The economy is repeatedly named as the number one issue that Canadians will have on their minds as they vote on October 19th.  The ballot box question is likely to be some variation of the following question: “Which party has the best plan to manage the economy during uncertain economic times?”

Each of the three main political parties has offered up its own nuanced policy position in relation to this question.  Both the Conservatives and NDP have stated that, with Canada’s budget now nominally in a surplus position, their party will not return to deficit spending.  The Liberals have staked out slightly different ground by stating they will run small deficits over the next few years in order to boost spending on key infrastructure projects.

The NDP know that one of their biggest challenges with Canadian voters is skepticism on the issue of economic management.  The Conservatives, in particular, have openly challenged the NDP’s assertion that they can implement their platform commitments while keeping Canada’s federal budget in balance.  The Liberals have also been on the attack as they compete with the NDP for “progressive” vote switchers.

So, with the Globe and Mail debate on the economy taking place tonight, it was a strategic decision for the NDP to put out the costing of their platform one day in advance.  There was not a lot of detail provided, but they now have bragging rights over the other two parties going into the debate.  We’ll see over the remaining few weeks of the campaign whether this strategic decision pays off.

StrategyCorp has prepared a Quick Reference Guide for the NDP platform costing and it is attached.