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Experts say PM making careful political calculations for writ drop with election call likely days away

Last Updated Sep 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as he meets with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

From party prep to busy lives of voters, expert says PM making careful considerations about when to call election


With federal election date law in place, we know deadline to drop writ is September 15


Liberals want to ensure their candidates are nominated, staff hired, war room is ready before calling election: expert


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal election could be called any time now, and experts say the date of the official writ drop is a heavy political calculation by the prime minister.

Political leaders and parties have been unofficially campaigning for months but there are a lot of considerations for the governing Liberals before the prime minister takes that big trip to Rideau Hall.

“Are all the candidates in place? Do they have all their staff in every single riding? Is the signage ready to go?” Stephanie Plante, a researcher of Canadian politics at the University of Ottawa says. “The prime minister, the person calling the election, will try to make sure that the party who they want to win, i.e. theirs, has everything in place.”

She believes the Liberals want voters to settle after heading back to work following summer vacations, so Justin Trudeau might not drop the writ until closer to the September 15th deadline.

“Generally, you want to kind of get people’s attention, you want them back from summer. Everyone’s on their screens,” Plante explains, adding, as an incumbent government, the Liberals are likely looking at the shortest possible campaign.

“The shorter the time frame, the shorter the sprint. The faster he can get his messaging and his team out there, and you know, if he’s polling well, it gives less time for a slide in the polls,” she says. “Voters can get voter fatigue. As you remember, Prime Minister Harper called one of the longest election campaigns we’ve ever had, and probably about half way through, his polling numbers started to go down dramatically.”

While we don’t know when the campaign will be launched, thanks to the fixed election date law we know the ballots will be cast on October 21st.