Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Reasons why Harper Calling an Early Election is Bad for the Conservatives

Let me start by saying that the early writ drop is something I have dreamed of for months now but I did not expect it because it is such a dumb idea for the PM.

10 - With the call the PM and cabinet no longer have the resources of the civil service to promote their program.  They now need to spend CPC money to travel.  All the government advertising and press releases are suspended till after the election.  A governing party has a huge advantage till the election is called.  Why give this up early?

9 - Long campaigns favour prepared challengers over incumbents in our elections.  In the run up to the 1993 Federal election the Reform party had been actively campaigning in most of the 52 seats they won for a year.

8 - A 77 day campaign is great local campaigns because 36 days is much too short to run a strong ground game.  I am running the ground campaign for the Green Party in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke and this early election call is a God send because now we will have the volunteers to knock on every door at least twice.   My estimate is that each extra week of the campaign will be worth about 750 more votes.   (Results for other parties in other ridings will vary) 

7 - The media will now give Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau equal time.  Everyday the three of them will compared and contrasted and I do not think that will benefit Harper.

6 - August is silly season in the media normally, now imagine silly season with a requirement to cover the election every day and there is an endless election campaign?

5 - The longer the campaign the more time there will be for CPC candidates to say something truly stupid.  Yes this is the case for the other parties but the CPC is defending more turf and therefore has more to lose.

4 - Longer campaigns will mean more money raised locally early enough to have an impact on the election.

My experience of  many election campaigns is that the public does not really pay attention till the election is officially under way.   This has meant that on most campaigns I have been involved donations do not come in till about three to five weeks into the campaign but that is often too late to usefully spend the money.

This time we will at the same point around Labour Day giving campaigns a boost in cash with 35 to 40 days to go.

3 - Election fatigue.   11 weeks of signs and election ads will push buttons among the public.   And I think the party with the most media advertising will take the most anger/frustration from the public.

2 - General party fundraising will go up dramatically during the election.  Parties raise a lot of money during elections and with five extra weeks all the parties will raise more money but I suspect the CPC will no longer have as much of an advantage because the many more CPC donors have already maxed out their giving.

1 - A long public campaign will make the campaign unpredictable.   If you are the incumbent PM and not way behind in the polls you want a predictable campaign.
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