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Who are these guys?

Posted by cwaddell under All, Election 2011, Election 2011 Campaign strategy, Election 2011 Faculty links, Election 2011 Media commentary

Christopher Waddell

In every election the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP know there are ridings that each has no hope of winning but at least in media eyes there is credibility attached to running candidates in all 308 constituencies. So they all nominate candidates everywhere but not necessarily with the same degree of scrutiny as in ridings they know they can win.

Sometimes that means candidate backgrounds aren’t checked all that closely. Neither are their beliefs, past comments on the record or past activities. The only qualification in some cases is that the individual is willing to have his or her name put forward when there is no one else around – secure in the knowledge they will never have to worry about winning.

That may mean the candidate doesn’t live in the riding or even have much connection to it. No one looks that closely when everyone knows the person will be an election night afterthought.

Local riding associations may also be very small – in some cases just the diehards who could hold meetings in someone’s kitchen.

That’s the NDP in Quebec – until today. Now with two polls suggesting the NDP is suddenly in first place in the province the media spotlight will turn on them.

Who are their candidates, where do they come from, have they been campaigning in their ridings and what do they have to say?

Expect some surprises in the campaign’s last 10 days.

Christopher Waddell is director of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. He is a former reporter, Ottawa bureau chief for the Globe and Mail and a former CBC-TV parliamentary bureau chief and executive producer-news specials for CBC TV News. You can follow him on Twitter @cwaddell27