What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

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NorthReport
What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

Opposition parties usually win by-elections, and last nite Canada's Official Opposition won nothing.

It's obvious to most political observers that the Liberals are now dead in the water.

The only hope we now have of preventing a Conservative majority lies with Canada's NDP.

So what can the NDP do to prevent Harper from achieving his objective?

Here are a few suggestions:

Unlike Ignatieff, Layton should be used for maximum exposure, as he is more popular than his party.

The NDP could start applying the organizing tools they learned at the Halifax convention.

The election message needs to be kept simple as Kim Campbell once said: "an election campaign is no place to discuss policies".

But what should the NDP say that will resonate with the voters in order to prevent a Harper majority?  

 

Michelle

Quote:

Unlike Ignatieff, Layton should be used for maximum exposure, as he is more popular than his party.

Yes, that would be so different than what they do now!  ;)

Chester Drawers

Move farther to the left.  Put some space between the NDP and Liberals that is easily definable.  The soft core Liberal vote will migrate to their political preference.

bekayne

Chester Drawers wrote:

Move farther to the left.  Put some space between the NDP and Liberals that is easily definable.  The soft core Liberal vote will migrate to their political preference.

To the Conservatives?

remind remind's picture

my exact thought bekayne

KenS

At bottom, the NDP can really only do the best it can.

A direct attempt at "preventing a Conservative majority," under the conditions of a multiparty circus is at best trying to do things over which you have the least control. And way too likely to result in doing 2 things badly: both doing the best for the NDP, and doing the most to undermine the Conservatives.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I agree the NDP should move further left so that there is more of a distinction between the NDP and the Liberals. According to the BBC World News poll (see [URL=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/murray-dobbin/2009/11/capitalism-isn’t...'s article[/URL]), the public is ready for more regulation of business and many consider capitalism to be "fatally flawed". The NDP should be capitalizing on this crisis of capitalism.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I disagree that the NDP should become any more leader focussed.  Jack is already too prominent.  We elect MP's in Canada and the NDP has some of the best and hardest working MP's. I think Canadians need to see the team more so they can get comfortable with who they are actually going to elect as the Official Opposition.  The NDP should not be about the leader since that is a fools game in the long run.  We want Canadians to understand and accept the need for change of our institutions not trick them with a Strong Leader.

As for being more left wing I think that is a matter of emphasis.  As someone who has followed and supported (mostly) the NDP I know that convention after convention has passed very good public policy.  As a party they need to emphasis the existing left perspective and give it the face of the grassroots by talking about the genesis of the Resolutions and why they are good policy alternatives to the boom and bust resource driven economy.  The party already has good policy if they would just start talking about it.

I sugggest they emphasis this:

 

The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the  administration of public affairs. 

 

JKR

KenS wrote:

At bottom, the NDP can really only do the best it can.

 

 

By itself, the NDP isn't in a position to single handedly prevent Harper from attaining a majority. The BQ and Liberals also have to play their parts in preventing a neo-con majority.

If they want to prevent a Harper majority, the NDP, BQ, Greens, and Liberals should aim all their ammunition at the Cons.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JKR wrote:
By itself, the NDP isn't in a position to single handedly prevent Harper from attaining a majority. The BQ and Liberals also have to play their parts in preventing a neo-con majority.

As bad as the Cons are governing as a minority, I have no doubt they will be even more of a catastrophe for Canada if they are given a majority, and given the current math of representation in the H of C, it's painfully obvious that not only do the NDP need to pick up more seats, but so also do the Liberals and the BQ, and all at the expense of the Conservatives. The longer Harper is PM, however, the less scary he is to the electorate.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

If the objective is to keep the Conservatives out at all costs, it's a little late. The time for this sort of talk was the last election, where there was a real alternative with Dion. Now we have no action on the environment and we are impeding international negotiations. So, forget strategic voting issues and focus on the NDP's core message.

Debater

JKR and Boom Boom make good points.  The NDP cannot do it alone.

Chester Drawers

The only way right now to defeat the Cons is to form a coalition.  The problem is that the ROC will not stand for a coalition that includes the Bloc either directly in government or through backdoor policy support.  The NDP and the Libs have to do so with a majority of seats without Bloc support.  They would have to publically campaign as such or it will be seen as power at all costs and be damned on party convictions.

