A recap of week 10 of the 2015 Canadian Federal Election
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Election polls shifted drastically in week 10 of the elections, as party rankings became more clear and defined. The Liberal Party has begun to emerge as the front-runner with a 35.1 per cent lead in the polls. The Conservative Party follows in second place with 29.0 per cent, while the NDP continues to trail with 25.0 per cent.
The three leading parties all released their full platforms this week, with the Liberal Party doing so on Monday, and both the Conservative Party and NDP releasing their platforms on Friday.
The Liberal platform included goals of ending boiled-water advisories on First Nations’ reserves, improving transportation infrastructure and health marketing, and reducing student debt by only requesting repayment of loans after students earn more than $25,000 annually—all while running a three-year deficit before balancing the budget.
The Conservative platform promised new investments without cuts and with the use of lowered taxes. Their spending platform involves over $1 billion in compensation for dairy farmers who will be losing some business from Canada’s implied upcoming membership with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Other Conservative goals in their platform include increasing the number of summer jobs for students, investing in agricultural studies, and decreasing problems that make it difficult for First Nation peoples to own property on reserves.
The NDP platform promises electoral reforms, the ban of bulk water exports, and the removal of interest on student loans. The party predicts a budget surplus in their first year.
Thousands of Canadians lined up for advance polling available from October 9 to 12, with the unexpectedly high number of voters causing frustration for many. Prisoners in Canadian correctional facilities also had their chance to vote on October 9, 10 days prior to Election Day, as per usual for federal elections.
For the third week in a row, the political discussion appears to have been dominated by refugees and religious debates. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested that a re-election of the Conservative Party could bring about bans of niqabs in the public service industries, particularly in Quebec. The issue garnered frustrated responses from both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair.
“He is stirring up the politics of fear and division in a way that, quite frankly, is unworthy of the office he holds,” Trudeau said while at a rally in London, Ontario. “His priorities are in the wrong place.”
Mulcair echoed the sentiments while at a campaign stop in Alberta: “[Harper] would rather us to talk about subjects other than the fact that he’s been a total failure on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis issues.”