Stephen Harper was in Niagara Falls to make another plea for a Conservative majority. After calling the NDP “ideological throwbacks” when it comes to trade issues, his daily reannouncement was to continue negotiating the perimeter agreement. When taking questions from the media, he was asked about the rise of the NDP as a comment on his trustworthiness (we need a strong, stable Conservative majority!); how his focus on the Liberals put Layton in the position he’s in now (we need a strong, stable Conservative majority!); but seriously, what about the polls in Quebec (we need a strong, stable Conservative majority!); the advance poll's turnout (it means people want to give us a strong, stable Conservative majority!); and cross-border shopping (I don’t comment on the value of the dollar, I lowered the GST).
Jack Layton held a rally in Yellowknife, but it wasn’t carried live. The party billed it as the momentum moving up north.
Michael Ignatieff was at a rally in Quebec City, where he lambasted the arguments of holding Harper to a minority, while he is out to replace Harper. He dismissed Jack Layton as someone with a nice smile who no one has put under a microscope, and said Canadians are more intelligent than that. He pointed out that Layton is a centralizer in every part of the country except Quebec, which is a terrible inconsistency. He talked about the cultural sector, pointing out that he was a freelance writer for years and Layton’s inconsistency on the gun registry. He spoke about the politics of hope and the contents of his platform. He hammered on about their understanding of what a responsible government does and the competency of his team. He touched on the scandals of the Harper government and made one last plea for people to vote Liberal.
There’s a story in the National Post about yet another mystery (or “placeholder”) NDP candidate, this time in Quebec, who is spending three weeks of the campaign in France. The story also brings up the experience of the ADQ in Quebec; a large number of rookies were suddenly thrust into the role of the official opposition, which crumbled after just over a year.
A look at Layton’s lobbying record shows he has the ear of unions and environmentalists – not that this should surprise anyone.
Here’s an amusing piece on the difficulty of translating some of Gilles Duceppe’s campaign; some of the language can be a bit vulgar.
And Ed the Sock gives some advice to Ignatieff.
Programming note: Blog coverage will become sporadic over the next 24 hours as I am out of town and unable to recap campaign events scheduled for tonight and tomorrow morning. I will resume Friday afternoon.