Going into the Homestretch
welcome to this week's episode of Blue Skies Tragedy Group's Canadian podcast. What you need to know about this week in in Canadian politics? I'm Cam from a consultant here. Blue Sky and joining me today or Neil Brodie fights president lines himself with the Blue Team and Jeff Aft- Turner Senior Consultant Who's closely following the liberal campaign. All right well here. We are the end of the end of this big week. And as of today voting has begun with advanced polls now open and threw out the long weekend. There are a lot of undecided voters out. There we'll start off with this wondering here. We'll Canadians Canadians. Come out this weekend to vote or will people wait the twenty-first to make up their mind. What do you think Well I know the I think the trend over the last couple of years is people going to advance dance polls to avoid the crowds on on election day I think the The question this time around will people want to go out and vote There have been no the change in the numbers in the polls since the beginning of the campaign which kind of reflects the No big winning issue. No big winning in plank For any of the parties It's kind of the Seinfeld election. It's really about nothing even though there have been some some large policy announcements by all the parties. Hardee's I I don't I don't know it's Thanksgiving weekend. If the weather's nice and people are with families they might stay home and the twenty-first but I think it's only I think that's it's only a a result of the weather. I think the bigger question is will people want to own vote this this time. What you Jeff? I don't think the proverbial undecided voter person who sort of ascribing identifies as unidentified. We'll go out this weekend. Because those types of voters tend to play chicken with the polls they go right to the very last minute before making up their mind I've been to lots of doors on the day before Election Day. Where people are still telling you? They're undecided so I don't think that's who's going to go out to advance polls weekend but that's not who is supposed to go to advance. Polls as far as campaign when is concerned Campaigns are working this weekend as many election day. First and foremost it's a way of warming up your machine for the big show on next Monday but secondly it's a way. AM getting the people you know or suspect highly are going to vote for you to the poll to effectively deposit that vote into the bank. So you can focus on the rest of the people on your list for the remainder of of the week. So that's that's what's happening this weekend. I think people are going after As far as campaigns are going after. ID voters to try to get them to go early. There are some voters who just naturally know that they're are gonNA be busy or they're traveling or town or it's not convenient or maybe. This weekend is more convenient than a Monday afternoon. So you'll definitely get those types of voters who may not be coming because as they are particularly strongly politically aligned or other things just convenient for them So I think The truly undecided voter which is who were talking about in this question I think they're sitting down over dinner or family engagement this weekend. And they were having that proverbial Thanksgiving conversation may not make up their mind but it will substantially advance. That and I think by next Monday they'll be ready to go. I think there are two factors really play into this. One is over the last couple of federal election cycles. We've seen more and more people get attuned to the idea of strategic voting and and that idea of trying to stop the lesser to whatever that may look like and therefore I've gotten more used to the idea of going at the last minute letting things play out see what happens at the polls for alternate jumping in because we face stories in two thousand eleven of people are saying oh I voted liberal to stop the MVP and Jack Layton surgeon. I feel terrible. How can I help you? And and I saw the opposite opposite in in in two thousand fifteen and I think you're seeing people are wising up a little bit and thinking okay. I'm GonNa wait a little bit longer to do this. The other thing though. I think it's interesting plaintiffs additive so well advanced polls open. Friday universities had polls open all week. And what's happened with that youth with that university vote at the did they actually get out to the act and AH obviously those votes are already now in the bank. That's the big thing I agree with that. You're saying Jeff at this point in the campaign you WANNA Walk People in as best you can and this an opportunity to do it so the people if they if they are feeling your way and you can get him out to vote now because it wasn't they change your mind will will cast. It doesn't matter anymore but I think it's going to be interesting when it comes to the polls calls we start to see some movement in the last couple of days especially in the personal approval numbers for Mr saying. I think the question is that does that continue play. And I think that's one of the things that keep people who are undecided undecided on the sidelines. This weekend is why does he does play out wanting to see you know it is. There is another option for me. If they wait they wait ten days. I'll have a better idea of where things in stand now. The other big thing this week we had we had. Both the official commissioned debates Monday night on on on their last Thursday night in French and quite the spectacles new formats live audiences. All this lovely stuff built up around so I wanted to get both your overall impression on this. Who who want who lost? Who looked good? Who wish they'd stayed home? Jeff Yeah I think. The format lost I think that was the unanimous. As far as the English language debate was concerned I think that was unanimous amongst no matter what your partisan stripe And that was just a bit of a shame because I think people were looking forward to this as a bit more of a neutral space jason bit more of a different format than before in past campaigns and I think a lot of people were disappointed with the election Debate on in English. The French nice to be made a lot of changes. I don't know whether that was always their plan. or whether the producers went into a bunker for a couple of days to really take the the