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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 January 2006, 13:55 GMT
Viewpoints: Canada election bloggers
Blogs written by Liberal and Conservative party supporters have enlivened the debate in Canada's federal election campaign.

Here some of the best political bloggers share their take on the campaign, ahead of the vote on Monday 23 January.

Colby Cosh, Colbycosh.com

Bart Ransom, Calgary Grit

Kate McMillan, Small Dead Animals

Jason Cherniak, Cherniak on Politics

David Cournoyer, Daveberta

Steve Janke, Angry in the Great White North

Colby Cosh

Almost every day of the campaign has been a disaster for the Liberal Party and a triumph for the Conservatives - it is a remarkable sign of the imperviousness of Liberal support that they are still close to 30%.

That the government, a minority government, suffered a vote of no-confidence more or less on the opposition's schedule, has made a big, and largely undiscussed, difference.

A lot of voters would have run to the first party to happen along that so much as called itself conservative
Colby Cosh

The Liberals had one piece of spectacular bad luck. On Boxing Day, a 15-year-old girl, Jane Creba, was shot dead in a gang firefight in Toronto. The gangsters seem to have been firing into the crowd with utter disregard for the lives of bystanders. Under the circumstances, I think a lot of voters would have run to the first party to happen along that so much as called itself conservative.

This is also the first election, thanks to the Liberals, in which we've had experience of genuinely vicious American-style negative advertising, complete with ominous music and borderline truths. In the past, the stuff we've described as negative has been pretty tame. So the fluctuations of the polls in the final days will be closely analysed to see whether those ads worked, and how well.

National Post newspaper columnist and Maclean's magazine election blogger Colby Cosh writes his own blog from his home in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a Conservative supporter.


This campaign has seen a shifting of the political tides in Canada only observed once a decade, if that. The Conservatives have run a nearly flawless campaign with detailed policy and have managed to keep the loose cannons in their party quiet.

When Prime Minister Paul Martin's communication's director Scott Reid's said that parents would spend child tax credits under a proposed Conservative government on "beer and popcorn" instead of on their own children, it displayed arrogance and a lack of respect for voters.

The big lesson from this campaign is that policy matters
Bart Ramson

The big lesson from this campaign is that policy matters. The Conservatives rolled out a policy a day during the campaign, while the Liberals had little new to promise. It told Canadians that the Conservatives had a clear, centrist plan of where to take the country.

But a Conservative victory on Monday won't signify a shifting of political opinion in Canada, which remains a very liberal country, but rather an intense dissatisfaction with Paul Martin's leadership over the past two years which has been called adrift and purposeless.

Bart Ramson is a Liberal Party supporter and blogs from Calgary, Alberta.

Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals

This has been an astonishing campaign. Most of us who support the Conservatives were hoping that they had pulled their act together since the last election, but nobody would have predicted how smoothly they've delivered the goods.

It's been equally astonishing to see the curtain pulled back on the Liberal Party's "Big Red Machine" to discover an insecure, ineffectual, and at times, incoherent and tired man.

The balance of power has shifted - information on issues and debate is no longer top down
Kate McMillan

A police investigation into possible leaks from the finance ministry ahead of its announcement on changes in income trust taxation, which broke early in the campaign, damaged the Liberals badly. Denials wear thin in scandal-weary Canada these days - we've heard them lie too often. The death blow was a series of Liberal attack ads which caused outrage across the country.

Politicians should beware of the internet. The balance of power has shifted - information on issues and debate is no longer top-down, no longer confined to an elite few in politics and media, while the audience is forced to listen.

Kate McMillan is a Conservative supporter and blogs from her home in Saskatchewan.

Jason Cherniak of Cherniak on Politics

The election began with the Liberals comfortably in the lead, but as the campaign went on, the Conservatives came out with new policies that redefined their leader, while the Liberals thought that Canadians would not pay attention to anything before Christmas and left their policy announcements to the end.

This error was compounded by the police beginning an investigation into the income trust announcement by the finance minister.

Most Canadians do not know the Liberal platform
Jason Cherniak

Since then, the Liberals have been unable to get their message out. The media focused on the income trust investigation when the Liberals made their most important policy announcements, so most Canadians do not know the Liberal platform.

The Liberals have responded by trying to remind Canadians of what they used to think of Stephen Harper. This is beginning to work, but it seems like it might be too little too late.

Jason Cherniak is a Liberal Party supporter and blogs from his home in Toronto, Ontario.


In my opinion, it's not that the Conservatives have been running a spectacular campaign, it's that the Liberals' national campaign has been doing a spectacularly awful job in projecting confidence and leadership. They look tired.

This election was unique in the fact that it was unofficially divided into two parts, the first party being before Christmas and the second part following the holidays.

The Conservatives capitalised on the first part of the election campaign by laying out policy announcements and defining the campaign in December, while the Liberals and New Democrats waited until the start of January to begin rolling out their campaign promises.

The Liberals are promising tax cuts and the Conservatives are promising a reduction of the goods and services tax, but in the big picture, these are issues that don't really matter. None of the parties is talking about the issues that really matter: the environment, Canada's place in the global knowledge economy, and post-secondary education.

David Cournoyer is a Liberal and New Democratic Party supporter, and blogs from his home in Edmonton, Alberta.

Steve Janke

The campaign has gone brilliantly for the Conservatives. One of the Liberal strategies was to hold back and let Stephen Harper's "extreme right-wing agenda" drive voters into the welcoming arms of the Liberal Party, which protects Canadians from all things bad. That never happened.

This election is notable for the relentless series of gaffes and scandals plaguing the Liberals
Steve Janke

This election is notable for the relentless series of gaffes and scandals plaguing the Liberals. The turning point was the announcement of an RCMP investigation into alleged leaks from the finance minister's office the day of the announcement that income trust funds would not be taxed.

When the finance minister refused to resign, many saw it as the Liberals not having learned anything whatsoever from previous financial scandals, and the polls moved inexorably towards the Conservatives.

Politicians shouldn't underestimate the internet. Conservative bloggers were relentless in bringing news stories to the forefront that critical of the Liberals. In a few cases, bloggers actually broke stories. The day of the cosy relationship between the three major media outlets in Canada and the political elite is over.

Steve Janke is a Conservative supporter.

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