OTTAWA: The question of why Canadians are heading to the polls on September 20 is a simple one to answer: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau wants the majority government that was denied him in 2019.
Because right now? Because liberals want to clear the parliamentary path of obstacles thrown by a minority government so that they can implement their vision of rebuilding better after the pandemic.
Here are the details of how they intend to get there.
The road to victory
At the time of dissolution, the Liberals held 155 seats in the House of Commons. They need 170 for most.
At least two seats could be simple vans. Fredericton, where they poached the person who defeated them in the last election: Jenica Atwin, who used to be a green. The second is Vancouver-Granville, home of former liberal-turned-independent Jody Wilson-Raybould, who will not be performing again.
Demographic shifts offer some hope for constituencies in Hamilton, Barrie, Niagara and elsewhere as the Liberals snatch seats from the Conservatives thanks to the exodus of Liberal voters from the inner city of Toronto.
The meadows will be more complicated. Liberals were excluded from Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2019 and lost three seats in Manitoba. They have expended considerable energy trying to reconnect with the region since then, much in the person of Winnipeg MP Jim Carr, who acts as an emissary between Ottawa and the West and has had some success convincing the center to adopt or pivot on certain programs to meet the demands on the ground.
Political conditions may also be in your favor when it comes to picking up seats on the prairies and elsewhere. Conservative prime ministers known as “the resistance” have softened their tone during the pandemic, and that leaves some breathing room for liberals. Yet at the same time, fears of how a fourth wave of COVID-19 will unfold and how conservative-led provinces will respond could go either way: Provincial prime ministers will try to blame the feds or angry voters for the local decisions will turn towards the liberals?
When it comes to districts that you currently have that may be at risk, look for some of the places where long-time incumbents are not running again. Among them, New Brunswick’s Miramichi-Grand Lake, the Liberals won that one by a hair in 2019.
The ground game
After being reduced to the third party in the 2011 elections, the Liberals embarked on a total overhaul of their political machine.
They point to a statistic from the 2019 elections as proof of how far they have come: In the 18 constituencies decided by less than two percent of the vote in 2019, Liberals won 14, which they attribute to sophisticated organizational tools that enabled them to keep an eye on the changing tides in 2019 and redistribute resources in the blink of an eye.
This time they are adding more tools to their arsenal, some taken from Joe Biden’s 2020 US presidential election campaign.
Among them, an application called Greenfly, which allows videos, photos and other content developed specifically for social networks to be broadcast simultaneously on the accounts of candidates and supporters. They are also using a text messaging app called Community. Supporters can text specific numbers to ask questions or to volunteer, and liberals, in turn, can text them directly.
Despite the pandemic, Liberals have not given up on their “days of action” program, which mobilizes voters in specific areas to knock on doors or hang out at community events to generate a stir in the party.
This year, they moved those days to digital, implementing a new call banking system that made the connection more efficient.
They say that more than 10,000 volunteers in more than 3,400 communities have reached out to more than 1 million Canadians and hope to roll out a similarly sized cadre to take to the streets for elections.
Who is in charge? Besides Trudeau
The Liberals’ campaign has more chairs than a wedding banquet.
Cabinet Minister Melanie Joly and former Cabinet Minister Navdeep Bains are the campaign co-chairs, MPs Mona Fortier and Terry Duguid co-chair the platform committee, and each province has two or more people in charge of regional efforts. , a combination of current and former Liberal cabinet ministers, MPs and staff.
Big names include Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, who helped campaign in British Columbia, and Families Minister Ahmed Hussen, who helped Ontario.
The national director of the campaign is Azam Ishmael, who has been the national director of the Liberal Party since 2017; led the Liberals’ effort to get the vote out in 2015.
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