Federal election kicks off today
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau will ask Canada’s Governor General to ring the bell today for a 40-day federal election campaign, one that pits a scandal-ridden Liberal government against a Conservative opposition that has yet to capitalize on the struggles of its principal rival.
The 2019 campaign leading up to election day Oct. 21 is also promising an interesting undercard: a fight between Jagmeet Singh’s foundering NDP and the resurgent Green party of Elizabeth May for third-party bragging rights.
Further down the lineup, watch for whether Maxime Bernier can punch above the weight of dismal polling numbers to make his upstart People’s Party of Canada an actual political force, and whether the Bloc Quebecois can recapture the attention of Quebecers after the party nearly dissolved in a civil war.
By the end, of course, the standings could be very different, with an unexpected champion. All the parties have been sparring for weeks, preparing for what many predict will be a brutish battle for the 170 seats needed for a majority.
Liberal ministers have been making government funding announcements all summer long, while rarely missing an opportunity to swipe at the Conservatives for their links to some of the more polarizing figures on the political right.
The Conservatives have bounced around the country too, lashing out at the Liberals on issues like the carbon tax and the recent finding by the ethics commissioner that Trudeau broke ethics law by interfering in the question of whether SNC-Lavalin ought to go to court on bribery charges.
The ruling was damning but it didn’t appear to move the polls much in the Conservatives’ favour, indicating that for them, this campaign is not just about explaining why Trudeau shouldn’t be re-elected.