All signs suggest Stephen Harper will drop the writ on Sunday kicking off an 11-week election campaign.
Whether the writ is dropped on the August long weekend or later in September, a handful of Saskatoon candidates running in the fall federal election say it won’t change their gameplan.
“My instructions are to be ready and we’ve been knocking on doors all spring and summer and we’re as ready as we can be whether the writ is dropped on Sunday or whether it’s dropped in September, doesn’t matter because we’re in full campaign mode,” Randy Donauer, Conservative candidate for Saskatoon West said adding his party hasn’t confirmed or denied that a Sunday election is happening.
Kevin Waugh, the Conservative candidate for Saskatoon-Grasswood , said he was tipped off that something might be coming down mid-August, and then he was told early August.
“We’ve had discussions, in the last month, they’ve asked to get everything in order like volunteers, your campaign office and they actually told me to get ready first part of August,” Waugh said.
The long-time CTV sports broadcaster said the sooner the writ is dropped, the quicker he can move away from the television world and focus on his election campaign.
“For me, I need to get on the doorsteps so this will be a clean break for me so yes I’m looking forward to it. So for me this is the best-case scenario,” Waugh said. “It will give me more time to do what I need to be doing.”
Donauer, who currently holds the city councillor seat for Ward 6 said he’s already submitted his notice for an unpaid leave of absence from city council, so whenever the election call is made, he’ll be ready to go.
Sheri Benson is the former executive director with the United Way in Saskatoon and the NDP candidate for Saskatoon West. And like her Conservative counterparts, she feels that same way about an early election and she sees the voting public benefitting from it.
“The one thing it might do is increase the level of awareness and bring the election issues more forward in people’s minds,” Benson said. “But for us it’s business as usual. We will keep working hard and knocking on doors.”
Vying for the seat of Saskatoon-Grasswood for the NDP is Scott Bell who said an early election call isn’t coming as a surprise.
“It won’t be like I wake up on Tuesday morning and its like ‘oh my gosh, we’ve got an election on.’ We’re electioneering and we have been for quite some time,” said Scott Bell, NDP candidate for the Saskatoon-Grasswood riding.
Even if it ends up being an 11-week commitment, Bell said people still seem excited about volunteering. In fact, he believes they’re at a better place in terms of volunteers than they’ve ever been before, chalking it up to excitement following the NDP-elected government in Alberta and a desire for change federally.
But he can only speculate what the Harper government`s reason would be for dropping the writ early.
“It’s a big of a surprise in one sense, like our economy is faltering nationally,” he said, adding an early election call is expensive and not something he believes the general public wants.
The federal election is set to go Oct. 19.
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