By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 9, 2015
Canada Election Shifts Gears After Trying Summer for Harper
After a month of campaigning, the three-way race for Canada’s Oct. 19 election has narrowed as warning signs emerge for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his bid for a fourth consecutive term.
The incumbent Conservative has endured an explosive court case, talk of a recession and a refugee crisis that have eroded his traditional core platform planks: accountability and economic stewardship. Tom Mulcair of the leftist New Democratic Party and Justin Trudeau of the centrist Liberals, meanwhile, are each working to position themselves as the best alternative to Harper.
Polls have shown the three parties essentially tied — though one, published Monday night by Nanos Research, suggests Harper has sunk to third place. The deadlock may break as Canada emerges from an end-of-summer long weekend, with students returning to classrooms and workers settling back into routine.
“The campaign to date has been largely a phone campaign producing little attention,” said Frank Graves of Ekos Research. “All of this will change post-Labour Day as the real war for votes begins in earnest.”
An Ekos poll published Friday showed Mulcair’s New Democrats in the lead with 30.2 percent support, Harper’s Conservatives at 29.5 percent and Trudeau’s Liberals close behind at 27.7 percent. Monday’s Nanos survey, conducted for CTV and The Globe and Mail, found the NDP ahead with 32.7 percent, followed by the Liberals at 30.8 percent and Harper at 26.2 percent.
The election’s first month included two weeks of testimony in the criminal trial of former Conservative senator Mike Duffy that exposed the inner workings of Harper’s office and a plan to cover up disputed expenses. While explosive, that testimony has largely been forgotten now, Graves said. (Source: Bloomberg)