Mark Your Calendars
My advice would be: expect surprises. Every election has surprises. Even the mind numbingly boring 2008 election featured a collapse of the world economy in the middle of it.
But, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, there are "known knowns" and "known unknowns". So let's look at what we do know, heading into a possible May 2nd or May 9th election. Here's your election 2011 calendar:
Week of March 21st: With a slew of confidences votes, the government should fall this week. Unless Jack decides to get results for people.
April 1st - April Fool's: It will mean a chuckle or two and, sadly, the inevitable talking point that "Leader X's policy is like a bad April Fool's joke". Seriously, I may just vote for whatever party resists the urge to use that line.
April 13th - NHL playoffs begins: This likely won't be a big distraction in battleground Ontario, but it's impossible to make it through the playoffs without some form of political controversy.
Third Week of April - Holidays: Holidays are weird creatures during elections. The pace of the campaign slows to a crawl but, at the same time, they're a time when families get together and talk politics...providing the perfect breeding ground for shifts in public opinion. Passover and Easter fall during the third week of April, around the time when vote intentions begin to solidify. If anyone makes a move, that's likely the week it will happen.
April 29th - Royal Wedding: We know Stephen Harper is attending. The common consensus is that this will give him a chance to shine on the world stage but this strikes me as something that's a common consensus only because everyone keeps saying it is (like the "Olympic bounce" or "G20 bounce"). On the bright side, we know it's not a Catholic wedding, so Harper won't have to worry about any embarrassing communion wafer mishaps.
April 30th - Happy Birthday Mr. Prime Minister: Stephen Harper celebrates his 52nd birthday.
April 30th - Tax Filing Deadline: Making this an excellent campaign to propose income tax cuts during.
May 8th - Mother's Day: Having the entire country thinking about their mothers the day before E-Day could be good news for the Liberals and their caring, family-focused agenda.
TBD - Debates: You can fit 2 to 4 debates in somewhere above...though the CBC is going to have a tough time scheduling them, given their wall-to-wall hockey coverage. Last election, there was only one set of debates - if that's the case again, they would likely fall towards the end of April. Debates haven't been game changers in recent years, but they certainly hold the potential to be.
Labels: Election 2011