In the last two days, the leaders have proposed their first policies. Yesterday, the Tories proposed income splitting which while this sounds popular on the surface it won't kick in until 2015. This was widely panned by many and seemed like it was badly handled, however, considering it would take effect just before the next election if the Tories won a majority, I wonder if this was deliberate as a way to motivate those to give them a majority as otherwise this would be some future election promise. Today, the Tories promised a cut in taxes for small businesses. Seems like not a bad policy politically since policies that help small businesses are generally popular amongst the public as opposed to those that help large corporations. In addition, small business owners tend to be more numerous in rural and suburban Canada where the Tories are strongest and hope to pick up seats as opposed to the urban centres. Also this might help them amongst the immigrants who came in under the investor class. There are four primary immigration categories. The Tories aren't likely to get many votes from those who came as refugees or family class, so it makes sense to focus on those coming in under the economic class and business class who are more likely to be open to voting Tory.
For the Liberals, they proposed a $1,000 education passport. Asides from whether this is a good idea or not, it makes sense politically, The Tories are strongest amongst oldest voters who are most likely to show up at the polls on election day, while the Liberals have traditionally done better amongst younger voters. The problem is youth turnout is quite low and Ignatieff doesn't have the charisma like Obama, JFK, or Trudeau had, so if he wants to motivate the youth vote, he needs to find a policy that reasonates and post-secondary education is without question the area that is best to target. The only problem is many youth voters are so apathetic that I wonder how many know about this. On the positive side, this may sell well amongst those in their 50s since many have children in their teens who will be going on to PSE in the next few years, so he could gain some here.
For the NDP, they proposed reducing credit card fees, which is politically popular, but economically stupid, but considering the NDP has 0% chance at winning the next election they only have to worry about the former not the latter. The problem here is without the high fees, credit card companies would be less likely to give credit cards to lower income individuals as there is too great a risk of them not paying their bills or defaulting on their credit. Still, if it is popular and will sell amongst the public, that is really all that matters as the NDP won't form the next government so unlike the Liberals and Tories, they don't have to think about whether the policy is workable or not.