sort maelstrom around the English debate and turn it into something better in their own production So either either Kudos if they did it. Better from the GECKO or Kudos if they turned it around in a couple of days for what was arguably a much better format I think we actually heard the leaders able to communicate they all. I think the leaders and the party certainly got the message that viewers and Canadian for frustrated by this kind of scrabble talking over each other in in those sorts of things in the first debate because they were all very polite. They're all very very accommodating if you will of other people's Time on the microphone and so I thought the French debate did a better service. So it's the it's the Canadians across the country. Hopefully should've watched. Unfortunately that won't be the case in in in English Canada I think in terms of just a answer question who who sort of broke through. Didn't I think it's it's it's fairly. Well accepted Jagmeet. Did have a pretty shiny day a on the English debate. I think in part that was because First of all he's obviously a fairly positive guy. That's his brand that's his. That's his His way of doing politics and I think that was contrast especially this year coming out with a giant bludgeoned right off the bat. I think set sing up perfectly to be that Middle Guy. Hi who he was to say. Okay well you guys are arguing. You look at me while I say something. That's universally accepted by whoever hears it. It's easy to be the Nice Guy Candidate when you have nothing to lose. Yeah and no disrespect intended but Justin Trudeau was the same way in twenty fifteen. He had nothing to lose. They were the third party. He'd come in and say anything he wanted me. Obviously there's a different dynamic in play when you're a liberal the Liberal Party leader But it's nice when you're in that third third position where you can come in you. You really can't do anything wrong and I was just thinking I mean in terms of Jagmeet in this sort of this moment that seems to be lifting him a little bit in this week and I just find it interesting and maybe this is a partisan comment but I find interesting. That that he's he's he's sailing to become a very important person or A. You know a winner of this campaign by losing half of the seats. It really is this awkward dynamic of Catching Fire while the ship is burnt while the ship is sinking. It just is this dichotomy. That is hard to figure out. And it's accurate. I think he is. He is catching on. He is reaching people he he is you know sort of having that actively to frustrated voters but the stark reality of the of the of the chess pieces on the map is he's GonNa lose half of all of those things where they are today. We've got another week. We'll get into that. Neil your views on it. I will Second Jeff's opinion that One of the big losers. There's was the debate itself Having both debates in Ottawa. With at least the English language debate with five moderators Did a disservice to the National campaigns that people are running that there's only one debate French and English autosomal. There should have been one in Halifax I'm partial because I've got a very good friend in Halifax there should have been wind. You Know Edmund. Ten or or or Vancouver Just to show that this is a big country and there are different Political imperatives across the country. That that that that the regions care about My take away from the two debates is the liberals and the Conservatives fought to a tie Which I think was the best that both could hope for This is the winners. Were the smaller parties. Who who had a hard time Getting their message through up until the debate. So yes Mr Sing Mr Blanchette for awhile. He's he's now burst onto the national scene as the next Great Bloc Quebecois leader a and and Ms May of course you never know as the fifth or Sixth Party in the House of Commons. She never gets much airtime so Getting whatever where. She got twenty minutes in the debate. To talk about. Her issues is is always a good thing My my understanding. I didn't watch the french-language take did of my wife's Twenty Ninth Birthday Just catching up she can. She's catching up to me. I understand I watched the English debates Mr Single All. I understand Mr Sing Kinda ran out of talking points in the French debate. I don't I don't know whether that will hurt him in Quebec But if this is going to be a minority government which it looks like it is to your point Jeff. He may be the most important person in parliament. Y losing a quarter a third a half of a seats. Yeah I have to say. I found interesting using the frontliners debate last night. Some of the most heated exchange was actually between Andrew. Scheer and bloodshed. Like they. Actually were fairly viscerally going after each other More than just on policy points. It was a little bit personal which I find interesting because the you know. The minority speculation is that the only possible partners the Conservatives have their minorities minorities the Bloc Quebecois or piecemeal with the Liberals. But that's unlikely and I don't think that's going to be interesting to come out of this. This this last week of a campaign comes in these playoffs. Playoff the debates is that you're starting to see where the pressure points are coming whereas Mr Singh spent a lot of his time last night in the French debate going after Mr Trudeau even though when he wasn't matched up with them He went after him. You saw you saw sheer going. After blanchette you saw Bernier going after sheer like e you. You're seeing where everyone's pressure points are and where this is really going to play on the next week. I think the thing that I found very interesting about about both debates again aside from the format which. I'm hoping they take some lessons from this and learn from to me. I think the big thing comes I take away from. This is going to be the importance of campaigns and the importance of debates. We've seen this doesn't happen all the time but we've seen it again again. We even the situation where things have been deadlocked had moved and this was the thing that shook it started shaking Lusa bet and the value of having more of these debates. I agree with Neil. I think one of the sad things about the English debate was that it happened at seven PM Eastern so four. PM on the on the on the west