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Politics Campaign Notebook: More female MPs would improve debate in House, Elizabeth May says

Green Party leader Elizabeth May, smiles as she watches the Globe and Mail leaders' debate on television in Victoria, B.C., on Sept. 17, 2015. The Green party leader wasn't invited to the event or the Munk debate that is being hosted later this month.

Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press

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CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK

BY CHRIS HANNAY (@channay)

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Electing more women to Parliament would have a profound impact on the quality of debate, Green Leader Elizabeth May says.

"I've never worked in a workplace as male-dominated and testosterone-flooded as the House of Commons," Ms. May, the only female federal party leader, told an interviewer at Up For Debate, a forum for women's issues in the election.

The last House was 25-per-cent women, Ms. May said, far short of half but high by historical standards.

A recent tally from the non-partisan group Equal Voice showed the NDP had nominated the most female candidates in this election, with 43 per cent of their slate women. That's followed by the Greens (32 per cent), Liberals (31 per cent), Bloc (27 per cent) and the Conservatives (19 per cent).

Ms. May said it often takes more effort to convince women to run, and she has personally called some candidates to encourage them.

Party leaders Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Ms. May and Gilles Duceppe took part in the Up For Debate interviews. Stephen Harper did not.

DAILY TRACKING FROM NANOS RESEARCH

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Nik Nanos: "No major mistakes or triumphs leaves race in three-way tie."

  • Conservatives: 31.3 per cent (down 0.3 from last week)
  • NDP: 29.4 per cent (down 1.0 from last week)
  • Liberals: 30.3 per cent (up 0.7 from last week)
  • Green: 4.6 per cent (down 0.2 from last week)
  • Bloc: 3.4 per cent (up 0.5 from last week)

The margin of error is 2.8 points. Click here for Nanos methodology.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING

  • For the third month in a row, economists are lowering their expectations for growth in 2016, adding pressure on federal finances at a time when party leaders are crisscrossing the country promising billions in new spending and tax cuts.
  • Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair both blasted Justin Trudeau for announcing a day earlier he would scrap the multibillion-dollar purchase of 65 F-35 stealth fighters to replace the current aging fleet of CF-18s, and reinvest the savings into the navy.
  • NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said Monday that an NDP government would reopen the nine Veterans Affairs offices that were closed last year by the Conservatives and provide nearly half a billion dollars in additional support to veterans over the next four years.
  • A massive Pacific Rim trade agreement that the Conservative government is determined to conclude – even during this election campaign – would threaten more than 26,000 Canadian auto jobs, the country’s largest private-sector union is warning.
  • Thomas Mulcair says the NDP plan for $15/day daycare wouldn’t be fully rolled out for eight years.
  • Terry Fox’s family says they are not happy with the Conservatives’ weekend pledge and they want to stay out of politics.

TODAY'S ELECTION SIMULATION

The NDP nearly sweep Quebec, and storm Ontario and B.C. to win 145 seats and a crack at forming government. Try your hand at our simulator and find out what could happen if an election were held today.

Overall, the NDP currently have a 46-per-cent chance of winning the most seats.

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WHERE THE LEADERS ARE

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper kicks off this morning with remarks at Bison Transport in Winnipeg.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair starts the day with a morning rally in Moncton, N.B. In the evening, he gives a speech on the economy at the University of Ottawa.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in his home base of Montreal today, with a noon announcement at the Hyatt Regency.

THE REMAKING OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

Capital, labour and consumer prices are converging in an economic war that will present a real challenge for the next government, Scott Barlow writes.

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WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

"The remedy is to stop that kind of expertise from getting out, to stop the population from becoming more enlightened. The less people know, the less they challenge. It helps explain why in the Harper years, the public service, the giant bureaucracy in Ottawa, has been all but silenced." – Lawrence Martin on a bunker mentality in Ottawa.

Derek Burney and Fen Osler Hampson (Globe and Mail): "The inconvenient truth is that Canadians should care more deeply about foreign affairs."

Bruce Anderson (Globe and Mail): "From the time Thomas Mulcair became leader of the NDP, he's found himself cross-pressured, in a way that no other leader experiences."

Tim Harper (Toronto Star): "... the Conservatives still find it impossible to move off their baseless message that their opponents would forsake security for expediency."

Chantal Hebert (Toronto Star): "... that has turned the niqab into a political football for Harper and others to kick around in the election campaign."

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LOOKAHEAD: WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK

The French-language consortium debate will be held on Thursday.

The election is in 27 days.


This newsletter is produced by Chris Hannay and Steve Proceviat.


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