Reaction to NDP ‘fiscal framework’, what to expect tonight

By Ian Capstick · September 17, 2015

The NDP needed a well-articulated and clean launch to their “fiscal framework” ahead of the economic debate tonight. The orange team will be pleased with what they accomplished yesterday.

First, let’s take a look at the headline reactions:

Toronto Star: NDP promises four years of budget surpluses
CBC: NDP promises 4 years of balanced budgets in fiscal plan
CTV: NDP would hike corporate taxes to reach four surpluses
Canadian Press: NDP predicts four surpluses; health care, foreign aid details pending
National Post: NDP promises four years of budget surpluses with plan to boost corporate tax rates, eliminate income splitting
Reuters: New Democrats vow to hike corporate taxes, run surpluses
Globe and Mail: NDP seeks to fund spending plans with corporate tax hike

Consistency, clean messaging and articulating a balanced budget is what their campaign team intended to do. LPC and CPC mounted reactions, yet received less overall coverage and traction than the NDP.

NDP candidate Andrew Thomson found out just how exact Ottawa media like to get with the numbers. After being asked for a very specific number by Rosemary Barton, he tweeted: “Note to self: memorize all line by line expenditures before next @PnPCBC. FYI # is $595M in Y1 rising to $2.5B in Y4”.  Notwithstanding a few small bumps here and there, it was a very strong day one.  Thirty more to go for the NDP economic team. They’ll have to jump through this hoop again this election as the full platform has not been released.

The NDP economic team, Andrew Thomson (Eglinton—Lawrence), Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park), and Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques) will have additional media availability this morning at 9:15AM EST in the National Press Theatre.

The three-way race and the three-way debate tonight is going to be one for the ages, or we’ll all be asleep ten minutes in — there will be no middle ground. Expect some very sharp attacks on Mulcair and the NDP tonight because they are playing this election from the centre and the LPC is attempting to outflank and “out experience” the NDP.

I expect the LPC to reach into Mulcair’s Quebec City years and attempt to paint Mulcair as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The CPC will play on long-held stereotypes about the NDP and fiscal management. Expect more than a few low blows at the expense of former and current NDP governments. (The only NDP provincial government not likely to come under attack? Ambassador Doer’s highly successful terms as Manitoba premier).

As much as the CBC says tonight’s debate is about jobs and growth, it’s really about seeing if Mulcair can come out of it relatively unscathed. For the first time in a federal leaders’ debate, the NDP will be the primary focus of attacks from all sides.

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