coast it happened at eight pm on the East Coast. We're huge country with six timezones. You're not gonNA in a find a perfect way to do this. Between that's all the more reason maybe maybe why you do an east won a West one bring your topics at folks in the region bringing journalists from those areas to actually actually drill down on it. I think there's actually good value and same thing in French too. I appreciate that. Obviously the MO the largest frequent ovulation candidates in Quebec and. I'm glad that the consortium brought in from outside of Quebec this time but I think there's something to be said for doing for having that maybe Quebec debate outside anyway. Let's toby in violent agreement. That debates can be better next time. I think let's just not let's just not hopefully see the debate commission kind of wither and fall apart as a result of this this is their first tryout and I think we can we can hopefully see them become more ambitious as a result of that failure and hopefully be more ambitious. We've talked about by doing things. I I agree entirely. It's a big country Patrick so onto the last points starting to run out of time so we're into the final week of the campaign rendered the homestretch. Everyone's going to have Turkey this weekend. And then after that we're into the last seven days where do you see the different parties focusing all star. Neil well parties are going to go to their target ridings For everybody that means Southern Ontario Quebec and the West Coast Those are the areas that are in play So the campaigns will focus on that What I'm looking for if the polls stay fairly early tight I look forward to the last week. Commercial that liberals will drop I remember fondly the two thousand and four campaign with the Darth Vader esque liberal commercial. It's Mr Harper was going to put the army in the streets That I know I was. That was the line fine By look forward to what there will be a push for votes over the last week both are on the ground with the campaigns over the airwaves as well and I'd be interested to see where where the the parties go with their over the air attacks. Jeff Yeah I think for every party in every campaign that last week is choices in contrast so you know that sort of rounding up the back end you need to make a choice. It's now Speaking undecided voters or people who are waffling and and and the primary way of doing that There's already been for or what about four weeks or four months of trying to promise things to people to get them on your side now as well that hasn't worked for you. Let me let me show you the alternative or let me show you. Who so you think you might be voting for and why you might WanNa think about that again so choices in contrast has always folks do and for the Liberals I was just at the Justin Trudeau Rally in Ottawa? Why this morning? He was obviously thanking mostly volunteers and partisans who were there and say I'll see you on the flip side. I'm about to go across this beautiful country for the next ten days and and so we'll see what is it certainly will be key writings and major media markets and great photo ops. And all that stuff. But I don't WanNa let neal's point get lost. I think I think the last week is going to see. A ton of air were advertising from all accounts the conservative at by has been heavily back loaded. There's a lot of a lot of speculation that it will go negative particular McCain the conservative side but doesn't preclude the liberals from from doing that as well. They seem to have been doing more positive ads. But we're GONNA see a lot of clutter and noise on that we're GONNA see a lot of leader saying you know really think twice about voting for this person because you're going to get that person or really think twice about wearing for that person because they're not gonna be good for your interests well just to wrap this up. I think for the orange gene in this can be very interesting to see what happens to the polls the next week because we are certain. See this surge coming from your side if it continues. I think it's going to be Kavak on this. And it makes me think back to two thousand fifteen gene when the MVP campaign did not really have a plan B.. When things start to move you could see it from the outside and the last ten days of the campaign is all about Stop Harper? Stop Stop Harper literally the MVP had orange stop signs and all their Rallies Stop Harper. Stop number and what's the message worked. Because they went to stop they went to vote for the liberals those who were in the position actually stop them. That's part of what could blow up in the in the liberals face this time on the other side if play the strategic vote. Carter said we have to. We can't we can't habit. Doug Ford Jason Kenney Name Conservative kind of government in Ottawa. They may sing. Is your option and decide to make that flip I think buffet for the MVP one of the big things in in this last week. It's going to be very strategic. Because obviously they're the party with the least resources but they've had some of their best fundraising days year so far in the last week and they've actually raised more money in this campaign gene already than they did all twenty eleven in the big leagues and breakthrough. So the question will be. Do you take that extra bit of resources and put more money into the air war or do you try to get to a few more places. I think it's going to be very interesting to see. Just how strategic they use the reward resources. They've got or how much they're hoping to be able to use their social media game and earned media to push through the door so anyway thanks everyone for coming on. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and we will do this again next week. The last one before we all vote on the twenty-first I saw this weekend. I I. We're we're we're beavers here. That's what we do day so eh. Thank you all for listening tuning into the blue skies. Tragedy groups team political observers for this week's can Canadian. podcast what you need to know about politics this week. Kadam Blue Sky Strategy Group is one of Canada's leading public affairs firms for government relations lobbying and strategic communications advice across Canada. visit us at blue sky. Strategy Group DOTCOM into blue sky strategy. Group is a proud member of the Global Communications Alliance.