Bluesky Brief – September 20th

Posted on September 20, 2021

Thirty-five days ago, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau met with the Governor General and well, you know what has happened. We have all been following a strange story with the final chapter yet to be written.

While short in length, the content has been robust and the outcome anything but predictable. Polls have had the Liberals and Conservatives in a virtual tie since the get-go and as for the other parties, we’ve seen the NDP gaining momentum each week, the Bloc Quebeçois losing support, the PPC gaining and the Greens, literally not going anywhere.

Since mail-in ballots won’t be counted until Tuesday, it is likely that we will not know how this story will end by tomorrow morning. So it will be interesting to see if Canadians will end up with the same thing we had before August 15th or see a switch at the top.

While we wait, our team of political observers is here with their take on the campaign and what they think will happen once all the votes are counted.

Top of Mind

From the desk of the Honourable Joe Jordan, Senior Associate

As we round the final turn in a mad dash for the finish line, we can reflect a bit on what has been one of the most unique federal elections in recent memory. Canadians will be deciding between anger and self-interest, in an environment of health restrictions some questionable information. In addition, the increase in mail-in ballots could postpone the official results by a few days.

In terms of the individual campaigns, the focus shifts from identifying supportive voters to the election day logistics of pulling that vote to the polls. Strategy, at this point, is about as useful as an inflatable dartboard. In some of the tight three-way races, the ground game will carry the day and local organizations that understand this have a marked advantage.

Most candidates will drop tools the day before the election and perhaps use election day to drop in on some key voting stations in their riding. I would also suggest a nap, as tonight is going to be a very late night for everyone. It will be very interesting to see if COVID response/recovery emerges as a ballot box question, as the Liberals are certainly hoping, or if the Opposition has done enough to keep the focus squarely on Trudeau and mobile the anger that has been whipped up.

The final unknown will be the actual impact of a rising PPC vote. I think that a number of the Conservative missteps can be directly attributed to unexpectedly having to defend that flank in real-time.

All this to say, as the process to elect the Members of Parliament that will serve in the forty-fourth Parliament of Canada draws to a close, Canadians are about to get their say. The eventual outcome may be a surprise, it may be confusing, it may be at odds with strongly held convictions, but the one thing it will never be is wrong!

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

Here we are at the end of the 44th general election and it’s been a campaign of opposites. Instead of getting a sleepy summer campaign, we got a ruckus, tense and tight election campaign. Instead of the Liberals marching to what they felt would be an inevitable majority, they are fighting to hold onto a minority they already had. And instead of a campaign that we were told would be about the post-COVID future, it’s turned into a campaign about the same issues of gun control, private healthcare and abortion access we’ve debated for the decades, with nearly the same talking points.

The New Democrats came into this campaign in a stronger position than they did in 2019. A lot of this was thanks to better planning, great organizing and strong leadership, learning from the lessons of the past campaign. As we come to the end of the campaign, the average national polling has the orange team at 21%, which is ahead of where they started this race and far ahead of where they finished in 2019. This likely means a larger NDP caucus, the degree of which being determined by voter turnout.

What’s remarkable about the NDP’s achievement this time is that the orange team was able to defend against the usual “strategic voting” attacks that were going to come. Despite weeks of sustained attacks on progressive voters, trying to scare them back into the red tent, the NDP not only held their vote but grew it. In a campaign of opposites, it almost seems fitting that the most tried and true Liberal electoral strategy failed this time. We’ll see the results as they roll in, but this is a campaign that the majority of New Democrats will be very happy with.

From the Campaign Trail

The final day of campaigning saw Justin Trudeau start the day in Montreal. Then it was off to Vaughan just north of Toronto, Niagara Falls, Winnipeg, and British Columbia.

For Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, he spent the last day of the campaign in the Greater Toronto Area.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spent most of his final day campaigning in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

What’s Hot…or Not

JUST RELAX – Maclean’s wants Canadian voters to enjoy watching the election results in a relaxing way.

Download the map to colour along here:

Here’s their guide to all of the party platforms:

HOW MUCH? – The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy unveiled the fiscal credibility of the party platforms.

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About Bluesky Strategy Group

Bluesky Strategy Group Inc. is a full-service public affairs firm with nearly two decades of extensive experience working with clients – from corporate, not-for-profit, and national associations, to governments, departments and agencies. We provide our clients with government relations, strategic communications and media relations advice and execution.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @blueskygroupand LinkedIn

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