The political brain trusts of the NDP and mostly the Liberals will not acquiesce to power sharing.  The publics outrage last Dec. of the backdoor dealing on the coalition have scared them off.  Not one party official will publically say that they are willing to campaign on a coalition ticket.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

No way a coalition will be accepted by the electorate, so the only way imo to keep the Cons from a majority is to elect as many Opposition MPs as possible, all at the expense of the Cons. It appears to me that the Cons will remain in power for a while yet, with or without Harper at the helm. That being the case, the best we can hope for is the slimmest Con minority possible, and even then, you will still find Liberals, NDP, and BQ MPs siding with the Cons on crucial votes (witness Libs and NDP'ers siding with the Cons against the long gun registry, for example). In short, this country is screwed.

Debater

I think the main objective right now probably is to keep Harper to a minority in the next election until a stronger opposition leader can emerge to replace him.

The objective for the Liberals in the next election will no longer be to get Ignatieff elected Prime Minister since he does not appear up to the job, but to keep Harper to a minority and then get a new Liberal leader.

Colin Ferrie

NorthReport wrote:
It's obvious to most political observers that the Liberals are now dead in the water.

They can return to the regularly scheduled intra-party backstabbings they are attempting to perfect.  Maybe the problem is simply the fact that the Liberals can't seem to front decent candidates that people would actually vote for.

Quote:
So what can the NDP do to prevent Harper from achieving his objective?

They could remind people that Bob Rae is now a part of Team Liberal - that will score some votes from those who remember his degenerate regime in Ontario.

Quote:
The election message needs to be kept simple as Kim Campbell once said: "an election campaign is no place to discuss policies".

Yeah, that mantra really helped Kim Campbell, singlehandedly taking the party from a firm majority to a non-party consisting of Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest.

remind remind's picture

why are the Liberals blamming Iggy?

Are you saying you all were forced  by him to crown him?

Sineed

Colin Ferrie wrote:

Yeah, that mantra really helped Kim Campbell, singlehandedly taking the party from a firm majority to a non-party consisting of Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest.

Rather than blaming Canada's 1st woman prime minister (why her?  why??) the blame for the destruction of the Progressive Conservatives really needs to be placed square at the feet of Lyin' Bulroney, who quit before he could lose.

Kim was (and is) a smart woman, but so stupefyingly bad as a politician that at the time, I speculated to some friends that maybe the Conservatives put her in charge because they knew they were toast no matter who was leader, so, silver lining, why not discredit women as political leaders?

farnival

Sineed wrote:

Rather than blaming Canada's 1st woman prime minister (why her?  why??) the blame for the destruction of the Progressive Conservatives really needs to be placed square at the feet of Lyin' Bulroney, who quit before he could lose....

 

bingo!  the only thing that can prevent future Conservative majority governments are voters.  The NDP has always been very NDP and being "very NDP" means the con/lib supporting media will lampoon us as tax-and-spend socialists who will wreck the country, and the voters have munched it up like the sheep they are.

As far as i can see, the NDP could take any tack they want, but at this point, the only thing to prevent future Conservative majorities is an actual Conservative majority.  Only then will the voting public be horrified enough that they look at alternatives.  voters seem to have decided that the Liberals are not that alternative, but don't seem to be ready to let us socialists run the shop just yet.  A solid does of Con liver oil will wake them up in a hurry, just like Mulroney's majority hubris did in his party permanently, as did Harris'.  People are obviously thick  enough to forget that all of Harris' inner circle are now running the federal govt. and they don't seem to mind.  they will should the Cons get a majority.  and once they do, we will never have to deal with them again.  if you thought the repudiation of Mulroney was bad, wait til the public eats crow on electing Harper with free reign.

it's a bitter pill, with huge consequences, but it may be the only solution.

no1important

I really dunno what the NDP can do. The alleged main stream media all but ignore them. Even the CBC story on by elections ignored the NDP in the headlines (you would think only BQ and cons won) and was a mere after thought in their article.

 

The NDP does a great job but due to the media bias in this country they can not get their message out like the other two parties who are basically the same parties now.

Debater

Colin Ferrie wrote:

They could remind people that Bob Rae is now a part of Team Liberal - that will score some votes from those who remember his degenerate regime in Ontario.

Degenerate regime in Ontario?  I think you are confusing Bob Rae with Mike Harris.

David Young

What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

Here in South Shore-St. Margaret's, we're going to defeat Gerald Keddy in the next election, that's what!

