is about change and values than see it as mainly about the economy
(Maclean’s) So change was a key issue for many voters throughout the campaign, and the question was which of the two main opposition parties would come out on top as the better vehicle for delivering it. Values emerged during the race as an unexpectedly top-of-mind concern, likely to the detriment of the Conservatives. And while the economy has remained a significant preoccupation, it doesn’t appear dominant enough to outweigh the combined impact the change and values factors
CPC front page adPostmedia, Sun Front Pages Replaced With Full-Page Political Ads
(HuffPost) If you looked at a Postmedia or Sun’s newspaper on Friday, you likely noticed a giant yellow ad where your front page of news would normally be.
The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, Fort McMurray Today, and other papers replaced their entire front pages with the flamboyant ads endorsing the Tories just days before the federal election.
Conrad Black: Stephen Harper did many great things for this country, but he hung on to power a little too long
(National Post) Trudeau and Mulcair are right, given Harper’s now almost sociopathic personality, to say that they will support each other rather than a Harper minority.
Needlessly, Harper is now likely to follow the route of greater statesmen who didn’t know when to leave: Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl. He was a good prime minister, but it is time to see him off. Trudeau, with a minority, will grow or go. I believe the former, but he has earned his chance. We really cannot have another four years of government by a sadistic Victorian schoolmaster.
A cri de coeur from the amazing Mayor of Calgary – should be read, re-read and proclaimed from the mountain top!
Naheed Nenshi: Divided, Canada stands to lose what makes it great
(Globe & Mail) The real answer to crafting the Canada we aspire to build lies in engaging muscularly with both the past and the future. It means undertaking a thousand simple acts of service and a million tiny acts of heroism. It means acting at the community level: on our streets, in our neighbourhoods, and in our schools. It means refusing to accept the politics of fear.

Congratulations, Canada: now the world is talking about your Prime Minister’s “racist” rhetoric
(Press Progress) This last month has been devastating for Canada’s international reputation – from 1-800 hotlines to snitch on your neighbours to screening refugees based on their religion to policing how a handful of women dress, it doesn’t square with what most Canadians have in mind when they think: mutual-respect.
When Americans start turning their heads away from train wrecks like Donald Trump or Sarah Palin and ask what’s “going on up in Canada?” it might be a sign we’ve got an image problem.
Here are eight international news stories that underline just how far off course Stephen Harper’s divisive rhetoric has taken all of us.
Postmedia’s oily Harper endorsement
(National Observer) Postmedia, a company now largely owned primarily by U.S. hedge funds, has championed Stephen Harper as a “clear choice” in the 2015 federal election.
The Ottawa Citizen became the latest of the network’s publications to endorse the Conservatives in a Friday editorial, joining the Edmonton Journal, the Toronto Sun, The Province, the Globe and Mail, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, and at least five other publications.
The endorsement wasn’t by the editorial staff, however, as Edmonton Journal writer Paula Simons said in a tweet:
And yes. Before you ask, this was a decision made by the owners of the paper. As is their traditional prerogative.

Former editor-in-chief William Thorsell rides to the rescue with this no-holds-barred editorial he would have written – back in the glory days of the Globe.
“Throwout,” by William Thorsell
(via Paul Wells) Not in recent times have Canadian voters had an opportunity to “throw the bastards out” in the classic phrase. Elected officials generally leave office before such public urges get to them.
This time however, Stephen Harper is sticking his head up above the parapets after nine years in office — nine years generally seen as the Best Before Due Date in politics, as it is for leadership in the private sector. Knowing when to leave is among the more elegant qualities of any CEO, but then Mr. Harper has never laid claim to elegance.
An accumulation of baggage eventually weighs the owner down to the point of stumbling and falling. Mr. Harper is quite overweight in that department.
This is surely one of the strangest not-really-an endorsement-but editorial efforts in recent memory – deeply disappointing
Globe & Mail editors: The Tories deserve another mandate – Stephen Harper doesn’t

Watching the self-immolating Harper government in action is to watch a tired group trying to shrink itself back to the old Reform Party. To the distress of the country and thinking Conservatives, it is succeeding.
Canada needs a change. It also needs the maintenance of many aspects of the economic status quo. What Canada needs, then, is a Conservative government that is no longer the Harper government.
It is not time for the Conservatives to go. But it is time for Mr. Harper to take his leave.
