View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – And They’re Off! 2015 Election Campaign Begins! AUG 4, 2015 #CDNPOLI

Canadians have been given front row seats to one of the longest elections in our history. With 76 days left we can only pray that at some point in time it becomes interesting.

There certainly wasn’t much excitement in the first few days of the campaign to grab our attention. Do voters care that Mulcair didn’t take questions on Day One? Do voters even know the names of enough  Quebec NDP MPs to judge as Harper declared, they are the “most ineffective group of any group of MPs in history” or that “There’s not a single star among Mulcair’s caucus in Quebec.” (CP 4 July 2015).

Speaking of nastiness, didn’t Justin Trudeau promise to run a different type of campaign? One based on being positive and different.

“I’m going to respond in a tone and in a way that is very different because fundamentally, what negative attacks are most focused on is getting people to turn away from options.” (Global News, 7 April 2013)

“Yes there are a lot of fault lines we can play up to divide this country but for me it’s much more interesting to look for those common values that define Canadian identity (The Star, 27 March 2013)

“We might not agree all the time on everything. We might disagree about a great many things, but I know we can agree on this: Negativity cannot be this country’s lifeblood.” (Justin Trudeau speech 22 February 2014)

“[They are] hopeful that positive politics has a fighting chance against the steady barrage of negativity that you and I both know is coming soon to TV screens across Canada.” (Global News, 15 April 2013)

Yet there he was being just like all the other politicians with his comment that “With friends like Stephen Harper, the Alberta economy doesn’t need enemies,” Trudeau said. “He let you down. He let us all down.” (CBC News, 4 August 2015).

It is nice to know that he isn’t any different from the other politicians out there. I suspect that Canadians are so used to this type of nastiness in our politics that they will just shrug and go on enjoying the summer weather.

The only people excited about this election so far are partisans, pundits, pollsters and professional media types. They dutifully post all sorts of messages on Twitter or publish articles that try to make it sound like every little item that happened that day is important.

It’s far too early for most Canadians to make up their minds about which leader they want to run the country. We have plenty of time to watch the plethora of political attack ads each night on our TV screens or as I suspect use those ads as a reason to slip away from the TV to get a snack in the kitchen.

For now the various campaigns will make few mistakes. The leaders and their teams are fresh, their talk points sharply honed, but give it a bit of time. Wait until around week four or five when the leaders are worn out from travelling and war room staff are living on caffeine and getting far too few hours of rest. Then things will get interesting.

As for all the polls that keep coming out day after day, many heralding just minor movements of support, I am reminded of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s words: “I would never have been Prime Minister if the Gallup poll were right.” (February 25, 1970, Toronto Star).


  1. There’s a world of difference between a negative personal attack (e.g. Harper’s caustic play on Trudeau’s first name as “Just in” as in not qualified for PM) and citing facts (Trudeau’s saying to an Alberta audience “[Harper] let you down. He let us all down,” which is fact-based when you recall Harper’s staking Canada’s economy on the Alberta tar sands with the boast that they would make Canada an “energy superpower”). I make this distinction as a point of fairness, not as a Trudeau fan; I find his support of Bill C-51 appalling and a complete turn-off..

  2. So if I follow PJ’s logic if the price of oil or gold or tech stocks takes a downturn potential economic benefit is lost altogether. Tell that to investors who see those occurrences usually as a golden opportunities. In fairness, economics is not everyone’s strength.

    “Which is fact based”. No PJ what you stated was an opinion not a fact. Bloggers logic seems to be clouding your judgement. No points for credibility for that one.

    If it is valid to suggest that criminals have little regard for the law in general that it would be equally fair to suggest that anyone that has something to hide would not receive a law that might reveal the dark truth of themselves. Personally the existence of Bill C-51 poses no clear and present danger to anyone that I know directly and I hope that its intended purpose means that neither myself or any other non military person has to pick up arms here at home in Canada.

  3. David, you are sounding like a certain preacher who posts on this site. Anyone who doesn’t share your view is misguided and ignorant of the “facts”.

  4. Furtz, Can you follow Oldham’s train of thought, especially the first sentence of his third paragraph–that is if it can be called thought?

  5. PJ, all I know is that David is a devout Conservative, and he believes that Harper is infallible. .Religious and political fanatics are always convinced that only they know “The Truth”. It does get a bit tiresome.

  6. Furtz you are right. I forgot myself. I find purposely misleading or outright false statements and uniformed opinion sometimes overwhelmingly irritating. I should have contained myself and not gravitated to the dark side. I can almost feel the flames licking my feet. Is it too late to repent?

  7. PJ sorry for the confusing run on sentence. I found it hard to follow myself. The word after “general” should have been “than” not “that”. The point being that if an individual has nothing to hide Bill C-51 is not likely to rain on their parade. Exceptions however might be included in conspiracy theories concerning possible unscrupulous application(s) of the bill.

  8. Furtz, but devout Conservatives don’t say sorry. For that they get excommunicated. Or worse: the boys empowered by Bill C-51 pull them in for questioning.

    David, “sorry” is good with me but risky for you. Watch your back when you’re out, and when you’re safely (?) home, lock the doors and pull the blinds.

    “outright false statements” – you mean lies? A Conservative hallmark.

    “uninformed” – no one should be permitted to languish in that woebegone state. Help is on its way. Follow the highly informed and informative link below:

    “unscrupulous application(s) of the bill” – aha, what a give-away! Pray tell me: What scruples has the party responsible for Bill-C51 ever had when it routinely trashes anyone who disagrees with them, attacks officers of Parliament, impugns the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, appoints Senators to be fundraising bagmen, muzzles scientists, deregulates laws protecting the environment, breaks its own election laws, attempts to rig elections, outright lies about the cost of military jets, fails the Canadian federation by declining to meet with the provincial leaders and routinely disrespects those that head a different party, fails Canada’s First Nations over and over, etc. etc. etc.?

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