Cross Country Checkup

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 the longer campaign? Do you like what you are seeing and hearing?
Three images showing the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau as they rise in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill to speak about Canada's military mission in Iraq, Tuesday March 24, 2015 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (The Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode1:52:59

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?

Join guest host Susan Bonner, Sunday on Cross Country Checkup


GUESTS & LINKS

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INTRODUCTION

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?

We'd like to know what you think?  Call us at 1-888-416-8333

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.


GUESTS

Michael Den Tandt
​Columnist for National Post
Twitter: @mdentandt

Brent Rathgeber 
Sitting independent MP for Edmonton-St. Albert 
Twitter: @brentrathgeber  

Anne Lagacé Dowson
Former Montreal NDP candidate in 2008 election in the riding of Westmount--Ville-Marie
Twitter: @alagacedowson

Siobhán Coady
Former Liberal MP for St. John's South - Mount Pearl, Newfoundland 

Jane Hilderman
Executive director of Samara, an advocacy group for democratic civic engagement
Twitter: @jhilderman

Lydia Miljan
Associate Professor of  political science at University of Windsor.
Twitter: @lmiljan


LINKS


CBC.ca


 

National Post


Globe and Mail



Maclean's


Toronto Star


TWITTER & EMAIL