CBC News Federal Election

The Campaign

The Handlers

Suit or polo shirt? Glasses or contact lenses? Breakfast or barbeque? Perhaps not what to say, but certainly how to say it.

For the answers to these problems many candidates will turn to their campaign managers, the people who work behind the scenes to guide those who would be Members of Parliament through the complex web of issues, demographics and image that are central to the art of running a modern political campaign.

The CBC has explored the world of three political handlers in Nova Scotia: one each from the Liberals, the Conservatives, and the NDP. Their beliefs on the issues and how to run the federal government may be very different, but they all have to deliver their message to the same voters. They need to identify a focus for the campaign, design a look for the candidate and all campaign materials, and create a schedule for the candidate. The plan is to both swing undecided voters and motivate the party faithful. They have to do it with a staff that is comprised almost entirely of volunteers.

They do this without fanfare, intentionally focusing the spotlight on the candidate. Here these campaigners, who have long been an integral part of the political process, are revealed.

Dale Palmeter
Dale Palmeter  
Dale Palmeter, managing Liberal Scott Brison’s campaign in Kings Hants, has the tricky assignment of a candidate who has switched parties from the Progressive Conservatives. Palmeter has fought more than a dozen campaigns, going back to Joe Clark’s days. As Jennifer Henderson reports, he may need every bit of that experience to return Brison to Parliament. Jennifer Henderson reports. - runs 7:59AUDIO (Runs 7:59)

Andy Moir
Andy Moir  
Andy Moir, campaign manager of Arthur Bull’s NDP campaign in West Nova, has never run a political campaign before. He’s chosen a tough assignment, a riding that has never elected a New Democrat before. Moir, a former TV producer and writer, hopes his communications experience, with some help from the internet, will pull his candidate through. Jennifer Henderson reports.Jennifer Henderson reports. - runs 7:30AUDIO (Runs 7:30)

Steve Taylor, co-chair of Conservative Steve Streatch’s campaign in Sackville-Eastern Shore, is counting on boundless energy and a broad web of political connections to unseat a popular NDP MP. Jennifer Henderson reports that as the campaign winds down, Taylor is pumped up for victory.Jennifer Henderson reports. - runs 7:30AUDIO (Runs 7:30)

The Campaign Today

Today's Papers  What Today's Papers are saying about the election. more »
Cartoon Gallery  Cartoon gallery more »

CBC Archives

CBC Archives  Campaigning for Canada: From King to Chrétien. more »

The Lighter Side

The lighter side  Fightin' words! more »

Campaign Overview

Spin Cycle  Spin Cycle: Pollsters in mourning. more »
Election cost  What an election costs more »
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