EDITORIAL

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau arrive at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Game on! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to visit Rideau Hall this morning to officially trigger the federal election campaign.

Voters will go to the polls Monday, Oct. 21.

Regardless of your political stripe, if you’re of voting age, it’s now your job for the next five weeks to take in as much information as you can in order to make an good decision when you eventually go to mark your ballot.

Many people have already made up their minds about which way they’ll vote, but anything can happen in an election campaign. Remember, polls had the Liberals solidly in third place ahead of the last election, and the party ended up with a majority government.

There’s plenty of intrigue this time around, too: How badly will the SNC-Lavalin affair haunt the Liberals? Can Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer shake his image as Stephen Harper with a smile? Will NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh catch on with voters? Heck, will the New Democrats even be able to field candidates in all 338 ridings? Will the Greens have a substantial gain this time?

The answers to all of those questions will be revealed Oct. 21.

Of greater importance, though, are questions to local candidates. In particular: What can they do for us?

Once the campaign is over, you likely won’t see any of the leaders around here for a good, long while. But you will see the successful candidate and may even need to rely on that person for help accessing federal services. Choose wisely.

Yes, the big picture matters because MPs have to toe the party line, but their most important work happens right here in the constituency, and to a lesser extent in Ottawa where they have to bend their leader’s ear to get things done in their home riding.

So hunker down and prepare for the onslaught of political messaging. It matters.

We’re doing our bit by offering a daily question to each of the candidates, starting next week.

There are candidate forums all across the riding and it gives the public a chance to see how the candidates hold up under pressure.

It’s our duty to the public to help people stay informed. But the duty is yours alone to make sure you actually get out and vote.