At his stop in PEI, Harper told the crowd that the best Ignatieff could hope for was to be a “backseat passenger” in an NDP government. Although he took no questions from reporters, he's apparently doing one-on-one interviews with selected outlets of his choosing throughout the day.
Jack Layton began his day at the Atwater Market in Montreal, where he gave his “winds of change” speech, saying the orange wave from Quebec was reaching BC. Like Harper, Layton was in full-bubble mode, taking no substantive questions from the media. The NDP tour then got on the bus for Kingston, Ontario, en route to Toronto. When he hit Kingston, he gave the same “winds of change” speech.
Michael Ignatieff began his day in Markham and then made his way to Ajax to visit Mark Holland’s office. He took questions from the media – asking the crowd to be on their best behaviour – and was asked about a moment when he seemed to get choked up during his speech (it was tremendous pride and love for his country); his plans for tomorrow evening (nobody has made their decision); whether he ever thought that Harper would reach out to Liberal voters as he is now (he’s shown incredible chutzpah in saying that, considering he hates the Liberal Party); whether he thought that he'd get back all of the 800,000 Liberals who stayed home last time (we have voter ID data that says so); whether those people would vote NDP instead (we have experience, and Liberals know that); the irony of Harper's saying that the only way to stop Layton is to vote for him (I’m telling Canadians to turn the TV off and decide for themselves what kind of Canada they want); whether he would commit to staying on as leader (he’ll do a sophomore campaign); his benchmark for victory (victory); how they were getting the base out (this crowd of volunteers is the machine, they’re getting the vote out, and we've spent a great deal of time getting out a modern election management system); the strength of the NDP over the Bloc being a good thing (their support is a kilometre wide and a millimetre deep, they can’t be just committed federalists – they must be coherent federalists, and their message is confused), and still wanting to lead, despite all the attacks (I’m not some poor victim, and this kind of work is inspiring).
One of the forgotten issues in this campaign – RCMP reform. Alison Crawford spoke to Michael Ignatieff about it on the Liberal bus yesterday.
And here is a list of candidates who didn’t show up for all-party events and debates throughout the campaign.