Here we are on October 15th, a grand total of six days to go before Election Day and we know what Canadians will have chosen for their Parliament to look like. And after three quarters of a campaign where the polls barely moved, finally things have started to break loose, changing the game in this campaign. With the rise of the New Democrats across the country and the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec, not only has the math of this campaign changed seriously, so have the potential outcomes.
The big thing to watch this week is to see where the different leaders are campaigning, where they are focusing their time and what they are saying. Today is a stark example of this and the state of the election right now. Just check out where certain leaders are this morning:
Folks, these images say a lot. While Liberal Justin Trudeau is in Fredericton, a seat that should be relatively safe for the Red team if things were going as planned, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh is in Toronto-Danforth, going after a seat that was swept up in the Trudeau wave of 2015. To see Mr. Trudeau in Atlantic Canada with less than a week to go is not a good sign for his team for sure. Yes, the odds of them holding all 32 seats in the Maritimes were very low to begin with, but rallying in urban and friendly seats like Fredericton and Halifax six days out from the vote? That’s a bad sign, as those were not among the seats that many people thought would be in danger in this campaign. If things were going well at this point of the campaign, you’d expect to see Trudeau parked in Quebec or British Columbia, where he had the chances to grow and protect a majority. Instead he’s in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, trying to save seats that shouldn’t, in theory, have been at risk in this campaign.
As for the Orange team, seeing Singh in Toronto-Danforth and blitzing through the GTA at this point of the campaign is a good and welcomed sign. If this campaign had gone the way that many thought it would, you would have expected to see Singh in ridings the NDP currently holds, trying to save those seats. Instead the NDP is on the offensive in Toronto, Brampton and heading to Hudson, QC tomorrow. All of these areas are spots where the NDP are in a position to win seats and make gains, which will be extremely important in this campaign.
As for what we look for in what others are saying, you need to look no further than looking at the various parties and candidate’s social media feeds to get an idea about their approaches and how they are feeling about things. These messages are very telling, in many ways:
For the Conservatives, it’s a throw back to the Harper days and fearmongering about coalitions and the boogeymen that hide in them. And then Conservative MP Garnett Genius pulls a very odd comment out of the bag, trying to scare voters about the prospect of a Foreign Affairs Minister Jagmeet Singh. In an email blast from his later, he also said “Can you imagine Foreign Affairs Minister Jagmeet Singh on a trade mission to the United States?” Hmmm, I wonder what about that would be so awful and scary about that? Quite the dog whistle you’re blowing their sir.
As for the Liberals, they are trying to scare progressive to rally around them to stop the big, scary Tories. And how are they trying to do that? By being big and scary all themselves. That Tweet from Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello tells it all, as it is misleading and wrong as it is insulting. But this is the approach from Team Trudeau, having gone from “Hope and Hard Work” to “Fear, Fear, Fear”.
And while the Red and Blue Teams are on that message, the New Democrats are staying positive and upbeat. They are talking about their promises, standing up for people and just being happy. Basically, while the others are trying to scare people to vote against something, the Orange team are inviting people to vote for something. It’s a stark contrast for sure, but one that is proving to be very effective so far in this campaign. Being that people have seemed to be attracted to that positive approach, it’s possible that the negativity coming from the other parties will help to drive more people towards Mr. Singh and crew. But we’ll see how this goes. These last six days will feel like an eternity but we’re in the home stretch. After five weeks of hard work, it’s now time to see who can drive this home and deliver. The stakes are high and we’ll see who will rise to this occasion, but at this point, it seems that October 21st will only be the start of more and more interesting days to come.