Could you survive a 'day in the life' of a party leader?

Here’s what it’s like to walk in party leaders' footsteps on the hustings.


As we move into the holiday long weekend, let’s take a moment to be thankful that we aren’t on the gruelling, non-stop schedule of a party leader on the campaign circuit. Most of us have difficulty imagining what it would be like to fly to three cities, hold two interviews, attend four events, meet a mayor, answer emails and prep for an upcoming debate, all in a single day. And then repeat that for 78 days. In search of some understanding of these intense schedules, we contacted each campaign for an example of a daily itinerary. Three parties provided us with one. (Can you guess which declined, for security reasons?) Using those sample schedules, we’ve created a unique, interactive experience that allows you a small taste of the hustle of the hustings. Are you curious about the day-to-day of a federal leader on the campaign trail? Read on. This will be fun.

What you’ll get

It’s a single-day experience that allows you to feel like a federal party leader on the campaign trail by living a day of his or her life through calendar notifications.

How it works

Choose from the leaders who provided an itinerary. (Sorry, Stephen Harper thinks you’re a security risk.) Here they are:

Leaders' pictures

Now, pick which leader’s schedule you want to experience and click the appropriate button below to download a calendar file. Once you download the file and import the calendar (instructions below), you will find an entire day’s itinerary, based on an earlier real day in each leader’s campaign. The events are set up with alerts, so, throughout the day, you will receive notifications that give you a taste of the unrelenting and overwhelming daily schedule of a party leader. NOTE: The calendars are set up for Wednesday, Oct. 14, but if you copy and paste the events in your calendar program into another day, you can experience the hectic political program any time you wish.


When you click on a button, it will download a calendar link. You can open this in any calendar program. But take note, it will add about 30 items to October 14. So if you have a busy day anyways, consider creating a new calendar just for this.

These calendars should work on your mobile, but if you have an Android phone, you may have some trouble. It’s an .ics file, and you may need an .ics importer app if you want to add to your phone’s calendar.

If you’re using iCalendar (desktop): Open the file with iCalendar. That’s it!

If you’re using Google Calendar (desktop): Go to your Google Calendar. Under “my calendars,” create another calendar. Then, under “other calendars,” click “import calendar.” Browse to the file you just downloaded, and choose which calendar you want to add it to (the one you just created). Click “import.” Now, go to the calendar you created and click on “edit notifications” from the dropdown beside it. Under “event notifications,” click “add a notification.” Now, set how you want to receive notifications for the events. I suggest a pop-up one minute before each event. Save. You’re ready to go!