December 12, 2017

Early voting starts in Canada elections

Why do most of the publicity photos of Stephen Harper have him with an arm outstretched? Has he seen a ghost or is it some kind of right-wing salute?

Early voting has started in the Canada general elections ahead of the 2nd May election day.

More than 4,000 advance polling facilities are in operation across Canada on Friday, Saturday and Monday and are open for eight hours a day starting at noon, local tme.

Elections Canada spokesperson, Grace Lake, says the early polling was designed to give Canadians a more convenient option when they exercise their right to vote. Maybe a few other government agencies could learn a thing or two from Elections Canada about convenience for customers.

If the opinion polls are anything to go by then the result is a forgone
conclusion. The latest Nanos Research poll has Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party at 37.8 percent support. The main opposition Liberal Party led by Michael Ignatieff is only on 26.7% support.

The voter turnout is expected to be highest in recent years after an increasingly bitter election campaign.

A Canadian political party needs around 40% of the vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. Winning a majority is also possible if the gap between the front-runners is more than 10 percentage points.

It looks like Stephen Harper might get across the line on both counts. But then pollsters don’t always get it right.