We have our candidate nominated already, Gordon Earle; we've started fund-raising for the next campaign; we've been gathering new lists of supporters/sign locations/campaign workers, etc. from the recent provincial election; plus we've been watching Gerald put one foot into his mouth after another.

We're ready to do our part here in S.S.S.M.

 

Polunatic2

Quote:
the publics outrage last Dec. of the backdoor dealing on the coalition have scared them off.
I think a lot of the outrage was contrived by the conservatives and right wing media for obvious self-serving purposes. If the outrage was a deep as suggested, we'd hear screaming every time the bloc and ndp support the conservatives on this bill or that. Harper is quite content to do business with socialists and separatists when it suits him. 

First past the post was the elephant in the room and the silence from all parties was deafening. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

David Young wrote:

What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

Here in South Shore-St. Margaret's, we're going to defeat Gerald Keddy in the next election, that's what!

Exactly how does replacing one Opposition MP with another stop the Cons from obtaining their majority?

Doug

That's because nobody's come up with a model yet for a replacement that will win wide public acceptance. We've had two different models of PR rejected (sort of) in BC and in Ontario so it's kind of a dead issue at the moment.

Chester Drawers

Polunatic2 wrote:

Quote:
the publics outrage last Dec. of the backdoor dealing on the coalition have scared them off.
I think a lot of the outrage was contrived by the conservatives and right wing media for obvious self-serving purposes. If the outrage was a deep as suggested, we'd hear screaming every time the bloc and ndp support the conservatives on this bill or that. Harper is quite content to do business with socialists and separatists when it suits him. 

First past the post was the elephant in the room and the silence from all parties was deafening. 

There's a huge difference between garnering support for a bill and wrestling power away with a signed document where power is shared and dependent on the veto of a non-canadian party.

The outrage was real, why did the three western premiers meet with phone conferencing by one premier and two territorial leaders to discuss this coalition.  It wasn't to congratulate the three amigos.  There was plan started to implement a referendum on separation.  The question was clear.  Many will deny this, but that was the scope of the discussions.  There were also discussions by the four western con caucuses to leave the national party and form a separatist party with the real aim to separate, not like the Blocs' fake separation threat.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

NDP stop a Con majority? Gimme some of dat Kool-Aid would make the prospects of a Con majority go down better.

Well reduce the chance-- that might be more realistic:

[...]

Bravo Sean, I couldn't agree more. The NDP should send you a cheque for this good strategic advice.

Sean in Ottawa

Chester Drawers Please provide some references to the phone conferencing and Con separatist stories. I think either you made this up or listened to someone else who did.

If you have proof that the western Cons planned to form a separatist party if they had been unseated -- show it-- the scandal would end Harper's government in weeks. No way Campbell would have won either if such talk was really out there.

Did you forget that Harper is a Western Conservative?

What is your real motive for posting such fantasy?

 

Sean in Ottawa

NDP stop a Con majority? Gimme some of dat Kool-Aid would make the prospects of a Con majority go down better.

Well reduce the chance-- that might be more realistic:

1) Delay an election as the Cons are in a position to win right now-- something the party is doing already. This is not controversial.

2) The party should focus on economic issues-- a small number of them. HST is one but only in some regions.

3) The party as others have said should focus more on the team than the leader-- not because the leader is not an asset but because he is already well known and the party should allow people to understand the strength of the team and it is not doing enough of that. Looks too old-school top-down.

4) The party should do what the others are not doing-- provide a blueprint for government. The Liberals are not doing this because they think it would be a target but the NDP is in a different situation as a third party- it does not get enough attention on the issues. A well thought out platform now for the NDP would be less of a problem because there are many popular positions that are different from what the old line parties would ever do and it would provide fodder for discussion about alternatives to the right wing options we now have. As well the impression of a plan for governance needs to be started now because the party always struggles with that. But read below-- we need a national conversation first.

5) Work with other parties on political issues in common. At no time in Canadian political history has more than one party advertised together. A joint advertising campaign might be very effective. I think when it comes to alternative programs the NDP has nothing in common with the other parties and should not touch any electoral cooperation and likely not waste much energy on legislative cooperation. What I am referring to is a single negative advertising blitz paid for by the opposition parties on issues of accountability, the most secretive government on record, dirty tricks, the politicization of the stimulus spending, even the politicization of the Olympic torch run, the nastiness of the Conservatives. Canadians really are not scared of the Cons right now-- the one weakness that party has is on issues of hypocrisy and nastiness. A tough ad campaign could be done by the three parties which could then agree to differ on everything else.

