What's your reaction to the long, unofficial federal election campaign? Do you like what you're hearing?
Federal election campaign: The fixed election date means all parties have been revving their engines for months in advance, before the official start. Do you like a longer campaign? Does it create more time to consider the issues? Do you like what you are seeing and hearing?
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When Parliament traditionally breaks for its summer recess there is always a 'schools-out-for-summer' glee to it. This past Friday however, it had more the feel of a racetrack when the doors flip open and the horses charge out of the starting gates. The difference is… this is an election year ...and everybody knows it, because of the new fixed-date election law.
In fact, the whole political season has been infused with anticipation. All parties have been openly campaigning. You see it in Question Period. You see it in government announcements of new programs, and in new policy positions by the opposition parties. And you see it on TV in ads pumping the trustworthiness of one party over the obvious failings of another.
Coupled with the certainty of the election ...is the uncertainty of the outcome. Three parties, all roughly tied in the polls, presents at this early stage, a range of possibility that is historically extremely rare in Canadian politics. It's as if Halley's Comet is arriving during a solar eclipse along with a conjunction of the planets. It's a good time to open a broad discussion on Canadian politics. What do you want ...and what can you rightfully expect?
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How do you view the fixed election date ...and this very long campaign? Is it a good thing, offering more time to discuss important issues of policy ...or as some suggest ...is it simply an opportunity for more political angling and posturing?
Summer is a time politicians go back into their constituencies and try to get back in touch with the people who voted for them, and to perhaps build more support. What message would you deliver to your MP, should you cross paths at a barbeque?
Is politics still a good way to administer our lives and get things done ...or have you become disillusioned with the way politics is practiced? Do people understand what it takes to build the political consensus necessary to make change?
What about leadership and integrity in politics ...is it getting rare? Perhaps we are getting the leaders we deserve. If we get bickering and insults in question period, is that because it's what we expect ...and the politicians are happy to oblige ...while the media make sure they deliver the goods? You only have to checkout the great democratic forum of Twitter to discover that snarkiness reigns today.
Fifty MPs are stepping down and will not run again ...are you going to miss anyone? Is this an opportunity for political renewal? What is the challenge of political renewal? Is it in finding good people ...or finding good policies that are both needed and wanted?
The issue of democratic reform has been raised repeatedly over the past few years ...but this past week Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made it a solid plank in his election platform. He promised that if elected, it will be the last election with the first-past-the-post system. Is electoral reform a priority with you? How would you rate it in relation to the economy or the environment?
Our question today: "What's your reaction to the long, unofficial federal election campaign? Do you like what you're hearing?"
I'm Susan Bonner ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius XM, satellite radio channel 169 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.
Michael Den Tandt
Columnist for National Post
Sitting independent MP for Edmonton-St. Albert
Anne Lagacé Dowson
Former Montreal NDP candidate in 2008 election in the riding of Westmount--Ville-Marie
Former Liberal MP for St. John's South - Mount Pearl, Newfoundland
Executive director of Samara, an advocacy group for democratic civic engagement
Associate Professor of political science at University of Windsor.
- Senate abolition a non-starter despite Mulcair's push, by Chris Hall
- Justin Trudeau vows to end 1st-past-the-post voting in platform speech, by Rosemary Barton
- Tom Mulcair's 'government in waiting' rattles Liberals and Tories, by Terry Milewski
- Mulcair sows confusion over NDP's promised corporate tax hike, by Joan Brydon
- C-51 could trigger NDP-Liberal coalition, conservative critics warn, by Kady O'Malley
- Retiring MPs offer some regrets in farewells to Parliament, by Chris Hall
- Liberals losing steam as election approaches, polls suggest, by Éric Grenier
- James Moore, Conservative cabinet minister, leaving politics for family
- Moore, MacKay just latest losses for federal Conservatives
- How to make Parliament more family friendly (Jan. 18, 2015)
- CP: Commons calls it quits with polls showing NDP lead in pre-election steeple chase
- CP: Trudeau announces plan to kill first-past-the-post by the next election
- Stephen Harper's 'take me or leave me' approach deliberate, by Michael Den Tandt
- Mulcair and Trudeau have utterly changed political Canada in one day, by Michael Den Tandt
- CP: Tom Mulcair at Economic Club of Canada: 'NDP governments are the best at balancing books'
- Justin Trudeau's proposed reform package is serious, substantive and radical, by Andrew Coyne
- Can any government be trusted to pass electoral reform without rigging the process in its own favour? by John Ivison
- Liberals find a passion for electoral reform — after a decade of losing, by Kelly McParland
- Stop talking out loud about changing the senate. We can't, by Colby Cosh
- CP: Cabinet minister James Moore won't run in upcoming election
Globe and Mail
- Election season is on as parties shift into full campaign mode
- The Tories are spooked by the NDP's rise, but they're not panicked, by John Ibbitson
- For the federal NDP, leading the polls this early is a mixed blessing, by Bruce Anderson
- With Liberal plan, voters have real options for change, by Jeffrey Simpson
- Trudeau's big idea and the art of compromise, by Andrew Stark
- Trudeau vows to repeal parts of Bill C-51
- Mulcair gets current corporate tax rate wrong while explaining his promise to raise it
- Ex-Tory 'a good example to the rest of us,' Conservative MP says (Sept. 18, 2014)
- The perils of the career politician, by Donald Savoie (Oct. 6, 2014)
- NDP the party most-trusted by Canadian families, poll shows
- Minister James Moore's exit leaves Tories' front bench awfully thin
- Trudeau on fixing the way Canadians pick MPs
- Trudeau's reforms, three 'ifs' and a set of Ginsu steak knives, by Paul Wells
- A new deal for Parliament: Justin Trudeau's plan for reforming Parliament and what else might be done, by Aaron Wherry
- Parliament: Does it get any worse than it just got? by Aaron Wherry
- Where the provinces stand on Senate reform, by Aaron Wherry
- The permanent campaign is now a Canadian institution, by Susan Delacourt
- Reforming or abolishing the Senate a tricky business, by Susan Delacourt