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Thursday, October 09, 2008

An aside

I've got some catching up to do (not a lot, mind) on the scores. But I've just arrived home after some extended road tripping, and is it just me, or are the wheels coming off the Tory campaign a little? I'm not talking gaffes, I'm just talking about the campaign itself. To wit:

- Harper seems caught off-guard by the American financial crisis, and doesn't seem to really want to acknowledge it. Claiming that we're isolated from it looks dumber every day, as the Loonie shrinks against the US dollar and Canadian banks claim they can only offer half the rate cut on loans that they themselves will receive from the Bank of Canada. Dion's "no plan" criticism from the debate seems increasingly spot-on. I'll save Harper's "great time to invest" bits for the gaffe count.

- The late platform release doesn't seem to have worked very well. The lack of substantive policy directions within it likewise isn't setting the world on fire.

- Speaking of fire, Dion seems to have finally found something of fire in his belly. The no-luck schmuck image the Tories so painstakingly designed for him held up really well, until possibly the last week or so.

- Layton may find himself hoist upon his own strategic voting petard, after arguing last weekend that Liberals might want to move their votes the NDP's way so as to make sure that Dion's cratering doesn't leave Harper with a majority. Does a Liberal recovery turn the argument on its head?

I'm not sure what the polls are telling us, but I'd be astounded by a Tory majority now. I think the Conservatives ought to be very thankful indeed this weekend, that most of the country is done paying attention as of tomorrow, and will be focused on turkey and what-not until Tuesday.

Full disclosure - I'd love to give Dion a vote of support this election, but despite what voteforenvironment.ca tells me, the real race in Edmonton East is between the Tory incumbent (Peter Goldring) and one of my favourite New Democrats from way back, former provincial leader Ray Martin - the Liberal candidate is going to be left well behind. I have no problem casting a strategic vote when it's also for the best local candidate.

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