Weekly Round-Up: July 31, 2015

July 31st, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Will the writ drop this weekend?

Monday is a holiday for most Canadians, but by the time it rolls around the country may already be in the midst of the 42nd federal election campaign. Reports suggest that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit Governor General David Johnston as early as Sunday to dissolve Parliament and call the election.

The extended campaign – at 11 weeks it will be one of the longest in Canadian history – will cost taxpayers more, due to inflated election expenses, but will also give voters more time to consider how they will cast their ballot on October 19.

A new Ipsos poll shows a statistical tie with a “new-school two party race” at the top, while an Abacus poll of millennials show that the younger demographic favours the NDP. The first leaders’ debate, hosted by Maclean’s, takes place on Thursday.

Remembering Flora MacDonald

The week began on a sad note with the passing of Flora MacDonald, Canada’s first female secretary of state for foreign affairs. MacDonald was a long-time politician who helped pave the way for other female parliamentarians, ultimately receiving the Order of Canada in 1992.

MacDonald served as a Member of Parliament from 1972 to 1988, serving in several cabinet positions. You can read some of her many tributes, as posted on Twitter, here.

Electoral changes

Electoral reform remains in the news for another week, with the federal Conservatives proposing that a national referendum be held before any changes are made to how we choose our elected representatives.

The NDP and Liberals had already presented their plans for eliminating first-past-the-post, which Peter Loewen has summarized in the Ottawa Citizen. At the end of the day, Campbell Clark argues in the Globe and Mail, parties will just end up favouring the electoral changes that will benefit them the most.

Notable nominations

The candidate nomination process has been accelerated with the election approaching fast. The week started with the much-publicised loss of MP Eve Adams in the race for the Eglington-Lawrence Liberal nod, where she was defeated by Marco Mendicino.

Also in Toronto, an interesting race is shaping up in the new riding of Spadina-Fort York. Former MP, and Toronto mayoral candidate, Olivia Chow was appointed as the NDP candidate for the upcoming election. She’ll be taking on Liberal Adam Vaughan, who won the seat in a by-election last summer.

By-election breakdown

It’s easy to lose track of provincial politics with the election frenzy, but there are still several interesting stories to follow. In Ontario, the Progressive Conservatives are “pressing” Premier Kathleen Wynne to call a by-election this summer so that new leader Patrick Brown can get into the legislature before its return in September.

Former Premier Jim Prentice resigned his seat on Alberta’s election night, and the by-election to replace him will take place this fall. Two candidates have been nominated so far, including former two-term MLA and city councillor Bob Hawkesworth for the NDP.

Register for Student Vote 2015!

While Elections Canada is getting ready for the official election, we’re busy putting the final touches on the federal Student Vote parallel election program.

Elementary and secondary school students across the country will have an opportunity to cast their own ballots this fall, and nearly 3,000 schools have already registered from ridings across the country.

Educators can sign up today to receive free resources as soon as school returns in September!

(And, by the way, we’re still accepting applications for our Campaign Communications Assistant position).

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

Posted in English, Weekly Round-Up |

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