In Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams posited the existence of 'SEPs':
An SEP is something we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem.... The brain just edits it out, it's like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won't see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye.
The technology involved in making something properly invisible is so mind-bogglingly complex that 999,999,999 times out of a billion it's simpler just to take the thing away and do without it....... The "Somebody Else's Problem field" is much simpler, more effective, and "can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery."
This is because it relies on people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain.
SEPs were applied to great effect in the platforms of the two parties that did best in the election. (The other parties used them too, but with manifestly less success.)
The Conservative SEP took the form of its promise to not increase taxes, not cut any programs and to eliminate the deficit by means of "controlling spending and cutting waste". This is of course a time-honoured custom, but these sorts of promises are usually made by opposition parties. Out-of-control, wasteful spending would ordinarily be a subject that a five-year-old government would try to avoid talking about. But it is still an effective gambit: since no-one thinks government waste is their problem, no-one thinks too hard about what it means.
The NDP's SEP was the mirror image of the Conservatives': tax increases that no-one had to pay. Corporate taxes, tax expenditures on fossil fuels, and $2b/year from a 'Tax Haven Crackdown'. (That last one is a particular favourite of mine, since I was able to quote verbatim the entire discussion of the issue as laid out in the NDP platform in the space of three words.) If you're willing to ignore such abstract notions as tax incidence and corporate personhood - and my experience from the campaign is that almost everyone is - then corporate taxes are easily hidden in an SEP.
And of course both the Conservatives and the NDP have been hiding the consequences of their climate change policies in an SEP for several years now. They've learned from Stéphane Dion's experience that Canadians are willing to support any measure to protect the environment so long as fossil fuels remain cheap and plentiful.
This trend has probably been going on for a long time. The path to power is not to tell Canadians that they are responsible for dealing with an issue, but to tell them that it is Somebody Else's Problem.