6) Avoid working with the other parties on issues that are not shared-- do not agree to standing down in ridings so a completely different party-- Liberals can win; do not pull punches in attacking Liberal records as well as those of the Cons.

7) Avoid the trite repetitions that make the party and leader look less real and sincere-- when Layton touches down he should assume people heard what he said in the last place (if it was reportable they have). I know they say - stay on message but the NDP speechwriters are confusing the concept of reinforcing a simple message with outright repetition. In a soundbite world- where you say the same stock phrase it is that repeated one that may be the only thing reported. Someone needs to tell Layton when he repeats the same joke, the same comment in the same words it is boring and looks learned rather than felt. You want to drive home a message?-- say it 20 times in 20 different ways not 20 repeat times that people will stop listening to after the third time. Don't try to sound real-- fire those advisers-- Be real. Take some risks even-- by now, you should be able to do this without big screw-ups.

8) Form a series of public meetings to discuss what government should do (do this before you do #4). Gather and quote the public -- collect their thoughts. Go out ask them -- they are not coming to you. Take down that in your face web site-- put up a real conversation about what kind of government people want-- ask people permission to quote them and put up quotes -- questions-- conversations. Some of this is already there on facebook -- build that into something better. Give it a snappy name-- campaign on this discussion -- be brave go out there and debate and discuss these ideas with the people. This is harder to do than it sounds so at each opportunity, record voices, images, video or these conversations and put it up on a website. Give people a sense that the leader and party is really reaching out and listening-- and you do this by repeating what people say organizing it into issues and presenting it back. Say you are campaigning now-- not to get votes but to build a national discussion to provide better governance. Bring into the discussion both ordinary people and experts-- host public meetings with these experts, elected NDP MPs and the public brought together. At the end of each meeting-- try to find a consensus with the audience to agree on some things and report back in a blog what those are. Some of those could be to say the audience was split on this issue, agreed on this other issue-- the NDP will do this and this is why. You could have it at nationalconversation.ca

If you want to stop the Cons from governing -- there is only one way-- earn the right to govern yourself. The above includes some steps as to how. Oh and start this -- like, last week. Do enough of this and you won't have time to get into trouble or waste time with petty stupid things that people don't care about.

Remember that the path to victory for one party cannot be followed by another-- each has its own. The cons need to turn of the dispossessed and get them to stay home and get the well off out there to preserve thir advantages. The Liberals need to sell empty hope that they are different from the government, bash away and govern by default. The NDP can only govern by restoring public hope in the institutions of government, that collectively we can make a difference, that I -- me-- little voter can be heard by someone and play a role. That we -- I  -- matter. That we can succeed in changing the world to be both ecologically and socially sustainable- and that we know how to do it and can be specific about that. All the above must be shown rather than declared. Stop packaging the message-- acknowledge that this is the people's message-- give credit to where ideas come from -- be a little humble.

You want to stop the Cons-- this is how. No secret plan but concrete, possible and a lot of work.

In the next campaign-- you run ads on this theme. You quote ordinary people, you run footage from those you filmed (who gave permission). You give the impression that the NDP campaign IS the people's campaign. Where you disagree with the people come out bravely admit it and say why. Show some integrity-- stop spinning -- people are sick of it. Say I was wrong and I learned and this is what I learned when you have to change a position instead of pretending that you never evolve.

Change the mindset. Push.

Rant over-- if you read this far-- Thanks. Please write yours. Send it to the NDP if you have connections.

 

ottawaobserver

no1important wrote:

I really dunno what the NDP can do. The alleged main stream media all but ignore them. Even the CBC story on by elections ignored the NDP in the headlines (you would think only BQ and cons won) and was a mere after thought in their article.

The NDP does a great job but due to the media bias in this country they can not get their message out like the other two parties who are basically the same parties now.

Well, for one very practical idea, they can support the workers and their unions who are buying out Canwest's TV stations (first Nanaimo, and now CHEK-TV in Victoria).  Media ownership is a part of it, to be sure, but perhaps the crisis in the newspaper industry gives some openings to pursue other ownership models that allow professional journalists to return to balanced coverage.

ottawaobserver

Boom Boom wrote:

David Young wrote:

What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

Here in South Shore-St. Margaret's, we're going to defeat Gerald Keddy in the next election, that's what!

