It’s been a hell of a few weeks on the campaign trail. The Conservatives recovered from a tumble and the Liberal surge subsided. The result is nearly equal support for the Liberals, NDP, and Conservatives ahead of the second leader’s debate tonight. Canadians can’t decide who not to vote for! But that’s just the big picture. How did we get here?
One event that raised eyebrows but probably had no impact on the national polling averages was the discovery that an NDP candidate swore on facebook. Katherine Anne Swampy, who is running for the NDP in Alberta, apparently used profanity during a series of threatening facebook posts directed at “rabbitt bitches” who were “fucking with the wrong chicka.” Someone later discovered that her husband appeared in a 5-year old photo with some guys who appear to be holding a handgun. The NDP claims that it is a toy handgun. The Rob Ford 2018 campaign is probably already preparing a press release about how the former Mayor had nothing to do with it. In any case, Swampy joins a tri-partisan crowd of candidates who have found themselves in hot water over social media activity.
In other news, the Conservatives released an attack ad featuring actors reciting Conservative Party talking points. The surprising conclusion was an admission that “Stephen Harper isn’t perfect.” To the average Canadian, the ad was intuitive. For the Rob Ford campaign, it presented an opportunity to sue for copyright infringement.
Most notably, the NDP released a parody of the Conservatives’ “Just not ready” ad. Following in the Conservatives’ footsteps, the NDP ad takes a few liberties when representing Harper. However, unlike the Conservative’s deliberate misrepresentation of Trudeau’s stance on pension-splitting, the NDP merely ties Harper to the crimes committed by his party and the people he appointed to do business with him. The other major difference between the two ads is that the Conservative ad mocked Justin Trudeau’s hairstyle as if it was his only desirable quality. In contrast, the NDP ad mocks Stephen Harper’s hairstyle because it is obviously undesirable. In an ordinary campaign, this might represent a low point. However, with just under a month to go until election day, there is still plenty of time for both parties to stoop lower.
So, if you haven’t been paying attention until now, you’re probably wondering why anyone follows election campaign news. Let me answer that question for you; we do it because we’re bored. Just make sure you participate on election day.