Oct 19, 2015

By Jane Brown

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The longest federal election campaign in modern Canadian history comes to an end today as voters head to the polls across the country.

The 78 day political journey began when Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to the governor general on August 2nd.

The Conservatives under Harper have promised continued balanced budgets, low taxes and what they describe as a firm grip on the country’s economic steering wheel.

“It is a choice and there are two very different directions between a Conservative government or a Liberal or NDP government,” Harper said on his final night of campaigning, “That’s a very different direction for our economy, and we need to be very clear to our friends, to our neighbours, to our co-workers, about the economic risks that Canadians take if the Liberals or NDP are elected tomorrow.”

The New Democrats, led by Tom Mulcair, have also promised to balance this year’s budget, but would tax large corporations more to pay for such things as 15-dollar-a-day subsidized child care.

“Mr. Trudeau never got it done, the Liberals never got it done and they had four tries at it, they had four mandates. It seems to me that the Liberal argument is that they couldn’t get it done, it can’t be done. Well you know what, they shouldn’t confuse the limits of their ability with the limits of what can be done. We’re going to get it done,” Mulcair said on the last day of the campaign.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals meantime, have pledged an immediate infusion of government cash into infrastructure projects, saying the spending is needed now to build the economy and create jobs.

But the Liberals say that’ll mean budget deficits over the next three years to invest in those projects.

A strong turnout is expected at the polls today based on advance polling over the Thanksgiving weekend , when 3.6 million voters turned out. That was a 71 percent increase over advance voting in 2011.

A poll conducted on Friday by CARP – A New Vision of Aging – revealed that over 40 percent of CARP members had voted in the advance polls. The survey revealed the Liberals had the most support of CARP members at 45 percent, followed by the Conservatives at 36 percent and NDP at 13 percent.

If you’re undecided up until the last minute, check out Libby Znaimer’s one-on-one interviews with Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau.

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