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Chapter 15

POLS 1400 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: William Riker, No-Win Situation, Spin Doctors

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan

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Chapter 15: The Election Campaign, Voting, and Political Participation
The National Party Campaign
1. Party Headquarters and Pre-Writ Preparations
At the national level, political parties are always thinking about the next election,
especially if there is a minority government in charge
Engaged in a "Permanent campaign"
Planning includes things like; setting up a national campaign committee,
strategy, policy, image, and budget
Federal parties have campaign committees in each province
Between elections parties are searching for candidates for the local regions, or the
head of the party,
Fundraising occurs as well
2. Election Strategy
Involved deciding which groups within the electorate are to be targeted
Whether to emphasize the leader or the issues
All parties divide the electorate into 3 categories: Safe, Marginal, Unwinnable
And put the most energy into the middle group
This helps to plan out the itinerary for the leader's tour
3. The Election Platform
Political parties produce a political Manifesto that features the lists of policies,
promises, and priorities that they intend to implement if elected
Ex. The liberals "Red Book"- Creating opportunity: the Liberal Plan for
Based on a thinkers' conference in 1991 and policy debates at a
party convention in 1992
2015 the liberals released their platform entitled "A new Plan for a Strong
Middle Class"
4. Leaders Tour
Crisscrosses the country many times over the campaign period to attract attention
as well as to generate national media coverage (this type of coverage is free)
5. National Media Advertising
The most important part of the media campaign is television, and huge amounts of
money are spent on television commercials alone
The purchase of broadcast time in the campaign period is regulated by the
Elections Act
A representative of the party and the Broadcasting Arbitrator to agree on an
amount of time, and if they can't the arbitrator follows the guidelines; it requires
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that each broadcaster make available six and one-half hours of prime time for
6. Political Marketing
Is focused on developing a party brand and analyzing existing potential markets
for that brand
Branding focus' on peoples emotions rather than reasoned thoughts
7. The Leaders' Debates
The televised leaders' debates have been held in every election since 1968 except
1972,1974 and 1980
Originally a byproduct of the influence of American presidential politics
There are no regulations currently for the debates
Different Media outlets host debates, and they can be broader in scope or focus on
topics such as; the economy, foreign policy etc.
Spin Doctors- after the debate each party sends forth its spin doctors to persuade
reporters that its leader won
The 2015 Election Campaign
The October 19, 2015 election was held under Canada's fixed-date law
The PM asked the Governor General to dissolve parliament on August 4, and the
78-day campaign was the longest since 1872
There was controversy over inappropriate expenses in of $90 000 that had been
covered by Harpers' chief of staff Nigel Wright
Another was the photo of the a drowned Syrian refugee boy that had recently had
been denied entry into Canada, that set of debate about Canada's response to the
refugee crisis
Many voted for the Liberals to simply vote for the party most likely to win other
than the Conservatives
Liberals won with 184 seats, conservative 99, NDP 44, Bloc 10
The Local Candidate Campaign
1. Nomination
The nomination is the first priority of each party
Nominating candidates in one of the most important functions of political parties
at the local level
Although it is generally a wide-open opportunity for ordinary people to
participate and influence the direction of the political system, the nomination
process does not usually generate much interest
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