OTTAWA—Aside it from being the longest and costliest election in Canadian history thanks to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, it will also be a nasty campaign as all parties are looking to bring the heat in a close three-way race.
Canadians will have from now to Thanksgiving to chart the country’s political future Harper used an August holiday weekend to kick off the Oct. 19 election.
Harper seeks to overcome a sputtering economy and two hard-charging opposition parties with a surprise summer election call that is plunging Canadians into the longest campaign in modern times.
Besides being the longest electoral contest in memory, it has the potential to be the most expensive and bitter election battle ever witnessed in this country. The airwaves have been blaring with attack ads for months and the nasty tone is not likely to ease off in the weeks ahead.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau — both seeking to end the emerging Conservative dynasty — said Canadians deserve better than a government that, as Trudeau put it, is “tired, out of ideas and disconnected from reality.”
Mulcair launched his campaign telling voters that his experience, values and ideas make him the politician best able to deliver the change they deserve.
“I want to speak to every Canadian who thinks Mr. Harper’s government is on the wrong track, to every Canadian who is looking for change in Ottawa,” said Mulcair, a former Quebec provincial cabinet minister.
Trudeau, who opened his campaign in Vancouver, slammed Harper for setting up an 11-week electoral contest, which the Liberals estimate will cost taxpayers $400 million — $125 million more than the usual five-week run to voting day.
The lengthy campaign is “the best idea he could come with to help him keep his job,” the Liberal leader said.