Politics of Canada
13 min

Day 29 continued: Halifax, Montreal and PEI

The replay of Ignatieff’s morning press event in Halifax saw questions on the NDP's rise in popularity (their platform doesn’t add up – they have billions in spending, and cap-and-trade revenues are science fiction); why he’s now turned his guns on the NDP (it’s still a choice of governments, and we have the experience); his health platform (there's been some success in certain provinces with pharmacare, and there are still some provinces with service gaps – we need better access across the board); the Conservative candidate being endorsed by the backers of the Air India bombing (the Sikh community has learned hard lessons in the past 30 years, that period is in our past, and no one should have anything to do with that past); and his plans for the rest of the campaign (we'll give a positive message of what we can do for Canadians, and the Conservatives use a message of fear instead of Canadian priorities).

Jack Layton was first up in the afternoon, holding a rally in Gilles Duceppe’s riding in Montreal. It is notable that the NDP's Quebec signs have changed: they now have fleurs-de-lys. The rally drew a big crowd, which was estimated to be more than 1,000. It started off with updated versions, in both French and English, of the two-minute “You have a choice” video. When Layton took the stage, he talked about daring to make change, bringing the troops home and people thinking that he was too nice to be in politics. He said he will do things differently in office and that the job of a prime minister is to unite the country, not just to be there for the corporations. He moved on to talk about how Quebec was at the forefront of change and peace, and ended on that. I will note two things: he talked about how the NDP doesn’t campaign negatively in the same way the others do (which isn’t true), and he didn’t go after the leaders by name in this rally – unlike all of his others. It was interesting to watch him play to this audience like that.

At the press scrum afterward, Layton was asked about his strategy (we have plenty of volunteers spreading the word); having both parties attack him (things are happening, and the Liberals copied our platform anyway); Quebec always having 25 percent of the seats (he believes in representation by population, and this needs to be discussed in the House); saying he's running for prime minister (people can’t vote for leader of the opposition, so I'm going for the top job); his candidates not showing up for debates (they’re working hard, and they're difficult to get a hold of); this rally taking place so close to Duceppe’s office (it's a good venue); foreign policy (we need peace promotion); speaking up for Falun Gong (I always stand up for human rights); and cap-and-trade revenues booked in the first year (there's expertise here in Montreal, some states have it on the go, the revenues will go to environmental projects, and only the political will is lacking).

Michael Ignatieff headed to the riding of Egmont in PEI – the only riding not held by the Liberals in the province – to hold a rally, during which he called a hypothetical NDP government an “amateur hour.” But once again, CPAC hasn’t aired this, so I’m guessing I might see it during the recap show sometime around midnight.

Susan Delacourt shares her insights from touring the 905 belt, outside of the Ottawa political bubble. One notable event was a debate where candidates were asked to critique one of their own party promises – the Liberal and Green candidates did, but the NDP and Conservative candidates didn’t.

Inspired by Ignatieff’s Rise Up! speech, this video has hit YouTube, featuring a song and footage from vote mobs across the country.

And someone has compiled a Shelly Glover’s Greatest Hits package, also on YouTube, which indeed shows some of her greatest bouts of illogic and intellectual bankruptcy.
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