I tuned in — sort of — to some of the coverage of Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling the election for Oct. 19. It seems like he’s in a no win position no matter what he did today. By calling the election today, he faces all these accusations about how taxpayers money was going to be wasted because the election period was so long. But had he held off a few more weeks he would have faced different accusations about using taxpayers money for partisan purposes (ie. all these Canada’s Action Plan ads) when he could have called an election and saved taxpayers’ their money. So he would have been blasted no matter what. Isn’t being PM great?
Here in Saskatchewan, it seems like the early election call has caught all the parties and candidates off guard. I was in Saskatoon today to see Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but there were no political signs going up, nothing. That’s a stark contrast to past elections when I was living in Toronto, when elections would be called and the signs would start getting put up on the streets that very afternoon.
Of course, in Battlefords-Lloydminster not only are there no signs going up, but incumbent Conservative Gerry Ritz has yet to know who his opponents are. None of the other parties have nominated anyone yet, although I understand the NDP are having their nomination meeting in two weeks. As for the Liberals, they were thrown into turmoil when their original nominee withdrew over a controversial Facebook posting. So I don’t know what’s happening with them.
Anyway, that tells you the state of the race right now. Yes, technically we’re into an election, and yes, the official campaign period is a long one. But the reality is that things are barely getting organized on the ground, so the amount of “actual” campaigning from the local campaigns isn’t going to go on for a full 77 days in a lot of these ridings. It’ll be a bit shorter than that. That’s pretty obvious based on what I saw today.
Honestly, at least here in Saskatchewan, I get the impression more people care about whether Corey Chamblin is being fired as coach of the Roughriders than about politics. Seriously.
Also, a reminder to myself to post an angry rant tomorrow about what happened to Cecil the Lion and HitchBOT in the past week. Human beings are just terrible, folks. That’s all.