One year from the fixed election date, things are looking a lot like a campaign

WATCH ABOVE: Tom Clark sits down with Mark Kennedy and Jennifer Ditchburn to unpack the politics of the last week.

Tom Clark sat down with Mark Kennedy, parliamentary bureau chief for the Ottawa Citizen, and Jennifer Ditchburn of The Canadian Press to talk about the year ahead and the question of whether fixed election dates put Canada in a perpetual election campaign.

“I’m sure they have a plan, each of their parties, and they will work it back month by month by month,” Kennedy told Clark in a panel discussion on The West Block.  “They will know where they will be that month, what they’re doing that month, what their objective is that month, and it’s all heading towards October 19th.”

“Absolutely, you’re feeling it right now.  And if you track where the leaders are going, which ridings they are picking to spend their time in, it looks like a blueprint for the actual campaign,” said Ditchburn.  “Stephen Harper, for example, on Friday was in Sault Ste. Marie.  He was talking with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.  This is a core constituency for the Conservative party. ”

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The pair also discussed the controversial article in Chatelaine magazine on Justin Trudeau and his family and Tom Mulcair’s decision to go on a women’s talk show to discuss his national childcare plan.

“You may not necessarily get the best message to them through a scrum on Parliament Hill or even appearing on your show, Tom,” Kennedy said.  “They might think, as did Justin Trudeau possibly and Tom Mulcair appearing on that show, that the best way to appear relaxed and get their message out to them is to appear straight through that forum.  And it’s going to continue.”

“And look the prime minister did a whole piece with Hockey Night in Canada about…how many hockey jerseys he has.  I mean, if that’s not the definition of a puff piece. The justice minister did the front page of Hello! Canada with his family,” said Ditchburn.

Ditchburn told the Clark the Chatelaine article was a mix of “fluffy” journalism and less flattering details about Trudeau.

“It portrays him as very image conscious—that the photographs they were taking were all sort of constructed in the mind of Trudeau and his wife. Some of it was just not flattering,” Ditchburn said.

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