Getting their duffs in a row

Will the Duffy Factor determine the date of the next federal election?

Will the Duffy factor determine the date of the next federal election?

Will the Duffy factor determine the date of the next federal election?

Carolyn Grant

The Mike Duffy saga will finally come to a conclusion next spring, as trial dates have been set for April 7 to May 12 and then July 1 to 19, 2015. The trial will be heard by a judge rather than a jury, as some speculate that finding 12 impartial jurors may be difficult.

Now here’s the thing. To those who love to follow, and speculate, on politics, yes it would be tough to find someone who doesn’t have an opinion — or at least have heard of — the trials and tribulations of Mike Duffy.

But I put to you that in the population at large, which may not appreciate politics for the blood sport it is, you would very likely find 12 people who don’t have any idea who Mike Duffy is. In fact I have just conducted a scientific poll in my own office.

Here was my method — “Hey, do you guys know who Mike Duffy is?” The reply? One no, and one “sort of”.

I carefully calculated the percentages and came up with the following conclusive statement.

Fifty per cent of those polled do not know who Mike Duffy is. Fifty per cent of those polled have some knowledge of him. Of course, the margin of error on this poll may be somewhat large, but statistics was not my best subject.

In any event, a trial of this magnitude in a year where Stephen Harper must put his party in front of the voters by the fall, is no small thing.

Even if Harper is not called to testify, and it is quite likely he may be able to find a valid reason to avoid taking the stand, it still could be a source of bad news for the Conservatives. Pundits speculate that Duffy may have some tricks up his sleeve. It is believed by some that Duffy, a former TV newsman and quite a showman, has not told all and is awaiting his day in court to drop a few more bombs.

The fixed election date is October 19, 2015. The government could call an earlier date, but with the trial date now set for spring, it appears unlikely.

Or is it?

A number of news sources reported this summer that the Conservatives had been quietly going about making sure their ducks … er candidates, were in a row, so that they would be prepared should an election be called in the spring. They were well ahead of the Liberals and NDP in doing so, although those parties too, were doing their best to get ridings organized.

But that was when it was thought there might be a surprise spring election. With the Duffy trial bound to consume the attention of political watchers, it is unlikely an election would be called during the course of the trial. But what about before? March? In Canada, that’s winter. Not the most popular choice, but not unprecedented.

It’s time for some election trivia, courtesy of the Parliament of Canada website.

Canadians have gone to the polls most often in the fall; 14 fall elections have been held since 1867, 12 elections have been held in summer, 10 in the spring and only five have been held in winter.

Now Prime Minister Harper may have some fond memories of winter elections. He became Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister in January of 2006, winning a minority. Still, a winter campaign is difficult. Travel is more difficult for campaigners, voters may have the winter blahs and just not get engaged. Getting voters to the polls can be difficult if a winter storm takes over election day in parts of the country. It’s not really anyone’s first choice. In fact, the 2006 election only occurred in January because a motion of non-confidence brought down Paul Martin’s Liberal government and an election had to be called.

So most are betting that October 19 will be the date. Let the chips, and whatever else Duffy decides to drop during the trial, fall where they may.

Carolyn Grant is Editor of the Kimberley Daily Bulletin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Cranbrook City Hall. File photo.
Council passes, adopts new bylaw to allow legal secondary suites

Cranbrook has formally adopted a secondary suites bylaw that will allow secondary… Continue reading

Cranbrook City Hall.
Council postpones land use discussion for proposed overnight shelter

An application for an overnight shelter will be presented at a forthcoming… Continue reading

Crisis line
Mental health crisis lines are busier than ever

The number of calls and the intensity of calls has increased. But the community is stepping up to help

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Most Read