Rhino's Ramblings - On The Eve Of The Campaign

By Robert Thomas Opinion/Commentary

With the selection of the Liberal candidate for the Moose Jaw – Lake Centre – Lanigan riding there are now five candidates from the major Political Parties set to run.

In my own estimation this election is likely to be a nasty one if the polls are correct.

There is the main event with all Parties vying for the top prize of being the Government. Whether or not it is a majority or a minority government is yet to be seen as well as which Party will as I said be Government.

Additionally though there is a second battle going on – if the polls are correct – between the NDP and the Green Party of Canada.

The polls seemingly show the Greens growing from their traditional one seat of Elizabeth May to much larger aspirations of not only holding onto the seat they won in a by-election at the expense of the NDP but building upon it. If the Greens can continue their apparent momentum and pick up the left flank of the NDP it could well mean the loss of official Party status for the NDP.

How much damage will be inflicted on the NDP by the Greens may well evaporate literally in the voter's box and voters lose courage to pull the trigger. Additionally the campaign is just getting underway and as in the last election you likely will not know what will happen here until all ballots are cast.

It is what happened in the last election the Liberals surged to majority at the expense of the NDP and Conservatives.

The NDP at the start of the campaign were riding high going in as the Official Opposition largely on the popularity of the late Jack Layton.

With Jack’s passing and the age of Thomas Mulcair the Liberals, who many commentators saw as a rump due to what has happened elsewhere throughout the British system, surged under Justin Trudeau's charm to grab a surprising majority.

The Liberals bucked the historical trend and the Party of the Center managed to revive itself in a bit of a shocker.

During the 2015 campaign Trudeau promised electoral reform which most saw as Proportional Representation but it did not take place as Trudeau reneged on the pledge.

On a national scale it is likely to get the Greens to work hard to get every vote they can in order to make a case for Proportional Representation.

A minority government which the Greens could prop up would likely include such a demand.

On a local scale do I think there is going to be some damage to the NDP because of what is being called the Erin Weir fiasco? Yes I do.

Weir, the highly popular Regina MP, was kicked out of the NDP by the NDP's leader Jasmeet Singh after improprieties of sexual harassment sprung up against Weir. Weir has tried for re-instatement on numerous occasions but was denied so he has decided not to rin again.

Now how big of an impact will it all have on the campaign locally is an unknown but with that said I have heard more than a couple rank and file NDP members tell me they are voting for Mister Trudeau.

If it is a sizable number it will in my opinion impact moderately to heavily on the local NDP's fortunes.

So how also do I know this is could be a really nasty campaign well it all has to deal with advertising. Leading up to the campaign I have had my fair share of Inquiries as to the MJ Independent’s advertisement rates. Rates which we do not have.

Although tempting we are continuing NO ADVERTISEMENT POLICY.

We will not be looking for ads from anyone because when it comes right down to it ADS especially political ads sometimes come with hidden strings.

I am not speaking about the hidden strings of advertisers dictating editorial content but rather the perception they do.

I can remember back to my community newspaper days and how elections were like Christmas for the salespeople. There were no local discounts and there were tons of ads.

With that said I have told those who wish to advertise with us to use their money to buy ads in more traditional media such as community newspapers.

The Moose Jaw – Lanigan – Lake Centre riding has two independent and locally owned community newspapers in Davidson and Watrous which I will assume could use the additional advertising revenue. If anyone reading this so choses to advertise perhaps take a good look at them.

It took a bit of work but I have applied for media accreditation through the national offices of the five biggest Political Parties. I wrote and mailed them all letters.

I am still waiting to see which ones will grant us accreditation although a couple have seen us as media. I cannot envision it happening but if we are not accredited then I suppose we simply will not cover that particular candidate’s event. It is just the protocol and process. I personally am old school and do not just show up.

With the writ about to be dropped we also ask you to do your research on the candidates and the Parties in various news sources then make an informed vote.

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