All posts by Shane Mackenzie

The final days of an election can often bring out the worst of desperate campaign tactics. Suffering from lack of sleep and with no runway room left to correct the record, campaigns plot regrettable moves that don’t always reflect where the party leaders would have envisioned their campaign was headed, 76 days ago. Even though the final week is a tough time for the campaigners, it’s also when voter interest reaches its peak. As proof, this past Thanksgiving weekend we saw record numbers come out to cast their ballot in the advance polls. Regardless of the long lines and delays, a record number, 3.6 million voters across Canada turned out to vote at the advance polls — a 71 per cent increase from the 2.1 million who voted in advance in the 2011 general election according to Elections Canada. British Columbia was the province with the largest increase in voter turnout at an increase of 95 per cent over 2011. And the Ontario riding of Ottawa Centre had 18,751 advance votes cast, the most of any riding in Canada. Voters managed to make taking a selfie cool again– as long as it was outside of the polling station. So many voting selfies appeared on social media channels that it prompted Elections Canada to have to remind voters you can’t take photos inside a polling station. Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and CBC shared stories of the voting selfie, capturing social media images of proud voters, including this idyllic family photo of parents taking their daughter to vote for the first time. High voter turnout can be attributed to a combination a tighter race, a long campaign, relatively good weather, the extra day of the long weekend, and political passions flaring as families assembled for Thanksgiving. On Monday, 25.8 million eligible voters will get their opportunity to cast their ballot. Once they are counted, may this positive story outshine the negative ads and dirty campaign tactics that usually result in voter apathy. And so long as you do it outside the polling station, feel free to take a selfie.

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Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain.

IMAGES OF THE WEEK – PERSUASIVE CAMPAIGN EVENTS

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By: Lindsay Maskell

Advance polls open this morning across Canada and political parties are working to lock down support by urging voters to cast early ballots this Thanksgiving weekend. Persuasive campaign events were essential this week to shape opinion as families gather to tuck in to turkey and talk politics at a key decision-making time.

Electors in advance polls make up a huge number of votes, and they could sway results in a tight campaign. In the last Federal election in 2011, more than 2.1 million Canadians cast a ballot in an advance poll — that’s about 14 per cent of the total number of voters. This week we saw two different approaches to sway last minute support captured in our images of the week.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau held a rally in Brampton in a hockey arena boasting 7000 attendees. Introduced by his wife and endorsed by many in a slick video, the campaign’s goal was to drive the message of momentum for the Liberals to sway support. The energy and strong visuals filled a quiet news day last Sunday as TPP announcements were delayed until Monday.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper made an election pitch straight at young families Wednesday, proposing changes to the employment insurance system that would extend maternity and parental leave benefits to eighteen months. The Conservative campaign made a strategic reach to a demographic that needed to see a softer side of Stephen Harper. The campaign shared this compelling image on Instagram of Harper chatting with a little girl. The endearing image, and message paired with more of a focus on the economy instead of the Niqab this week, allows for less divisive dining room conversations as families gather for the long weekend.

Advance polls give early vital insight into how campaigns are faring in key ridings and polls. The data will help shape the final days of this election. So don’t forget to be thankful, and vote this weekend.