Undecided voters make election outcome a mystery

I looked at the latest poll in the Globe and Mail yesterday morning. It continues to indicate the election will be very close, but it also showed there is a weakness in the Canadian voter.
Almost one in four indicated they are likely to change their choice of candidate in the next two weeks.
We Canadians are fickle and it reminds the candidates that they cannot let up on their campaigning from now until election day.
Around our household, our family has discussed the platforms a great deal and both my sons warn me to be wary of the Conservative party. As my eldest says, “Some of the Conservative candidates are really scary.”
My younger son is even more critical of the parties. “They’re all going to lie to you, and do whatever they want when they get in; so why vote?” he notes.
Both these young people are similar to young voters across Canada who feel their vote will not have any impact on the government and that the parties really are not focusing on the issues of young people in Canada.
They may be right. Pollsters, politicians, and campaigners focus on the largest demographic groups in Canada and plan their campaigns around those groups. The “baby-boom” generation now aged 45-60 continues to be the largest demographic group in Canada and many of the policies of the parties focus on this group.
If you look at the simple statements of the three leaders in outlining their party’s platform, all are motherhood statements.
Jack Layton (NDP) states:
•Create opportunities and jobs in a green and prosperous economy;
•Improve public health care with innovation—not privatization;
•Invest in cities and communities through clean water, housing, and transit;
•Expand access to post-secondary education;
•Make life more affordable and secure—starting with protecting pensions, removing GST from family essentials, and expanding childcare;
•Strengthen Canada’s independent voice for peace, human rights, and fair trade on the world stage;
•Restore integrity and accountability in government; and
•Balance the budget
Paul Martin states: “We want a Canada with strong social foundations—a Canada in which people are treated with dignity and given a hand when needed; a Canada in which communities have the tools to find local solutions to local problems.”
Stephen Harper, in his campaign, states: “Demand better. Canada’s coat of arms displays the words, ‘They desire a better country.’ To desire a better country—to demand better—is part of our Canadian spirit.
“Canadians work hard at their jobs and within their communities because we know what it means to demand better from ourselves and for each other. It is only the Liberal government in Ottawa that seems to settle for less.
“No accountability for waste and corruption. High taxes. A weak economy. Crumbling health care. And lax safety and security.
“They settle for less even as they demand more and more in taxes from hard-working Canadian families.”
Two are positive statements. One is negative. I watched Paul Martin’s throne speech and budget speech. Neither were exciting. But once the election began, every day he had a new most important issue and on no two days did the most important issue remain the same.
I wondered why, when he prepared his throne speech and budget, he did not outline what was most important and begin his campaign with the two speeches in the house.
Jack Layton has brought charisma and charm into the election and is very photogenic. Sometimes his statements get him into trouble.
I doubt Stephen Harper ever imagined that he would be doing this well. He may have in his best dreams. He is in a tough position trying to maintain a prime ministerial persona while some of his maverick candidates speak out on their private issues and bring attention to past issues.
In this riding, not only do we have candidates representing the three mainstream parties, we also have a Green Party candidate, Marijuana Party candidate, and a Christian Heritage Party candidate.
Our staff has interviewed all six candidates and you can read the interviews in this week’s Times. Maybe it will help you make up your mind.
There are three advance polls prior to election day. So if you will be away on June 28, I urge you to vote at one of the advance polls.

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