Exactly how does replacing one Opposition MP with another stop the Cons from obtaining their majority?

Boom Boom, Gerald Keddy is a Conservative MP.  In fact, he's the one in the original photo with the original Conservative cheque.

Sean in Ottawa

Since Wilf is not mentionned in this thread and has not posted here-- can you let us in on the in-joke? Otherwise why not let it be a private message?

Sean in Ottawa

Boom Boom wrote:

Oops... I thought Keddy was a Liberal. My bad!!!EmbarassedEmbarassed

I know, I know hard to tell them apart.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Laughing

Chester Drawers

Pure fabrication and half truthes I admit, but was fun dreaming of a free west.  Just got my Western Block Party newsletter today.Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Oops... I thought Keddy was a Liberal. My bad!!!EmbarassedEmbarassed

 

ETA:I got Keddy mixed up with Kennedy.

remind remind's picture

ooops.... thanks Sean replied in wrong window, and now I do not even remember what thread it was :(

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

But, even accounting for Boom Boom's confusion, defeating Kennedy would help to prevent a Conservative majority. With the exception of two recent votes, it's the Liberals that have been giving the Conservatives their false majority since 2006, with absolutely nothing to show for it. Bring back Peggy Nash!

ottawaobserver

Here here, Scott !!

ottawaobserver

A really good post, Sean (your long one).  On #8, I think they did do that sort of thing during their two task forces on the Economic Recovery, and there were some good stories.  But I understand people's reluctance to sign their names to things (particularly under this government).

ReeferMadness

There are only 2 things the NDP could do to prevent a Conservative majority - at least under our crazy voting system:

1.  Convince all of the NDP voters to vote Liberal.  Under FPTP, 2+2=6.

2.  Convince huge numbers of voters to be more progressive.

Good luck & God speed.

NDPP

If the NDP continues as it has done, the answer to the question posed will be nothing. Au contraire...

Sean in Ottawa

ReeferMadness wrote:

There are only 2 things the NDP could do to prevent a Conservative majority - at least under our crazy voting system:

1.  Convince all of the NDP voters to vote Liberal.  Under FPTP, 2+2=6.

2.  Convince huge numbers of voters to be more progressive.

Good luck & God speed.

What kind of advice is this-- if they do number 2 they can't do number one. Besides you are confused -- when I was a kid it was number two that was shit here you have it as number one.

Colin Ferrie

Sineed wrote:
Rather than blaming Canada's 1st woman prime minister (why her?  why??) the blame for the destruction of the Progressive Conservatives really needs to be placed square at the feet of Lyin' Bulroney, who quit before he could lose.

Kim was (and is) a smart woman, but so stupefyingly bad as a politician that at the time, I speculated to some friends that maybe the Conservatives put her in charge because they knew they were toast no matter who was leader, so, silver lining, why not discredit women as political leaders?

I can not see how she can be considered "smart" when compared to Mulroney.  Mulroney entirely scored two large electoral successes, and his policies, though despised by the CBC at the time, are those exact policies that the various governments have entirely followed in the time since.  The Liberals certainly did not dismantle GST or NAFTA, in fact, they used those very tools to make Herr Martin look like something.  Mulroney did something no one else had in a century, he made the Conservatives a force to be reckoned with in Quebec.

Campbell, on the other hand, simply went out of her way to offend people.  No policies, no ideas, a ton of bad attitude and the ability to insult people on the turn of a dime.  I do not think the Conservatives were doomed at all.  They didn't hand Campbell the leadership in order to see her loose - she was the one that turned it into a losing ship.  With a weak NDP effort, distrust of Manning anywhere east of Winnipeg, the Liberals picked off in Quebec by the Bloc, it could have been quite the race.  Of course, the number state it, and if Reform hadn't vote split with the PCs, the PCs would have had another government.

The Conservatives also had a leader in Charest, as demonstrated by the fact that he has had a successful run as Premier of Quebec, and has won three elections there, while seeing to the virtual destruction of the ADQ, and the marginalization of the PQ.  And Campbell?  She basically achieved little, living off the government dime as a Consul in Los Angeles.

As for lies, I do not see how people can consider Mulroney to be a liar when we had even greater lies told to us by Chretien and Martin, people who lived the lies that perpetrated, and who benefited from the generosity of those lies.

