The most significant influence in this campaign hasn't even happened yet.
But it will, at around 3pm pacific time, when Western Canadians will turn on their TV's, radios, and computers, and see election results stream in, before they cast their ballot.
The media blackout has been lifted.
And almost 5 million citizens will get a chance to vote, strategically, based on the eastern outcome.
It is that most frightening thing for political scientists: an untested variable.
The web is chocked full of goodness when it comes to these results:
The Globe has realtime results as well as regional breakdowns and interactive maps to the riding level.
CTV and CBC both offer live streaming of the results and the e-night cast. Neither are giving any glimpse into particular web-specific, value-added, content for the night.
The CBC's web wiz Tod Maffin is trawling the net to offer goodies to the TV radio side: "if you have a web cam at home -- even a cheap one -- we are now accepting short commentaries on what this election has meant to you, if you felt the leaders have addressed your issues, etc. Just go to here."
Wish it was more of a two way, interactive, conversation.
Canwest / Global is concentrating on the TV side, offering extensive local cut-ins of Kevin Newman's national show. Online: "The Decision Canada web site will also feature the latest election stories and exclusive post-vote polls, blogs and discussion.
Here's tonight's line up, courtesy Jim Bawden at The Toronto Star
CBC News revs up with a special edition of The National at 6 p.m. followed, from the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, by live coverage at 7 p.m. anchored by Peter Mansbridge with analysis from Keith Boag.
CBC promises to go live inside the war rooms of the three parties, with commentary from Mike Robinson of the Liberals, Tim Powers of the Conservatives and Dawn Black of the New Democratic Party. Covering from the regions are reporters Alison Smith (Atlantic Canada), Susan Bonner (Montreal), Don Newman (Toronto), Carol MacNeil (Calgary) and Ian Hanomansing (Vancouver). CBC's Wendy Mesley is with Paul Martin in Montreal, Eric Sorenson is with Stephen Harper in Calgary, Julie Van Dusen is with Jack Layton in Toronto and Jennifer Ditchburn is with Gilles Duceppe in Montreal. From time to time Rick Mercer will air "rants" on the election.
CTV's coverage starts early at 6:30 p.m. live from CTV's Election 2004 studios in Toronto, with old smoothies Lloyd Robertson and Craig Oliver anchoring the night. The panel of experts includes Edmonton North former Conservative (Alliance, Reform) MP Deborah Grey, Newfoundland's former federal Liberal leadership aspirant Brian Tobin, NDP strategist Judy Darcy, former Parti Québécois cabinet minister Joseph Facal and pollster Darrel Bricker.
On the road, CTV has reporters Lisa LaFlamme and Roger Smith (with Martin in Montreal), Tom Clark and Joy Malbon (with Harper in Calgary), Mike Duffy (with Layton in Toronto) and Rosemary Thompson (with Duceppe in Montreal). There will be cut-aways to CFTO for local Toronto results. Once it's over, there's a special wrapup, anticipated to start at about 11:30.
Global TV and sister station CH start at 6:30 with Kevin Newman hosting the news, followed at 7 by live coverage. Barry McKay of Wilfrid Laurier University is the expert. Global plans 30 minutes of live coverage every hour plus live coverage of key races across the country. Regional return desks will provide the fast-breaking results.
And don't forget to vote.