Federal election 2015

Election 2015: The day that was, Sept. 17

A Trudeau pile-on, those wild polls and the right (or left) way to start your day in our daily round-up of the last 24 hours in #elxn42

The Important

Even before the three leaders faced off at the Globe and Mail debate, both the NDP and Conservatives were taking shots at the Liberals’ fiscal plan. Trudeau said he plans to run a deficit for three years in order to focus on infrastructure spending and jump-start the economy, but the NDP said on Thursday morning that he still hasn’t accounted for many of his promises. An NDP release on “Liberal spending commitments” contained a page filled with question marks asking for the costs of pledges like restoring the long-form census, implementing a Chief Science Officer and modernizing the Access to Information system.

Jason Kenney, the Conservatives’ defence minister, also used a campaign stop in Toronto to talk down the Liberals’ economic plans, saying: “Rather than run three $10-billion deficits as he’s vaguely suggested, Justin’s spending promises can only be met if he runs deficits more than double that initially, and more than triple that when fully implemented.”

There was no comment on the matter from the Tories’ actual finance minister, Joe Oliver. Oliver was out campaigning in his hotly-contested Toronto riding where he is facing the NDP’s Andrew Thomson. The star NDP candidate—and former Saskatchewan finance minister—is often hailed as someone with a record of balancing budgets, though that was brought into question when a 2013 report from Saskatchewan’s former auditor, Bonnie Lysyk, surfaced Thursday saying the province would have run deficits had proper accounting standards been followed, including during Thomson’s tenure as finance minister in 2006 and 2007.

The NDP countered, saying the charts in the report looked at projected budgets and Thomson, in fact, ran surpluses those years.

The Interesting

What a difference a week makes. It wasn’t long ago that many people were counting out a Conservative Party that had slipped to third place in the polls. On Wednesday, with Harper back on his home turf in Calgary, one poll had the Tories back in front. In the aftermath of announcing the government’s posted budget surplus of $1.9 billion, a Forum Research poll found that Harper’s Tories bumped up their support to 32 per cent, while the NDP and Liberals polled at 30 and 28 per cent, respectively.

Perhaps Harper did know something we didn’t. Or maybe—in such an incredibly tight three-way race—it really just depends on which poll you’re looking at.

The Fun

It doesn’t carry the same prestige of being featured on the front of a Wheaties box, but the federal leaders will soon see their smiling faces on boxes of cereal. Starting Monday, a 27-year-old Ontario man will begin selling his election-themed cereal boxes for “Harper Squares,” “Trudeau O’s” and “Mulcair’s Luckiest Charms.”

Harper Squares “may not be the most exciting breakfast choice,” says a playful description on the website. “Some may even call it bland. But it sure gets the job done!”

Mulcair’s Luckiest Charms are portrayed as “A cereal for the 21st century. You might not have given it a try yet, but this is the century for Mulcair’s Luckiest Charms to shine!”

Trudeau O’s, meanwhile, are referred to as “Dated? Out of fashion? Maybe. But Trudeau O’s have been making a comeback in the past couple of years.”

Granted, one party leader is noticeably missing.