It’s election day. Get out and vote!
At a stop in London, Ontario, someone in the audience called Stephen Harper a liar. (After the heckler was quickly hustled out of the rally, partisans said he was an NDP supporter, but he told reporters that he was an unaligned former Liberal.) Harper told the audience that if the NDP platform sounds too good to be true, then it probably is and then went on to his high-tax scare. He again made his plea to Liberal voters with an altered scare tactic, saying that the NDP would need Bloc support to take over. He finished off the night in Abbotsford, BC, with another speech.
Michael Ignatieff was in the GTA with stops in Don Valley West (Rob Oliphant’s riding), Thornhill and Vaughan.
Jack Layton made a stop in Oshawa, where he spoke about – guess what? – the “winds of change.” He travelled on to Toronto to speak in Beaches-East York; the message was upgraded to a “cyclone of change” in Quebec that was moving across the nation. He had one last rally in Scarborough, where the message was downgraded to “winds of change,” we will defeat Harper and get out the vote.
And in a late-night broadcast, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Shortly thereafter, Stephen Harper came on the air from Abbotsford to call the death a measure of justice for the Canadians killed on 9/11 and to say that this doesn’t stop the threat of terrorism and we will stand by our allies. To his credit, he kept it short, dignified and didn’t use it to score partisan points.
(And those who think that this means the war in Afghanistan is now over, and we will bring our troops home – and the NDP called it first! – should be reminded that this has little to do with the current situation in Afghanistan. It may actually exacerbate the situation there.)
While Layton may be ahead in the polls, there are concerns that his team holds a lot of unknowns, especially in Quebec, which raises questions about bench strength. As well, with some polls putting them in reach of a minority government, there are admissions from the party that their platform is largely “aspirational” and not built for governing.
And here is a look at what the WikiLeaks-revealed diplomatic cables say about our party leaders.