Campaigns continues to gather momentum across the country

The October election day may be many weeks away, but several local people have already tossed their hats into the ring to land a post in Ottawa.

These include to date for Red Deer – Mountain View incumbent Earl Dreeshen (PC), City Councillor Paul Harris (NDP), school trustee Dianne Macaulay (NDP), Evan Bedford (NDP), James Walper (Libertarian) and Mason Sisson (Greens).

For the Red Deer – Lacombe riding, the incumbent is Conservative Blaine Calkins, Jeff Rock (Liberals), Doug Hart (NDP) and Katherine Swampy (NDP).

Canadians will go to the polls on Oct. 19th.

Meanwhile, it’s difficult to tell following last week’s forum who is really at the forefront so far. It depends which media source you turn true. As far as Alberta goes, it’s been fairly quiet – with the focus seemingly on other parts of the country.

There is a steady stream of campaign stops by the Prime Minister in Ontario so far, but of course he will make his way out west as election day nears.

In past elections, the Conservatives have tended not to worry too much about Alberta and putting in appearances, but with the recent provincial election showing a sweeping change across the political landscape, we can only assume they won’t be taking the province for granted so much anymore.

We will likely see more of NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau out this way, as they probably see more hope for a breakthrough with voters this time around.

In total, the candidates have 11 weeks to spread their messages across the country – an unusually lengthy period of time, considering most campaigns run about 37 days or so.

There has been some outrage amongst the public over the early election call – everything from the soaring costs of calling the election early to an attitude of ‘what’s the point’ of calling it in the middle of summer and on a long weekend to boot.

However, we’ve noticed that there does seem to be growing interest and conversation happening in the community even in the so-called ‘dog days’ of summer. This is particularly the case with social media, where everyone can be a commentator at any moment. Opinions and comments flow freely – which can be a great way to launch discussion and debate.

Obviously, people are engaging and are looking for something of a change. Gone are the days when political leaders could almost predict which way a given province would go.

But there are still frustrations over what this campaign will ultimately cost Canadians.

According to CBC, during a 37-day election period, each party can spend a maximum of $25 million. For each additional day, that means an extra $675,000 can be spent which would see parties able to spend more than $50 million.

The cost to taxpayers rises with a longer campaign as well. It has been reported that a typical five-week campaign costs about $375 million. Parties are then reimbursed for half the money they shell out during the course of the campaign – which falls on taxpayers.

It’s certainly unusual for campaigns to be this long – according to The Canadian Press, only Canada’s first two election campaigns were longer. The 1867 campaign lasted 81 days, while the 1872 campaign went for 96 days. At that time, voting was staggered over the country for a period of several months. The longest race in recent history was a 74-day campaign back in 1926.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see, in our ridings, how things play out. It is a big change for our area with the development of two new ridings – Red Deerians will ultimately be led by two MPs and sharing that particular MP with sizable rural ridings. Balancing the needs of both will no doubt be challenging for whoever lands the posts this fall.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

Jayda Monilaws is selling cupcakes again for Central Alberta Humane Society

The 10-year-old Red Deerian is selling cupcakes today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read