It should come as no surprise that with this election campaign (as with most current events), things are not truly how they appear to be in the news headlines. There is always more to the story than what’s in the headline. One needs to delve deeper into the facts of the matter to assess exactly what is occurring in the campaign.
Let’s take four election headlines that Canadians are seeing repeatedly in the early weeks of the election campaign. By George scratches the surface of these news headlines to raise a few important questions that Canadians should begin to consider.
“National Polls indicate there is a 3-way race”
While the polls may indicate “a statistical tie” among the three major parties, these numbers do not reveal the real “race.” It is the analysis of seat projections and not opinion polls that tell a more complete story about which party has the best chance of coming out on top. One needs to factor the seat projects – from regional polling numbers – to get a true indication of how the Parties are trending. And, when you do these calculations, the race to form government is actually a two-pony contest between the Conservatives and NDP; and, the Liberals trail in a distant third place.
“The majority of Canadian want a change of government”
This statement tells us absolutely nothing that was not true in the 2011 election. The majority of Canadians never voted for and have never supported the Conservatives and Stephen Harper. Therefore, it is expected that the majority opinion would want to see a new federal government and Prime Minister. As stated above, in reflecting on public opinion polling numbers, one needs to look deeper into the data to find kernels of truth that may be useful in spotting voting intentions and trends. This type of opinion polling regarding “change” is a red herring – good headline fodder for the many who are anti-government.
“Mulcair has been the PM-in-the-making for a long while”
It is always interesting in an election campaign to watch political leaders craft their life narratives as if they are on some destined, will-to-power linear paths. In this election, we have a great example in “your smiling, man-of-convictions Tom”. As an opportunistic Quebec-politician, Thomas Mulcair has gone through an extensive make-over in the last 18 months – Happy Warrior or Angry Tom?. What Canadians now see when looking at Mulcair is a spit-and-polished, backroom persona. So, it is incumbent for voters to get beyond the “PM-in-the-making” narrative and ask a couple of key questions: “Does Mulcair possess the character to be a good PM?” and “Can Mulcair critically think beyond his Quebec-mindset to govern in the best interests of Canadians in TROC?”
“NDP is ready to govern”
The core NDP message is that their competent Leader is prepared to step into the Prime Minister’s Office. For the most part, media has not challenged whether the NDP are ready to govern, but has simply regurgitated the repeated claims of Mulcair’s competency. However, if one reviewed the list of NDP MPs and candidates and their life-experiences, it would be quickly recognized that there are great challenges in finding qualified people to fill key posts in Cabinet, such as finance and industry portfolios, or Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence. More significantly, you would note that this caucus would be led by a strong majority of young, inexperienced Quebec MPs; which leads one to wonder what this Quebecois-slanted governing caucus would mean for decisions regarding Ontario transfer payments, western oil and gas development, or international foreign policy? Truly, a Party requires more than a competent Leader to govern and the proof of the NDP’s governability is found in their light-weight, Quebecois-lead-caucus pudding.
By George Journal provides more election news and commentary in its posts tagged: “Election 2015”.