NDP brushes off speculation about extended election campaign

NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks at a rally in Ottawa on June 17, 2015.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks at a rally in Ottawa on June 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada’s federal NDP says it’s not worried about the prospect of an early drop of the writ or having to finance a possible extended campaign.

The party has responded to speculation Stephen Harper’s Conservatives might be planning to drop the writ as early as next month and launch a longer-than-usual campaign aimed at outspending both the NDP and the Liberal Party.

READ MORE: Nearly one in five current MPs not running for re-election

The election is scheduled for Oct. 19 but the official start of the campaign is at the discretion of the PM.

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He could opt for a longer campaign while sticking to the October fixed election date.

An NDP insider who asked not to be named said timing is not an issue as far as he’s concerned.

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He told Global News the NDP is focused on its strategy for Canadians and won’t be knocked off its game plan just because the Tories decide to go for a longer campaign.

READ MORE: Fact-checking the new NDP attack ad on Conservative ethics

The Tory strategy could entail turning the election into more of a marathon than a sprint, requiring more money and resources to run and draining the lesser-funded parties of cash before they hit the finish line.

There has been further speculation the PM could drop the writ early as Aug. 9.

The Tory war chest has been used in past campaigns to buy TV commercial time for attack ads which have been used to cast a negative light on opposition leaders, most notably Michael Ignatieff in the 2011 race.

The Conservatives have yet to respond to a request for comment from Global News.


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