Sean in Ottawa

The above post is right on several accounts--the PCs were making a break from their past and Campbell was flying high in the polls during the summer-- one ad making fun of Chretien's face and a an attack from the press for saying an election campaign is no time to discuss policy (boneheaded comment that was seen as antidemocratice) and she was done. Nobody should pretend that she did nto do herself in. The voters should not in hindsight get to pretend that they were not about to reelect the PCs after all the damage they had done -- voters were not that smart. Instead they turned on two devastating news stories along with the increased perception that Campbell mania as they called it that summer was misplaced and she was actualy a lightweight. In the meantime Kinsella and co were in Vancouver trying to buy dirt on her by talking to her school friends. Years later people want to remember this as some great getting even with Lyin, Brian but that is all fiction made up after the fact.

Often in poilitics and history people will ascribe better or differeent motives to what they did when they either can't remember why they did what they did or no longer think it was important enough. As well people did not expect the PCs to be wiped out and wanted to come up with an explanation that matched the huge moment. But voters do not have a group think and big things can happen as a result of the cummulative effect of small things. If enough people get turned off a party for small reasons- but manage to agree coast to coast that party can disappear -- without even there being a big reason for it and that is the reality here. People did not go to the polls thinking they were burying the PCs in 1993 -- they thought they were rejecting Campbell and electing the Red Book -- that's all. The rest was made up later and sounded plausible only because the PCs deserved their fate.

And yes, there is a lesson in that story. A lesson for the Liberals. They are close to a small mistep that could do the same to them. It does not take an earthquake to destroy a nationa party just a lot of people slapping a mosquito or scratching an itch at the same time. That we remember it differently is a combination of poor learning of history, crappy journalism and wishful thinking that we somehow want to pretend we had a bigger part in a historic change that in fact was not even that conscious.

As for those who hated Mulroney and the PCs -- you were not part of that either because for the most part you never voted for them and they never missed that vote. Think only of the support they had and lost and you will see what really happened. As well of the policies that were remembered during the campaign -- those who think it was free trade misremember-- at the time most people were resigned to it, thought we could not get out or supported it. The unpopular Conservative party position at the time was the GST. Even the constitutional policies that were quite unpopular were as much unpopular because people did not like Mulroney and had grown sick of his voice even as anything else. Huge numbers of voters did not understand those proposals and just distrusted them because they disliked Mulroney-- it was very personal which was why Campbell managed to boost the party at first just by not being Mulroney.

I remember well all these events because I was publishing on national issues through that time and I am somewhat shocked by the revisionist history coming from all political quarters-- designed to further different memories of what people were actually thinking and doing at the time. Go back and read some papers of that time (any Library can help there).

Colin Ferrie

^^^
I entirely agree. Campbell was running high in the polls, until she opened her mouth and really, not much came out. People couldn't identify with her elitist views, and I think the most pointed moment was in Vancouver, when she was talking to a street person. She explained, in front of the cameras, that she understood disappointment in life, becauce she had failed to become a concert cellist. She really worked hard to frag herself, and everyday, some new insult would come out of her mouth and resonate with the nation.

The PCs did not so much explode, but ended up subject to vote splitting with the Reform. All over the place, if Reform and PC were one united ticket, they would have got in, rather than being third and forth place finishers.

The NDP were particularly weak at the time. MacLaughlin just was not a leader people gravitated to, devoid of the certain charms that Chretien had. Many NDP votes slipped to the Liberals, especially in Ontario where the NDP were clubbed in the head by the massive unpopularity of the Bob Rae regime.

In the end, the PCs destroyed themselves because of their habit of infighting; the same malaise that has settled into the Liberal party these days. It's like the Liberals are looking for a Messiah to deliver them, rather than looking for a leader that can scope out talent. It is all too apparent that it is not just the weak image of leadership engendered in people like Dion or Martin or Ignatieff, but the fact that they are backed up by the rat pack mentality of those who follow, but are lackluster and talentless.

This is unlike the Conservatives, that have some depth of talent, or the NDP who have some people of genuine quality.

The Liberals have a very real problem with local ridings, and even when they were sabre rattling for an election, they still had over 70 ridings without a nominee in Ontario and Quebec. And even when they do choose their person, they have the habit of dropping the ball, like in Outremont where it is a scandal, but also elsewhere, where weakness is pandemic. This is something that used to be a problem for the Conservatives, especially in the years between Mulroney and the reunification, which really opened the door to the Reform / Alliance people, and kept Chretien in power simply because of vote splitting.

