'There may well be a message to this to the main parties, that slagging each other will only take you so far,' says Greg Lyle, whose own polling also suggested earlier this month that negative messaging was one of the best strategies available to the Conservatives and the Liberals, as they sought to pull supporters of small parties into the fold.
Liberal supporters mocked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer with a variety of creative signs, and in one case, a Doug Ford mask, outside of the French language leaders' debate in Ottawa on Oct. 10. The parties and leaders themselves have also run negative campaigns, and polling by Ipsos suggests that more Canadians are unhappy with all of their choices in this election than were in the last. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Nasty, negative messaging by the Liberal and Conservatives parties sapped enthusiasm from voters, and failed to generate momentum for either party as of the final week of the campaign.
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'You don't stop trying to find ways of resolving differences in opinion, but I do think in this day and age you need a whole range of ways of expressing concern and trying to move opinion,' says Bob Rae.
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez dodged questions if the government was responsible for setting the stage for a stand-off that could trigger an election, saying the question should be asked of the Conservatives.
Global Brief magazine editor Irvin Studin says politicians and policy-makers' thinking is 'too small, it’s too linear, it’s too path dependent, and it looks increasingly absurd as these systemic crises.'
Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says he's found it 'much more difficult to get information out of the minister’s officer' since Parliament returned with Chrystia Freeland in charge of the nation's finances.