Election day is looming, and a few thoughts about the contenders have been forming in my head:
Liberals — A party that focuses on fighting climate change, with the inevitable ambivalence toward fossil fuel, is never going to make many friends in Western Canada.
While the Liberals can make a decent case for their actions on this particular file, they have no excuses when it comes to the unsettling disregard they’ve shown for Parliament in the last two years.
Granted, the government did act quickly to stave off the financial disaster that faced many in the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 hit.
However, any goodwill it generated from its handling of the pandemic washed away the minute it called this unnecessary election. It appears to be paying the price.
Conservatives — Erin O’Toole has been playing a dicey game.
The party has a hard line conservative base, particularly in Western Canada, that doesn’t always play well with the more moderate voters it needs to win power.
In this election it is trying to placate the base while at the same time broadening its support. As a result, it sometimes finds itself saying different things to different people about the same issue.
Assault-style guns are a good example. The Conservatives are trying to assure hardcore gun supporters that going to repeal the Liberals’ recent ban, while at the same assuring the other side that the ban will stay in place.
Like I said, a dicey game.
NDP — The New Democrats are continuing their long-time practice of promising big with no chance of having to do anything about it.
The strategy seems to be working to some extent in this election, and the party appears to be resonating particularly well with young people.
I’m not a Tik Tok user, but Jagmeet Singh is apparently a big hit with younger people on that social media platform.
A big challenge for the party, of course, is that young people have a reputation for not always voting.
Maverick Party — This new political grouping says it wants to stand up for Western Canada the same way the Bloc Quebecois stands up for Quebec. I think Quebec’s political importance has more to do with how many seats it has rather than the BQ, but one can always dream.
Bloc Quebecois — See above.
People’s Party — Its supporters are most visibly associated with the violent anti-vaxxer mobs attacking the prime minister on the campaign trail. Enough said.