As election day nears the mudslinging, virtue signalling, and red-herring production continues unabated. The main issues of climate, debt levels, housing and food costs, pipelines, and regional alienation are submerged as the parties attempt to gain votes by offering up shiny baubles and by bashing the leaders of other parties.
The Liberals don’t want to run on their record and the Conservatives are reluctant to share their full platform. Instead, under the guise that voters are uniformly unhappy with the cost the living “vote buying with your own money” has been ramped up.
The Liberals began this barrage of announcements in the summer as Ministers pushed out new and re-hashed spending announcements. They quite cynically target ridings they hope to win. The Huffington Post tracked the spending blitz before the election was officially called.
In the election period each party offers up a menu of shiny tax cuts or programs to attract targeted segments of the public. Something for seniors here, something for home buyers there, a little childcare, a home renovation tax credit, free park passes, and unemployment benefits for adoptive parents. And the list grows day by day as the leaders stump across the country.
But the main event has been name calling and phony outrage.
Fear Andrew Scheer!
The main technique of the Liberals is to instill fear in progressive voters by painting the Conservatives as slash and burn fiscal hawks (or buzzards!). They raise the specter of Ontario Premier Ford’s cuts being instituted throughout the country.
Loathe Justin Trudeau!
Meanwhile the Conservatives invite us to loathe the Prime Minister as a liar and a fake. They point to the various scandals that have plagued his administration. And they accuse him of personally being unfit for office.
‘The Liberal are hypocrites for using two aircraft as they campaign”. “Andrew Scheer is pro-life and secretly opposes transgender rights and abortions”. “Trudeau is unfit for office because he dressed up in brown and black face”. “Scheer’s resume is padded because he wasn’t really a broker”. “Trudeau left his teaching job under a cloud”.
And then there is the steady drip of unfortunate and politically incorrect social media posts of various candidate of all stripes signaling they are unfit for office. And speaking of social media; Twitter and Facebook have become the go-to channel to share your outrage and general unhappiness.
The negative campaign has tarnished and ruined the reputations of the two leaders.
As Canadians trudge off to do their duty, they are not particularly inspired. Tired of manipulation by sound bites and phony issues – many will just stay home. The rest of us will collectively punish the politicians by denying any of them a clear majority.