While it might be a bit presumptuous of me to disagree with the former Elections Canada head, I'm actually pretty pleased with the choice to open up the writ period here. Not because I'm a political junkie, because I could use another month with that part of my brain turned off. I'm really pleased with this simply because it's formalizing the obvious. If anything, the writ should have dropped the morning after the last day parliament sat.
Candidates have been campaigning since January, really. It started revving up June 20 when the house was out. Since that time, MP's and candidates have been attending every BBQ or community event they could find in hopes of endearing themselves to a few more winnable votes. The dropping of the writ merely formalizes the reality that we're in campaign season.
While there seems to be a great number of folks happy to decry the timing of the writ (surely not because it's cutting into their vacation), perhaps the disdain would be better targeted toward the time honored and non-partisan* tradition of bribing us with our own money. These announcements, that only the governing party gets to make, are essentially taxpayer funded PR for the governing party. As Marshall Jones pointed out on CANADALAND: Short Cuts these events are usually useless for the most part. The government member there will stay on script, not say anything new, and it all gets sent out in a press release at the end anyways. The fact that these events even get local media coverage is evidence of a mainstream media wrangled into submission.
So bring on the writ, I say. We've been in election season for a year and it's about time the facts reflected that.
In the meantime, I managed to find this video of Stephen Harper trying to decide when to drop the
*I say non-partisan as this is something every government in the last 100 years has done.