Harper’s people sent out a press advisory yesterday that he would be visiting the Governor-General today. Since it is unlikely he’s meeting him for brunch, this would be for the dropping of the writ to start what will be a very long nasty election campaign.
Like millions of Canadians, I will need to make a choice by the time October 19th rolls around. Being a regular consumer of news and information by the time most elections roll around, I’ve pretty much decided which party I don’t want therefore, I will be voting for the other party. Until now.
I’ve always been a person who viewed federal politics as either Conservative or Liberal. The NDP were an interesting side-show that managed to keep some on their toes. The Bloc, well, I’ll be charitable and just call them more of a Quebec side-show than a Canadian party and the Greens, they make some noise but don’t really register in my world.
I remember chatting with my rather dyed-in-the-wool Conservative brother during the 2011 campaign. One of the few things we both fully agreed on was the perception that Jack Layton and the NDP could say what they wanted, they would never have to back it up in government.
Then they became the Loyal Opposition, largely due to an influx of seats in Quebec. Flash in the pan and the shine on Jack Layton wont last forever was my feeling. After all, the NDP aren’t really serious contenders. How times change.
Here we are four years later and even with a new leader, the NDP are in fact serious contenders. They are currently sitting at the top of the polls with the Conservatives behind them and the Liberals behind both. Polls are showing 66% of Canadians want change. If the Liberals don’t manage to up their game, that change would have to be the NDP if it’s going to happen. If too many get into the polling booth and decide to hold their noses and vote for what they know rather than change, we could end up with no change.
There are some who believe I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal. I have often voted Liberal but not exclusively. My leanings tend toward wanting a government to balance fiscal prudence with social justice for those less fortunate without just handing out dollars for votes. The Liberals have often produced governments that come closest to that ideal.
In the days before the Harperites, there were Conservatives who felt similar. Joe Clark was the last Conservative I voted for. I also thought Stanfield would have made a great Prime Minister and that Mulroney was the worst Canada had ever seen. Then came Harper, he has won that crown.
For the first time in my adult life, the only thing I know for sure going into this election is that I want Harper gone. As for where my vote goes, I’m going to be looking for one of those other two parties to convince me.
Are you ready to commit to a voting intention or still looking to be convinced?