Will Canadians be headed to the polls for a federal election next spring?
That remains to be seen, but we do know the Trudeau Liberals have told their troops to be ready.
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The governing party has informed its current MPs that if they want to hold the nomination heading into the next election, they need to get busy with fundraising and campaigning now.
According to a posting on the Liberal’s own website, MPs are expected to have held “at least 3 Voter Contact Days of Action” and to have attempted “at least 3,500 door knocks or 7,500 phone calls” alongside party volunteers. That’s the community outreach requirements, then there are the financial requirements for current MPs to be allowed to retain their Liberal nomination unchallenged.
The party is asking that MPs ensure their riding associations have “at least 65% of the anticipated election expense limit” and sign up at least 40 additional monthly donors to the party’s “Victory Fund.”
It’s more money than the Liberals have demanded in the past, and a sure sign that the central party bosses want to be ready. It’s also smart politics, if we’re being completely honest.
In minority parliaments, parties must always be ready for a snap election. This includes a situation where there are agreements in place, such as the one between the Trudeau Liberals and Jagmeet Singh’s NDP.
While that agreement is supposed to keep the current government in place until 2025, that’s not a sure thing. The NDP could easily pull their support over a disagreement, or the Liberals could see an opportunity and take it.
As anyone who has been involved in minority parliaments will tell you, someone always needs to be planning for a possible election.
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It’s no different for the Conservative side in terms of looking to be prepared. Leader Pierre Poilievre continues to look to staff up his office and rebuild the party apparatus after making a clean break from the former O’Toole team.
As that process continues, Poilievre has been able to fill some key roles with people who have experience winning elections. Mike Crase, the new executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada, joined Poilievre’s team after running Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party since 2018 and assisting on two successive election victories.
In addition to Crase, a number of staffers with experience at Queen’s Park have joined Poilievre’s efforts. It’s this sort of experience that will help Poilievre’s team whenever the next election comes.
Money is what makes the political world move, and on that front the Conservatives continue to dominate. In 2021, the Conservatives raised $26 million compared to $18 million for the Liberals and so far this year, the Conservatives have outperformed the governing party in every quarter.
Neither of the two main parties are pushing for an early election in the new year, but both are getting ready. Plans are being put in place and preparations are underway to ensure that a surprise campaign can be fought.
At this point, a spring election is unlikely, but March is a long time away and as the saying goes, a week can be an eternity in politics. There is a real possibility that Canada, along with many other countries, could be entering a recession in 2023 which will change the dynamics once more.
Bottom line, stay tuned, things could change at any minute.