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On Your Mark - Sept 11

Updated: Sep 11, 2019



Good morning and welcome to first edition of the Bluesky Brief.


Over the next five weeks, there is going to be a lot of election content out there and Bluesky will bring you a daily dose of everything related to #Elxn43 delivered each weekday morning over the course of the 2019 campaign.


With 39 days until voters head to the polls, the Bluesky team is waiting patiently for the writs to be issued in a few short hours. 


Or is it waiting for the writ to be dropped? 

That is the question while we wait for the Prime Minister to make that visit to Rideau Hall. So, let’s clear this up right now. 


According to Elections Canada and the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, “a writ is a formal written order instructing the returning officer in each electoral district to hold an election to elect a Member of Parliament…The Prime Minister begins the process of calling a general election by presenting the Governor General with an Instrument of Advice recommending that the House of Commons be dissolved. The Governor General then issues a proclamation dissolving Parliament…Subsequently, the Prime Minister presents an Order in Council addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer requesting the issuance of writs of election, and the Governor General issues a Proclamation for the issuance of writs of election.”


In other words, a writ is drawn up for each riding and there will be 338 writs issued when Election 43 is called. The saying “dropping of the writ” then, is a Canadian idiom and we at Bluesky will do our best to adhere to using the language of Parliament. By the way, did you know that the Government of Canada has a terminology and linguistic data bank? You can check it out here while you are waiting for the writs to be issued.  


And until then, let’s find out what is….



  1. The 2019 election campaign starts today with the Prime Minister asking the Governor General to dissolve Parliament at 10 a.m. from Rideau Hall.

  2. The Conservatives and the Green Party launch their campaigns today.

  3. Polls suggest that the Liberals and the Conservatives are in a virtual tie.

  4. Let’s not forget our handy platform guide.

  5. Results from the Manitoba election – what will this mean for #Elxn43?



9:30 a.m. ET – VICTORIA - Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will officially launch her party’s election campaign. May will be joined by Green candidates from Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. This launch will be available via livestream through Instagram Live @greenpartyofcanadaofficial.


10:00 a.m. ET – OTTAWA – The Prime Minister will arrive at Rideau Hall for a meeting with Her Excellency, the right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. Trudeau will deliver remarks and hold a media availability afterwards.


TROIS RIVIERES – Conservative leader Andrew Scheer launches the party campaign.


TORONTO – NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will make an announcement in the downtown core.




And from the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice President

Planes and buses…

Moving a campaign tour around the country takes a dedicated team in each War Room and tireless staff on the road. By now, campaign teams have run a couple of mini tours to get ready for moving their leaders around Canada for at least 36 days. Most campaigns will lease an airplane and two or more buses. They will hold around 20 staff, plus 10-20 members of the media who usually spend a week with one campaign, then rotate to a different campaign.


Not only do tour staff and media need to be moved around the country, they also need to eat and sleep. The logistics manager on the road usually holds the title: “Wagon Master.” This person is supported on the tour by a deputy and a couple of “sherpas.” This team works with the tour director and staff back in the War Room. But really once you’re on the road, you’re on the road. Snacks, drinks and meals must be stocked on the bus, the wagon master will work with an airline to make sure there is food and beverages on the airplane and organise hotel dinners too.   

A typical week on the leader’s tour will see the plane leave Ottawa on Monday morning to some place in Canada. The buses will have been pre-positioned there on Sunday. The first event of the day is a message event. Having this event early in the day allows the daily message to run all day on the news. Then the tour will move during the day to various photo ops and the day will end with an evening rally to pump up supporters in that area. Off to a hotel, eat, sleep, get on the bus, get to the airport, fly to the next city, and repeat that all over again. The tour will arrive back in Ottawa late Saturday. Staff will be able to do a load of laundry at home that night, then it is back to the War Room Sunday to go through the plan for the coming week and then back on the airplane. 

By the end of the campaign you are “zombie tired” and you hope all the work pays off by seeing your leader become Prime Minister on election night.  It’s a wild ride!


And from the desk of Geoff Turner, Senior Consultant

Nominations! Not only a talking point in horse race reviews, the fact is that nominations take resources and attention away from campaign efforts. For both reasons, parties are under enormous pressure to wrap those up (and avoid the political dinging that comes with appointing candidates over nomination rivals).


Besides that, right now campaign logistics are top line. Getting staff and volunteers into key positions, locking up ad space and call contracts and having stacks upon stacks of signs printed. Gas the plane and kiss your loved ones goodbye for six weeks.

On the government side, there are inevitable and myriad loose ends that require tying up, from cabinet approvals, to final announcements, to staff level issue management or stakeholder relations in key files. Finally, an update of the key messages binders to keep the campaign apprised of the vetted government lines (and they, in turn, will generally make best efforts to stay on side of them).


In the middle of all this are hundreds of candidates, already on campaign footing – door knocking, meeting and greeting, lining up allies, donors and supporters. All surely with a raised pulse, waiting for the bell to ring and the lights to shine their brightest in the election hour.

With the beginning of the campaign hours away, one point of reference that holds some weight to consider for the Liberals will be the attractiveness of a BIG rally kick-off. Watch for the PM to fly from the GG’s residence to a big, loud, well-lit and commercial-ready rally in friendly territory where thousands of faithful can be pulled by organizers and attracted by candidates and, of course, a quite popular guy named Trudeau.


And finally, from the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

For the New Democrats, preparation for the day the writs are drawn can be described with a short saying; ahead on some counts, behind on others. The New Democrats were the first party to release their platform, which Jagmeet Singh unveiled in Hamilton in mid-June. This allowed the Orange Team to make up ground on their competition by spending the summer speaking about their offers to the Canadian electorate. They were also the first of the major parties to launch their campaigns, with Singh kicking off the NDP campaign in front of over 800 supporters in Toronto-Danforth, the former riding of the late Jack Layton.


While the NDP is ahead on the policy front, they are still coming up from behind on the organizational side. The party is still trailing all the other major party in nominating candidates, having just surpassed the 200 mark of nominated candidates over the weekend. The party has pledged to have over 300 candidates nominated before the end of this week, and a flurry of nomination meetings have been organized from coast to coast to coast. The NDP is also doing it’s best to do more with fewer resources than the past two campaigns, a skill that many long-time NDP campaigners have much experience using. Before the first leaders debate on Thursday night, Singh will stay close to the GTA and the ridings of Hamilton Centre and London-Fanshawe, where the NDP are trying to hold the seats with new, impressive candidates replacing outgoing stalwarts David Christopherson and Irene Mathyssen.



Starting this Friday, join Principal Tim Barber , Vice President Neil Brodie and Consultant Cameron Holmstrom for

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