The Intense Last Week

NDP has target on its back as party gains in last week of election

This is it, voters. Only four more sleeps until E-Day. While the Tories seem destined to win this election, two bigger questions — will the Conservatives win a majority, and will the New Democrats overtake the Liberals as the official Opposition — will make Monday’s election a cliffhanger.


An unprecedented surge in support for the New Democrats has put the traditonal third place party ahead of the Liberals for the first time. A number of polls over the past few days have put the NDP and Liberals either in a near-dead heat (Nanos Research puts the Liberals and NDP in a statistical tie behind theTories), or with the NDP ahead of the Liberals (EKOS puts NDP support at 28 per cent, Liberals at 23.7 per cent).

Much of the New Democrat strength comes from Quebec, where the fading Bloc Quebecois is losing support to the NDP. One pollster said the NDP could take a “breathtaking” 100 seats.

In vote rich Ontario, however, a Nanos poll gave the Tories a healthy lead (44.4 per cent) with the Liberals (32.9 per cent) well ahead of the NDP (16.9 per cent).


Canada has a longstanding law that bans anyone from transmitting election results to a part of the country where the polls are still open. But this is the first election where Twitter is a factor, so how does Elections Canada handle this little problem?

Simple. It will enforce the law.

Section 329 of the Elections Act states that “no person shall transmit the results” from one riding to another before the polls are closed. This law dates back to the 1930s, and fine for breaking this can be up to $25,000. And don’t think Elections Canada won’t enforce the law. After the 2000 election it raided the home of a man who had posted the early results on his website, fined him and seized his computer.

While posting results on a website is illegal, Elections Canada says it is perfectly fine to share them by e-mail, phone, or a Facebook message — but not by Twitter, or on your Facebook profile. Elections Canada — enforcing 20th century laws in the 21st century.


With the NDP and Liberals duking it out in the polls, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has turned his guns on the NDP. Ignatieff is taking aim at the NDP’s $30 billion in spending promises, calling the NDP “amateur hour”. Meanwhile, the NDP has run TV ads aimed directly at Ignatieff,  saying he has the worst attendance record in the House of Commons.


While Conservative Leader Stephen Harper didn’t make a campaign appearance in Edmonton, all other leaders have, some more than once. Ignatieff attended a rally here last week, and NDP leader Jack Layton made his second stop in the city on Wednesday.


Things are heating up in Edmonton’s most closely watched contest. Edmonton-Strathcona Conservative candidate Ryan Hastman has filed a complaint with Elections Canada, saying 550 names on the voters’ list are invalid, many of which, he says, are business addresses and mailboxes and storage lockers.


The website has posted pictures of all party leaders from their callow youths. Check out Stephen Harper as a high school nerd, and an unrecognizable Jack Layton. It may change the way you vote.


All Content Copyright © SEE Magazine 2008 About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Contest Disclaimer