All elections are choices among imperfect alternatives, and this one more than most. Each of the parties has gaps, deficiencies and failings. But choose, voters must.
The election of 2015 has been powered by a well-founded desire for change. But it has also been an election where the opposition has recognized the electorate’s desire for stability and continuity on all things economic. That’s why the Liberals and the New Democrats, while running on the rhetoric of change, put forward economic platforms built largely on acceptance of the Conservative status quo.
The key issue of the election should have been the economy and the financial health of Canadians. On that score, the Conservative Party has a solid record. Hardly perfect but, relatively speaking, better than most. However, the election turned into a contest over something else: a referendum on the government’s meanness, its secretiveness, its centralization of power in the most centralized Prime Minister’s Office in history, its endless quest for ever more obscure wedge issues, and its proclivity for starting culture wars rather than sticking to the knitting of sound economic and fiscal stewardship. It turned this election into a referendum on the one-man show that has become the Harper government. …
(Press Progress) Did the Globe & Mail even read its own editorials before endorsing the Conservatives?
And not unexpectedly from The Suburban with the usual hyperbole: Why it must be Harper

Canadians Attend ‘No Harper’ Event In New York
Scores of expat Canadians turned up for a “No Harper” bash in New York to express their ongoing attachment to Canada and their opposition to a law that bars those abroad for more than five years from voting in Monday’s election.
While the Constitution guarantees the vote to all Canadian citizens who are at least 18, part of the Canada Elections Act bars expats abroad for more than five years from voting by mail, effectively denying them the ability to cast a ballot.
It was only under Harper’s Conservative government that the 1993 law was strictly enforced, catching many of the country’s estimated 1.4 million expats — including Frank — by surprise in 2011.
15 October
At Issue | The Final Stretch (video)
At Issue on the ups and downs on the final stretch of the campaign trail. Despite several scandals worthy of Watergate over the past decade, Stephen Harper could win a fourth Canadian election next week. Can the master manipulator work his dark magic?
Justin Trudeau is facing his first major controversy of the campaign. Stephen Harper is being questioned about support from the Ford brothers. Could these things affect how people are going to vote? Plus, the panel looks back on the past 11 weeks.
The story that Lynton Crosby ditches Harper’s flailing campaign is creating much confusion, as Crosby’s partner says the firm is not involved in Conservative campaign, adding “We don’t do bit-part politics.”
Stephen Harper: master manipulatora very long and comprehensive profile
By Nick Davies

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, and Jason Kenney, Minister of Defence and Minister of Multiculturalism, share a laugh after entertainer and master of ceremonies Ardavan Mofid mistakenly called Kenney prime minister at a Canadian Iranian Foundation Nowruz event in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday March 21, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, and Jason Kenney, Minister of Defence and Minister of Multiculturalism, share a laugh after entertainer and master of ceremonies Ardavan Mofid mistakenly called Kenney prime minister at a Canadian Iranian Foundation Nowruz event in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday March 21, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Tasha Kheiriddin: The post-Harper scenarios start to take shape
(iPolitics) Whether Stephen Harper wins or loses on Monday, most observers believe #elxn42 will be his last campaign. In fact, many wonder why Harper chose to run again this time. With the Duffy scandal weighing on him over the past two years and a fixed election date looming on the horizon, many felt he had a perfect opportunity to step aside, renew the party with a leadership contest and pass the baton. …
So whether Harper is defeated and quits, or wins and stays on until a leadership is called, the big question for many Conservatives is: who’s next? Even before the election, heirs-apparent were dropping like flies. Cabinet ministers John Baird, Peter MacKay, James Moore, Shelley Glover and a list of lesser talents either quit or announced that they would not run again. This election, three more cabinet members are expected to go down to defeat: Chris Alexander, Julian Fantino and Joe Oliver. Pierre Polievre is being targeted as well, as is Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra. The talent pool is getting awfully shallow.
To be sure, there are still some bright lights bobbing in its waters — and apart from Jason Kenney, who remains the odds-on favorite for succession, they’re mostly women: Lisa Raitt, Kellie Leitch and Candice Bergen. Quebec minister Maxime Bernier probably would throw his hat into the ring. And there’s at least one outside candidate already expressing interest in the job — former Toronto councillor Doug Ford, who is helping to organize a rally for the Conservatives this weekend (to the great chagrin of many in the party).
Kenney’s roots and strength in the party are so deep, however, that it would be difficult for any other contestant to dislodge him from the pole position.
Trudeau Makes Quebec Push as Adviser’s Ouster Weighs on Campaign
(Bloomberg) As Canada’s election draws near, front-runner Justin Trudeau is facing fresh controversy around a senior Liberal aide that rivals say evokes back-room tactics that drove the party from power nine years ago.
… Tempering expectations, however, is the resignation of Trudeau’s Quebec deputy and campaign co-chair, Dan Gagnier, who stepped down Wednesday night after it was revealed he advised TransCanada Corp. on lobbying strategy during the campaign. The company’s proposed Energy East pipeline runs through Quebec, and the federal government has pushed for American approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project.
“Liberals continue to surge, widen lead in seat projections” (Global News)seat projections 15 Oct shawgraph5
The gap between Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is widening by the day, with the latest seat projections showing an excellent chance of a Liberal minority government come Oct. 19.
Jeffrey Simpson: From an election advantage to a strategic failure (subscribers only)
The Conservative political world has, therefore, narrowed. Geographically, it has been routed in most of the country’s largest cities. It has suburban strength, to be sure, but not as much as the party had hoped for or needed. It will be the second or third party in at least seven provinces.
More than anything else, it has become a party of farm-country Canada. The only age cohort in which Tories lead is the over-65 group, a cohort that is growing in numbers but not one around which to build the   future. When the narrowing of the conservative political world began is a matter for conjecture. It quite likely was at least spurred, if not initiated, with the advent of the Reform Party, which changed the nature of conservatism.
Canadian Campaign Blurs Party Lines to Thwart Conservatives
(NYT via Canadian Media Review) A new kind of canvasser has been knocking on doors in Canada’s election campaign, the longest in its modern history. These canvassers are partisan only in the sense that they oppose Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives. What they are asking like-minded voters to do is to set party allegiance aside and vote on Monday for whichever opposition candidate has the best chance of defeating the Conservatives.
Leadnow’s project, Vote Together
, is among the groups that have introduced strategic voting canvassers in this election and that have run fund-raising campaigns to commission local polls in some constituencies.
“What’s clear to me is most people in this country want to get rid of the Conservatives,” said Amara Possian, Leadnow’s elections campaign manager. “But most people don’t know that vote-splitting could lead to Conservative victories.”
The group’s volunteers ask voters to promise to vote on Monday for the candidate who Leadnow’s research and polling suggests is most likely to defeat a Conservative rival. Ms. Possian said that just a few thousand voters might be enough swing the balance in several local races.
Liberals, NDP turn down TPP briefing, accusing Tories of political ploy
(iPolitics) Fearing political trickery, the Liberals and the NDP summarily rejected Thursday’s offer by the federal Conservative government of a line-by-line briefing on the text of the newly minted Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The offer — refused almost as quickly as it was made public — made clear that the text of the deal, first promised last week within a matter of days by Trade Minister Ed Fast, wouldn’t be out before Monday’s federal election.
Harper plays down Ford rally after explosive allegations revealed in new book
(Globe & Mail) Stephen Harper is playing down a planned Saturday campaign rally’s connection to Rob Ford after explosive allegations from a new book about the controversial ex-Toronto mayor were made public.
Dan Gagnier steps down as co-chair of Liberal campaign
Campaign chair sent a detailed email to people behind the Energy East pipeline with advice on how and when to lobby new government
Former Liberal campaign co-chair was being paid by TransCanada
(iPolitics) Former Liberal campaign co-chair Daniel Gagnier has been working for months for TransCanada Corp., helping it with its controversial Energy East pipeline, while at the same time working as a key advisor to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
TransCanada Corp communications director James Millar confirms that the corporation has been paying Gagnier for his advice.
14 October
Reality-check: Brothels on your streets and pot in the corner store?
Over the past several weeks, several Conservative candidates have suggested that the Liberal Party of Canada supports community brothels and making pot available to children.
At a local candidates’ debate hosted by the Oakville chamber of commerce, for instance, Conservative candidate Terence Young asked voters if they wanted “communities where a federal Liberal government mandates legally-protected brothels with madams and all that goes with that, because the Liberals have promised to legalize the selling of women in Canada.”
The Conservative Party has also taken out a series of ads in Punjabi and Chinese-language media in recent days, warning that a Justin Trudeau-led government would be “putting brothels in our communities,” “legalizing marijuana, making access easier for kids” and supporting “illegal drug-injection sites in our neighbourhoods.”
