As time runs out, and the pressure intensifies, it is interesting to observe the changes in focus of an election campaign. The current federal campaign contains all the elements of last minute "sleight of hand" tactics by two leaders running scared.
Prime Minster Martin was quick out of the gate at the onset of the campaign. He appears to have shot himself in the foot with respect to his announcement of plans for a total ban of handguns in Canada. It was to be a campaign waged on the principles of law and order according to the Martin camp.
Mr. Harper, on the other hand, was smart enough to sit back and not say a lot about the matter. He let the people drive the message to the Liberals regarding the proposed handgun ban. He chose a course outlining his economic plans for the nation, thus forcing Mr. martin's hand. As a result, the law and order campaign of the liberals went straight to the back burner.
The Liberals were forced to take a stronger public stand regarding economic issues, something that one might suspect they were reluctant to do, considering the recent outcome of the Gomery inquiry which showcased a heaping pile of deceit, waste, and corruption. The electorate in Canada are not stupid. They are well enough informed to know that Mr. Martin himself was Minister Of Finance during those days, and later became the Prime Minster. The whole scenario does not sit well with the voters, who now on a daily basis must endure promises of integrity and good fiscal management from the same players.
Neither Mr. Martin nor Mr. Harper adequately outline a foreign policy with respect to Canada. There are serious trade issues with Washington to be addressed, especially with the softwood lumber industry, and as well, Washington's refusal to adhere to the rules of the free trade agreement.
The Liberals have told us in this campaign that they have managed debt and spending. They also tell us that they have actually reduced the national debt. Considering the staggering seven hundred billion national debt that we possess, the pittance that they claim to have paid down, would compare favourably to someone throwing one deck chair overboard from the Queen Mary to lighten the load in a gale.