Monday, May 24, 2004

We're Off

The Canadian federal election campaign is now underway. It started with Prime Minister Paul Martin visiting the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, and it included Martin taking some shots at Conservative leader Stephen Harper. The Liberal tactics, at least as far as the Conservatives are concerned, is to paint the party and especially the leader as a redneck right-winger who will push Canada toward a more American style of government. Apart from whether or not that might be a good thing, it's clear that the Liberals are hoping to stay on top in Ontario by painting Harper in the scariest colors possible. But Harper hasn't exactly been obliging. Instead, he's come across as reasoned, respectable and relatively moderate. His campaign launch stuck to issues that will ressonate well with many rural and suburban Ontario voters. I have no doubt that the Liberals will come out on top when all the votes are counted, but their strategy of demonizing Harper in order to retain their majority may already be falling apart.

Throughout the campaign, I'll provide my analysis of events and look at the races across Canada and among the various parties. And right now, things are looking up, not only for the Conservatives, but for the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois.

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