Parties push for momentum in post-Thanksgiving stretch
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, October 13, 2015 8:49AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:58AM EDT
While most Canadians were carving up the Thanksgiving turkey over the weekend, many were also carving up the federal election campaign, bouncing ideas off friends and family to form a political opinion before heading to the polls on Oct. 19.
The Thanksgiving weekend was a "critically important" weekend for campaign strategists hoping to build momentum for their respective parties, according to CTV political analyst Scott Reid who says it was an ideal time for Canadians to "unscientifically" hash out election issues with friends and relatives, before reaching a decision on how they will vote.
At the same time, Reid said, election campaigns were focusing on presenting themselves as frontrunners.
"People literally turkey-bone their way through the decision," Reid told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday. "All you wanted to do this weekend if you were a campaign, was show big, pleasant pictures of your campaign, trying to suggest momentum as a backdrop to those conversations with families."
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper posed for some of those "pleasant pictures" at a pumpkin patch in Waterloo, Ont. over the weekend, where his campaign bus stopped off for the photo op.
The federal parties have already released their election platforms, so there are no more major fiscal promises left to make. Now, the focus has shifted to building momentum and locking up votes ahead of Oct. 19, Reid said.
Each party will talk a big game heading into the home stretch of the election race, but Reid says their actions are more telling than their words. "Look at what the parties are doing. Don't listen to what they say – look at what they do," he said.
Reid points out that, as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continues to gain ground in the polls, he's out campaigning in ridings held by his rivals, in hopes of adding to his seat count. Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair are playing defence, putting their efforts into campaigning in ridings already considered secure, while also attacking Trudeau.
Elections Canada says the turnout at advance polls was up 16 per cent over 2011, with approximately 2.4 million voters going to the polls over three days.