The Election:Day Seven

Harper struck again today announcing a CPC day care allowance plan. The plan consists of a $1,200 annual child care allowance per pre-schooler. A family can spend this day care allowance as it sees fit.Harper also promised an additional $250-million in federal grants to help build new childcare facilities.

Paul Martin attacked the Conservative child care allowance as being nothing more than small change, about $25 a week, although the totals are equal too or greater than the $5 billion the Liberals previously announced for day care over five years.

Campaigning in Newfoundland, Martin talked about a possible center for studying global warming and its impact on oceans and fisheries. He mused about how suitable the soon-to-be-deserted CFB base in Goose Bay would be for such a center. He neglected to mention that weather forecasts on the east coast of Newfoundland have become much more unreliable since the Liberal government closed down the weather forecasting facility in Gander last year and moved the capability to Halifax, Nova scotia. Apart from that, he trotted out announcements which had been previously made over the past year. On the side Liberal aides were promising a big day care announcement tomorrow to knock Harper's announcement out of the park.

Jack Layton recruited a star candidate in Toronto, an economist with the TD Bank. Layton criticized the Liberal and Conservative tax cut proposals but promised that an NDP government would not increase taxes. And Gilles Duceppe "apologized" to the Liberals for excessive rhetoric when he said they would disappear.

So what to make of the first week? Harper clearly commanded the agenda for most of the week, showing that the CPC does have a policy platform for this election that is more than just the "throw the corrupt bastards out" that the media widely heralded. But this is only the first week. Where from here? The polls do not show much change. Nationally there's a four or five point lead for the Liberals. Conservatives are up in the west some but down in Ontario. Duceppe has a comfortable 30 point lead over the Liberals in Quebec.

Perhaps the first real sparks of the campaign will occur during the mid-December debates. If things remain static until Xmas I expect the last three weeks of the campaign to get real nasty.


Livyer said...

But the polls aren't moving. Does this reflect an electorate that has made up its mind, or simply one that doesn't (yet) care?

BTW, it's "to" not "too."

cardinal47 said...

Well, the buzz to night based on SES and Decima polls is that the Liberals are gaining and Conservatives dropping but this related to a BQ drop in Quebec which affects the national percentages. There must be 40 posts on this tonight at Calgary Grit.