Of course, the NDP have a further problem, that of losing support to the Green Party. The traditional turfs for the NDP, that of the Environmental vote and the Student vote, are being drained away, especially now that the Green Party is mobilizing on various campuses. If the NDP and Greens were one, the NDP would easily have forty or fifty seats.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

But, even accounting for Boom Boom's confusion, defeating Kennedy would help to prevent a Conservative majority. With the exception of two recent votes, it's the Liberals that have been giving the Conservatives their false majority since 2006, with absolutely nothing to show for it. Bring back Peggy Nash!

 

I understand your rhetoric born of frustration with the Liberals, Scott, but if you truly want to address the thread question, "What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?", then the answer is to target Conservative ridings, not other Opposition seats. Yes, it's great to unseat Liberals to get more NDP members, but that doesn't stop the Conservatives. Targetting Conservative seats ought to be the objective.

ReeferMadness

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

ReeferMadness wrote:

There are only 2 things the NDP could do to prevent a Conservative majority - at least under our crazy voting system:

1.  Convince all of the NDP voters to vote Liberal.  Under FPTP, 2+2=6.

2.  Convince huge numbers of voters to be more progressive.

Good luck & God speed.

What kind of advice is this-- if they do number 2 they can't do number one. Besides you are confused -- when I was a kid it was number two that was shit here you have it as number one.

It isn't advice - it's an opinion.  You'll notice it says "could", not "should".  Also, points 1 and 2 are not necessarily mutually exclusive, notwithstanding your sorry attempt at scatalogical humour.

It's funny that so many NDPers have no problem advocating strategic voting when the resulting votes would go to them.  But of course it's different when it comes to NDP supporters voting strategically.

The point I'm really trying to make, though, is that so many people spend so much time worrying about electoral success.  People around here seem to get giddy at the prospect of the NDP becoming the official opposition. I think they're looking at it all wrong.

If the Liberal Party collapsed tomorrow, it would be an unmitigated disaster for Canada.  Stephen Harper would easily get enough support to gain a majority and would feel emboldened to do what he wanted with it.  If you think he's regressive today, think about what he might do if he had a majority and felt there were no viable alternative.

Even for the NDP, things would not be great.  If large numbers of Liberal supporters suddenly switched to the NDP, that would also serve to make the NDP a less progressive voice.  So some people should be careful what they wish for.

Real success is winning over hearts and minds.  Votes will follow.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Well it never occurred to me that you would provide a list of two things that could in theory be done that you do not advocate doing. Why not list 99 more absurd things that you don't recomend and not say so?

I still think my joke is funnier than your including something that is so ridiculous and then runnign away from defending it saying it is just a possibility.

As for strategic voting -- I have never advocated it -- not for NDPers and not for other parties-- I think it is anti-democratic and further perverts an already twisted electoral system. I have never suggested that Liberals should vote NDP-- perhaps that they convert to NDP as their first choice but not for so-called strategic reasons. I always have said the best strategy is to vote for your first choice.

As far as the Liberal party collapsing-- that is beyond the scope of what people here can do never mind if they are itnerested in it-- that is for Liberals to figure out. The few Liberals here can work that out for themselves. The Liberal party is not going to collapse to nothing. It may become a third or fourth party but that again is their problem. As far as Harper gettiong a majority, it will not take a collapse of the Liberals to allow that-- just a little more weakness than they currently have-- or a weakness in the BQ with votes falling to the Cons alone could do that. Each party must promote themselves and stop being caught up in the strategizing about what other opposition parties will do.

As far as the NDP becoming more or less progressive by virtue of votes moving towards them is also ridiculous. That in itself does nto change what the party is. If the party is progressive and convinces people who are less progressive to move to them that makes more progressive people not a less progressive party. Only by having the eladership and members become less progressive does a party become less progressive. This part of your post makes no sense on several levels.

Votes and hearts and minds are not seperate-- they come together. There is no lag.

Sean in Ottawa

And in politics real success is power. You only deserve that when you have something meaningful to do with it but let's not confuse what the bar for success is. It is like any race-- "real success" is coming first. Suggesting otherwise is advocating disillusionment.

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