The Liberals have never said they would mandate brothels anywhere in Canada. Trudeau has been critical of the anti-prostitution laws currently in place, but has not come out in favour of legalizing prostitution.
Trudeau has indeed spoken out in support of supervised injection sites. He has also openly backed Montreal mayor Denis Coderre’s position that Montreal should move ahead with four new supervised injection sites, with or without Ottawa’s approval. Justin Trudeau responds to controversial Conservative attack flyers
Three Reasons to Keep a Close Eye on Canada’s Federal Election — From market risk to climate change.
(Bloomberg) It’s uncertain which party will win a plurality of seats in the House of Commons–but very likely that the same group will not be the one holding the balance of power. With a minority government the most likely outcome, that means the possible policy mix implemented after the dust settles spans everything that’s been discussed by the three major parties–and possibly some measures that haven’t yet been brought up in public.And the effects of Canada’s policy mix are likely to extend far outside its border, having an impact on the U.S. economy, offering perspective on the international politics of climate change, and potentially changing the dynamics for foreign investors.
Rachel Bendayan en voie de battre Thomas Mulcair
Plusieurs projections, notamment du Toronto Star et de l’Actualité, croient que la candidate libérale Rachel Bendayan remportera les élections contre Thomas Mulcair, le chef du NPD, dans la circonscription d’Outremont. L’écart ne serait que de 700 voix.
Aux élections de 2011, Thomas Mulcair avait battu son adversaire libéral Martin Cauchon par 21 206 contre 9 204 voix.
Paul Wells: Inside the fight of Stephen Harper’s life
The Prime Minister has outlasted and outplayed three Liberal leaders. The fourth may well trip him up. And this time, it’s deeply personal.
Within the broad rules of political cut and thrust, all of this is fair, and no worse than what Harper’s opponents have often said of him. But, again and again, it has distorted Harper’s once-formidable judgment until now, when he is running with gadgets and sound effects against a man he once dismissed as a drama teacher. The goal of the lurid theatre in Etobicoke was to draw a distinction between the leaders of the two front-running parties. One of them isn’t serious. It used to be easier to tell which one.
13 October
Post-election possibilities for a minority Parliament
Constitutional conventions dictate that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will continue to be the Prime Minister on election night, regardless of how many seats his party wins. It will then be up to him, based on his read of the results, whether he wishes to see if a majority of those newly elected MPs want him to stay in the job
Excellent review of precedents and possibilities. Plus this good advice.
In the social-media age, will Canadians have the patience next week to see how things play out? This was a serious concern raised Tuesday at the University of Ottawa, where a panel of seven of the university’s academics held a public discussion on “post-election possibilities” for a minority Parliament.
Are there no depths to which the Harper Conservatives will not sink?
Conservative ads aimed at Chinese, Punjabi voters claim Trudeau backs brothels, pot sales to kids
Liberal candidate in Vancouver says the Conservative ad campaign ‘absolutely not true’
Elections Canada says 3.6 million votes cast during advance polls
About 26 million Canadians are qualified to vote in federal election
Elections Canada says an estimated 3.6 million people voted during four days of advance polls running from Friday to Thanksgiving Monday, representing a 71 per cent increase over three days of advance polling in 2011 … In an effort to assist voters, Elections Canada launched a pilot project to open temporary offices from Oct. 5 to 8 at select university campuses and community centres across the country. A total of 70,231 people registered and voted at these locations, the agency said on Tuesday.
The polls suggest that if an election were held today, it would likely be a toss-up between the Liberals and Conservatives. But with a week to go until election day, there is plenty of time for voting intentions to shift significantly.
12 October
Stephen Harper is the last remnant of George W Bush in North America
How could Canada, a country widely regarded as being full of socially progressive and tolerant people, elect someone like Harper?
Marie-Marguerite Sabongui
(The Guardian) Harper doesn’t represent the values my neighbors and I grew up believing in: collective responsibility, generosity, multiculturalism, multilateralism, the championing of peace and human rights and the importance of environmental stewardship. For ten years Harper has steered Canada away from these values, and many Americans, indeed many Canadians, don’t understand how far he has shifted the country.
And expatriates — who have witnessed the transformation of Canada under Harper with the benefit of distance — have seen Stephen Harper model his brand of conservatism on what Republicans have done in the United States, taking his cues from the same playbook.

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