Canada is looking at upgrading their jet forces in the 2016-2020 time frame. They kind of have to since the F-18s they fly now will be ending their service lives in that period.
The F-35 makes a fairly logical choice and the per unit cost doesn't seem to be too far off from the alternatives. Shopping around might be useful but to be honest there are probably political considerations that would still end up having the F-35 as the favorite.
As far as liberals vs conservatives, they both tend to have the same problem, in that they don't clearly articulate the issues in an accessible way to the population.