The campaign for the federal election, scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015, is heating up, and with the House of Commons doors expected to close next week if not sooner, MPs will be heading home to start drumming up support in their ridings.
During the final days in this session of Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been introducing several pieces of legislation for the shameless purpose of grabbing more votes in the upcoming election.
These bills are basically about getting tough on crime and giving more power to government to provide security and protection of Canadians even if they step on the toes of our rights and freedoms.
Although the most recent bills will likely die on the table when the writ to start the official election campaign is dropped, this legislation will be popular with pro-Conservative voters.
The Tories are also counting on seniors – powerful block of voters because they actually go to the polls – to support them. Harper has been passing legislation to help them financially in the autumn years of their lives.
Harper is also reaching out to the younger generation by dangling increased child benefits and other goodies in hopes it encourages them to go to the polls and vote for Conservative candidates.
He knows it’s a long shot because young people tend not to mark their ballots, but if his party picks up a larger percentage of those who do vote, it might be enough to tip the scales.
Tory MPs have been handing out money – albeit small amounts over several years – to groups that have been neglected or offended by the Harper government since the last election.
The prime minister knows he has to pull out all the stops if his party is going to get re-elected.
However, the landscape for the impending federal election is quite different than it was when Canadians went to the polls in 2011.
Back then the Conservative Party was the front runner by a large margin six months before the election.
However, the NDP under the late Jack Layton pulled his party ahead of the Liberals to form the Official Opposition.
After faltering a bit with Layton’s passing and the rise in Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s early popularity, the NDP is coming on strong under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair.
According to recent polls, the New Democrats are virtually neck-and-neck with the Conservatives and the Liberals are in a slumping third place.
Furthermore, the NDP is the only party that is surging ahead in the polls, while the others are falling behind.
This election could be determined how many people turn out to vote.
If there is a significant increase at the polls and there is some block voting (First Nations and veterans) across the country, there may be a new party forming government.