The Canadian federal election is about a month away as it will take place on October 19th, 2015. Currently it’s considered a three-horse race between the Conservatives, the Liberals, and the New Democratic Party (NDP). For American readers, that translates to Republicans, Democrats, and can’t-get-elected respectively.
The election is expected to be so close that it seems as though the projected winner is always changing. However what most of the projectionists have failed to factor in at this point is that there could be a major event going on in Canada’s largest city at the same time as the federal election. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming 2015 American League Championship Series (ALCS):
Game 1: October 16th
Game 2: October 17th
Game 3: October 19th (time is to to be announced)
Game 4: October 20th
Game 3 of the ALCS would be in the home building of the road team. What that means is that whoever has the lower winning percentage between the two qualifiers for the ALCS would host game three.
There’s still two to three weeks left in the regular season and then there is a round of divisional series to be played. However, at present, the top two favorites in the American League are the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals – two teams that do not like one another. For the moment it’s the Blue Jays that are favored to win the ALCS as their play over the last couple of months have made them the betting favorite – not just for their league but to win the 2015 World Series outright (source: bet365).
While standings can change as fast as the polls, currently there is a distinct possibility that the Jays and Royals could meet in Toronto in a game that would return the ALCS to Canada’s largest city for the first time since 1993.
However, even if the game is not played in Toronto, as long as the Blue Jays are in it there will surely be a degree of increased voter apathy among baseball fans for the 2015 federal election. While the game-time for game three has not yet been announced surely part of the game will overlap with the election booths being open. From what I recall from past elections, you can vote throughout the day, but for baseball fans the day will be all the more cluttered.
Like I mentioned, the last time the Jays were in the ALCS was 1993, the year of the Carter home run. The instant his homer went over the left-field wall at the Skydome was the last instant of baseball playoffs in Toronto Blue Jays’ history to date.
Kim Campbell was Prime Minister, Roberto Alomar played 2nd base, plenty of current Canadian baseball fans weren’t born yet, and so many of them have never known a Jays’ team that was in contention. Due to the latter, a 2015 playoff run promises to captivate Blue Jays’ fans, which are firmly entrenched in all parts of Canada, as much as any NHL playoff series. After all, the Jays might not contend for another 22 years – you could vote federally a handful of times during that span.
The 2015 election won’t just be between Stephen Harper‘s “old stock Canadians”, Justin Trudeau’s “nice hair,” and Thomas Mulcair’s attempt to put his party into power for the very first time. Josh Donaldson’s batting average, R.A. Dickey’s fastball, and the reality of sports fans not paying attention to politics, Noam Chomsky’s worst nightmare, could be factors as well.
I think, at this point, an astute reader might wonder if baseball fans in Canada tend to favour one party over another and it’s a good question. If they do then baseball-fan-voter-apathy could affect who governs for the next four years. Certainly regions of Canada vary on political loyalties so maybe the start time of the game could affect things in that way.
The voting booths, from what I recall from past elections, are a morning-to-evening thing and employers are supposed to let you have some time to vote during the business day if you need it. Surely this year more than others some Canadians will plan around the game more than they plan around their employer.
Since Political Science was only my minor I won’t offer much more of a guess of how game three of the ALCS could affect things. However I will safely say, with an ever-so clever pun, that the 2015 Canadian election is “anybody’s ball game.”
I’m sure that the newspapers and commentators will think of that pun too as Jose Bautista’s on-base-percentage is displayed on FOX while Peter Mansbridge and all shuffle through their own sets of statistics.