Monday, September 08, 2008

Leader Kick-Off Speeches and Campaign Ads

Well after day one of the Canadian federal election here are my first impressions.

Stephane Dion (Liberal) -- Very poor speech. It's still difficult to understand what he's saying sometimes. Mentions their "exciting" platform, but doesn't specifically mention his Green Shift carbon tax plan. No ads that I've seen, not all candidates have been nominated, lack of money, and no campaign plane! Good start! (D-)

Jack Layton (NDP) -- Very good inspiring speech and very good campaign ad. He seems upbeat, optimistic, specific, and even acting like a consumer advocate which is new and refreshing. Jack doesn't mention the Liberals at all, just Harper and the Conservatives. With a backdrop of the Parliament where he spoke across the river in Gatineau, it was an excellent stint. His French is much better than Dion's English, that's for sure. Hints at Obama and "change" and "hope" and all that good stuff. Says he's shooting to be prime minister. I think this is excellent strategy... making it a choice between Conservative policy or NDP values. He then takes a balsy move and gets on the NDP airplane to Harper's riding in Calgary to give another excellent speech. His supporters seem very enthusiastic. The NDP have an opportunity to win more seats in Ontario and Quebec. In BC, the Conservatives are doing well again and will gain seats where the NDP may lose. Excellent campaign ad against Harper. If Jack continues on like this, he can solidify those soft-NDP supporters who are often weary of a Conservative majority and vote Liberal. If I was a lefty in Canada, I'd be voting NDP for sure. (B+)

Elizabeth May (Greens) -- Good speech. Very fiery but received little to no media coverage. But she's annoying to me. I think she's too lefty for what I thought the Greens were--libertarian, fiscal conservative, low tax, environmentalists. Now it just seems they're about the environment. I still don't think they're going to win any seats but will come close in many ridings. (B-)

Gilles Duceppe (Bloc) -- Boring. Says to prevent a Harper majority to vote Bloc. Duh. I like Gilles Duceppe, but I think Quebeckers are tired of him, as they're tired of the separatist thing. Conservatives are doing well there because of their open federalism policy which to me is holding the country together better than Trudeau/Chretien Liberal centralization. (C-)

Stephen Harper (Conservative) -- Relaxed, but a bit boring. He admitted that he's still learning "your language (French)" which came across as humbling in an odd way. He outlined the difference in choice on taking a risk or a "steady course". The Conservatives are simply going to coast through the election on Harper's leadership. I wonder if that's risky by also not highlighting the rest of the team. Paul Martin did the same and look where it got him. (C+)

Voter Turnout... I think this will be worse than last election and less than 60% will vote. People just don't seem to care as much.

But I think there's a lot of soft conservatives/former liberals out there who are pleased with Harper's leadership and are tired of these minority parliaments and get more done.

But I'll be honest, why I'd never vote NDP from an ideological stand-point, I'm inspired to follow Jack Layton and his style, speeches, and see how it resonates with voters and translates into votes. It's certainly on day one, the most exciting campaign. But why am I doing this? Because the better the NDP do, the worse the Liberals do, and the NDP are a much more effective opposition, which a good democracy needs, and I'm sure that's also why Stephen Harper is so relaxed and humble.

No comments: