NDP readies campaign machine for possible spring election call with budget

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      The NDP’s national campaign coordinator has an urgent message for the party.

      “An election could be as little as 36 days away,” Lucy Watson alerted NDP members and supporters in a letter Tuesday (February 24).

      When the Conservative government delivers the budget in April, Watson warned, Prime Minister Stephen Harper “could use it to call an early election”.

      “That’s why every aspect of our campaign must be ready to go by April 1st,” Watson told New Democrats and party followers.

      Watson’s letter shows that despite assurances from Conservatives that this year’s election will be held on October 19 as provided by legislation, opposition parties are wary that Harper will pull the trigger early.

      In January this year, Vancouver Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies told the Straight that he believes that after the government announces the budget in February, Harper may call a spring election.

      Days later, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said that the budget will not be available earlier than April, noting that he needed more time to examine how tumbling oil prices at that time will affect Canada.

      Although Oliver’s announcement dampened talks about a spring election, the letter issued by the NDP’s Watson indicates that New Democrats are locked and loaded.

      “This coming Monday [March 2] is our monthly budget meeting,” Watson advised. “What we have in the bank as of midnight March 1st will fund campaign staff, TV ads, lawn signs, and campaign offices needed ahead of a possible early election.”

      So what’s the bottom line? Watson’s letter called for donations of at least $5 before midnight of Sunday (March 1).

      “What’s in the bank on Monday morning will determine our capacity over the next critical 36 days,” Watson stated.

      UBC law student Rob Mason explained that the election law gives the government flexibility in setting the date of the election.

      “The Prime Minister can go to the Governor General and ask for an early election regardless of the law,” Mason told the Straight in a phone interview Thursday (February 26).

      Mason is seeking the NDP’s nomination in the new riding of Vancouver Granville.

      Asked about the 36 days cited by Watson, Mason explained that April 1 is the earliest date that the budget may be delivered, hence the 36 days can be counted from that date.

      Mason said: “The NDP is preparing for all possibilities.”




      Feb 27, 2015 at 3:20pm

      The Cons aren't going to hold an election until October but they are letting the NDP & Liberals the chance to ear themselves and their bank accounts down before that. You can't keep an army mobilized for long and you can't "be ready" for an election months in advance.


      Feb 27, 2015 at 6:40pm

      Dear opposition parties, please make sure that you are targeting the Conservative Party and not Harper specifically in your prep, ads, talking points, etc... I would not be at all suprised to see him resign and hand the reins to Prentice.