By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 10, 2015
Thanksgiving gatherings fuel election discussion
It’s the burning question for Canada’s federal party partisans this Thanksgiving weekend: Which turkeys will get cooked?
Advance polls open Friday for voters wishing to get an early jump on the Oct. 19 election, but the real action may take place around dinner tables, TV sets and camp or cottage closings.
Since long before this 78-day election campaign began, the October holiday weekend has been circled on calendars as a crucible where the fortunes of Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau could be forged: Far-flung families gathering together to talk turkey, just as voters begin focusing on who should form the next government.
This year’s 11-week campaign actually encompassed three statutory holidays. It began Sunday Aug. 2 on the Civic Holiday weekend, ambled through Labour Day and now will reach a crescendo on Thanksgiving.
All the political parties have also been blasting their supporters with Thanksgiving-themed messages, ramping up the urgency of closing the deal.
And Facebook partisans have been having a field day.
One typical jibe making the rounds shows a classic roast turkey with the caption: “Thanksgiving: An opportunity to talk your family out of voting Conservative. You’ll probably ruin dinner but you may just save Canada.”
Mike Marzolini of Pollara Strategic Insights, a former Liberal party pollster, says the Conservative platform was winning over engaged voters in late 2005.
Marzolini predicts what he calls “some interesting opinion changes” this weekend, but strongly warns against reading much into any holiday polls.
He’s been doing daily tracking of federal and provincial campaigns since 1985 and says he’s thrown out an entire holiday weekend of polling more than eight times.
“What I know from experience to be absolutely true is that all polls conducted over a family holiday weekend are wonky — without exception.” (Source: CTV News)