Election Post-Mortem #elxn41 #cdnpoli: Or What Happened Canada?

Vote mob in Victoria Park. Rick Mercer and University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College students urged people to vote
Chalk drawing at the vote mob

In politics so much can change in a mere matter of hours. Take, for example the election that just took place. It started as a dull sprint. It ended full speed. At first it appeared that the Liberals had a small amount of momentum and the Conservatives mostly appeared angry and disinterested in the whole affair. The NDP didn’t ever really look capable of pulling off what they did at the end. So what happened? First of all it should be noted that I don’t think any of the parties ran a smart campaign. The Liberal campaign suffered a leader, Michael Ignatieff that didn’t appeal to the masses. They hung their whole hat on ethics and education. They missed the mark with that. The NDP initially had a small amount of support. They fed the percentage of the population that was angry with the status quo and disenchanted with the other two parties. And although the Conservatives won, they didn’t have a good campaign in my opinion. It was actually unimaginative, uninspired and undemocratic. It fed upon fear and paranoia of the masses. In Harper’s early London rally he was overly controlling and his handlers even lost marks for throwing a student out of the audience because her Facebook profile showed a picture of her with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. Candidates were clearly advised not to go to any townhall meetings or debates where the party handlers were unable to control the message.

The Harper rally in London

What happened?
People often talk about a turning point. I think there were two crucial moments in this campaign.

1. The early attack ads that the Conservatives ran – the ads showed Michael Ignatieff sitting in a pub and they challenged his patriotism, but more importantly in a world where image can be everything, they appeared red and he looked pinched. It was warped. To me the image made him appear a bit like Hitler. Extremely unflattering and called him American.

2. While the debate was mostly dull – to me there was a defining moment – a sucker punch. It was Jack Layton who pulled it off. He challenged Ignatieff on his attendance record. Ignatieff had the worst attendance record of any of the three major leaders in Parliament. The quote was something to the effect of – Mr. Ignatieff, Canadians who don’t show up for work, don’t get a promotion, they get fired.

In the end that’s exactly what happened.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.