With the federal election set for Mon. Oct. 19, some Canadians say they’re already frustrated with candidates’ campaign promises.
“I’m annoyed by it all,” said Heather Maxwell.
Maxwell, 51, said she’s voted all her life but hasn’t paid much attention to the candidates in her Winnipeg Centre riding, because they aren’t focusing on the “everyday issues.”
Maxwell said she’d like to see the government develop affordable housing, something the Liberal Party plans to do by annually providing $125 million in tax incentives to increase and renovate rental housing and repurposing some federal buildings as low-cost housing, according to the party’s website.
“We need to be paying attention to the little things,” Maxwell said. “People just want to be happy. So when I hear [politicians] bantering at each other, I think ‘you guys really don’t care about us. You’re not concerned about what’s happening. You’re more concerned about getting elected.’”
But, as Darius Maharaj-Hunter said, housing and “everyday” issues are rarely federal domain.
The 19-year-old Winnipeg South resident works as administrative support for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba and said while many people are passionate about certain issues, they may not understand the political system.
“I have calls at the Progressive Conservative Party headquarters from people every single day to figure out who the Conservative party candidate is in their area. They don’t understand that there’s a difference between provincial and federal politics.
“It’s not just a lack of understanding. It’s just a lack of caring. It’s complete voter apathy,” he said. “People have the right and the opportunity to make change and make a decision by putting a piece of paper in a box. It’s one of the simplest things, but no one wants to do it.”
Maharaj-Hunter said he supports “Be the Vote” and “ABC” campaigns because they raise awareness of federal issues and encourage people to take action and vote.
“ABC” campaigns encourage people to vote “Anything But Conservative.” Before Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for an election on Aug. 2, the Conservatives held a majority government with 159 seats in the House of Commons, while the NDP held 94 and the Liberal party held 36.
Like “ABC” supporters, both the Liberals and NDP have emphasized removing the Conservatives from power, according to CBC. If the Conservatives win a minority government, these two parties may form a temporary alliance, or coalition, to form a government, but CBC reports this is unlikely.
The Canada Elections Act specifies a general election must be held the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year following the previous election. This spring, the House of Commons estimated this election to cost $375 million.
This is one in a series of federal election campaign stories completed by Journalism Major students in Red River College’s Creative Communications program. Click here to read more of their articles.