So the writ has been dropped, and the campaign is on. You have to think that this is going to be a verty negative, dirty campaign. Why? Well, for a few reasons. First and foremost, because both the Conservatives and Liberals are making ‘character’ an election issue. Much like the last election, where the Conservatives tried to paint the Liberals as corrupt, and the Liberals tried to paint the Conservatives as scary right-wingers with hidden agendas. The other reason this is going to be dirty is that both Paul Martin and Stephen Harper have so much at stake. Given the closeness of the parties, you have to assume that whichever one loses will have a very hard time holding on to the party leadership position. Particularly Stephen Harper, because if he loses, it will be because he has not made inroads in Ontario, which is so critical to winning an election in Canada right now.
The Daily Show did a little piece on the Canadian election, including poking fun of Stephen Harper by highlighting a potentially curious analolgy “It’s like the thief in the restaurant who shouts ‘fire!'”. They also, like they always do when talking about Canada, had a brief bit (this time featuring Samantha Bee, a Canadian) explaining just where, exactly, Canada is.
And finally, the first (what I would call) gaffe of the campaign: Stephen Harper wants to re-introduce the same-sex marriage debate, by holding a free vote in the commons, should he be elected. But of course, the legislation has already passed. I don’t know why he’d even bother bringing up this issue. The pundits say he’s hoping honesty now will prevent later calls on his “secret hidden agenda”, but really? This is the issue you want out in the open? All this does for me is make me think “This must just be the tip of the iceberg”. Reminding me that you have these bizarre, backwards-looking social policies just makes me fearful for what even less popular policies you don’t want to talk about.