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Friday, April 8, 2011

NDP electoral chances: slip, slip, sliding away

The New Democrats seem to be having about as poor a campaign as many said they would before the election was called. Many of these same pundits advised leader, Jack Layton, to find an excuse to delay the election. But Jack couldn’t wait. He’d worked too hard to demonize Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government to allow any honourable way of doing a turnabout and supporting them.

One poll has the New Democrats with less than 15 per cent voter support—they garnered almost 18.2 per cent in the 2008 general election. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re seeing the sort of collapse in voter support that occurred in the early 1990s when that party won only nine seats with less than 10 per cent (Green Party territory) support and lost their official party status in the House of Commons.

Despite CBC’s Rosemary Barton’s valiant attempts to boost their fortunes, there is an inevitableness about the decline in support for the Dippers. To begin with, the Liberals are desperately trying to win their voters by moving ever further to the left—not at all surprising with former NDP provincial premiers Ujjal Dosanjh (British Columbia) and Bob Rae (Ontario) in senior policy-influencing positions with the Liberal Party of Canada. Then there is the tired-looking, wan Jack Layton who seems paler by the day. Without his vigour and energy, the Dippers look a sorry lot.

But perhaps it’s Jack Layton himself who should shoulder the lion’s share of blame for the NDP’s current slump. How wise is it to keep telling voters that you’re running to be prime minister when such a likelihood is so remote? Sure, anything can happen, but really, Prime Minister? Canadians won’t buy this wishful thinking and are wondering why the NDP leader believes they will. Canadians want their leaders to be realistic, not Pollyanna dreamers.

The very best scenario for Jack Layton is to obtain enough seats to keep his job as leader and hope the Liberals are able to get close enough to the Conservatives to allow him to act a king-maker. And the chance of that is not looking so good right now.

 

© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.

9 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. The sooner Jack is gone from Canada's political scene the better. I know Dippers who want him gone, self serving lying thieving treacherous power hungry piece of trash.
    He and his wife Olivia had the highest expenses of all the MPs, they are not known as the "Million Dollar Couple" for nothing with her constant jaunts to China with her mother.
    Oh how I loathe the man especially when he tried to falsely claim that Harper will destroy healthcare knowing all along that it is a provincial jurisdiction.
    Jack is a liar and that what makes him unfit to serve.

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  2. It doesn't help Jack that the media have been selling the Liberals and really ignoring the Dippers.

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  3. Jack must go after Iggy to recoup some of his losses or it really will appear he is going for a coalition to become part of the Cabinet!

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  4. Actually if you follow her on twitter you'd know she is no dipper fan.

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  5. When you`re an NDP supporter and the Liberals have moved in to your territory...you look and say to yourself...
    hhhmmm who do I have a better chance of going to the dance with
    the challenge for the Liberals is if they can hold on to that support at the polling station or will some of it shift back to team orange

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  6. The BQ is slipping in the polls as well, but the main beneficiary could be the NDP.

    Moving your vote from a National Socialist Party like the BQ to a Social Democratic Party like the NDP simply says you want the state to use taxes and regulations to favour a particular economic group rather than a particular ethnic group. Quebecois are "working families" as well...

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  7. Russ you have a good analysis going here. I agree. Jack should not even be running here, but he was too cocky to step down. Furthermore, there is nobody to take his place in the NDP which speaks volumes in itself. Yes, the Libs are eating at the NDP and that is the only place for them to go now. Watch and see more of that in the next few weeks. It will not be enough for the Liberals to form a government of course but it may ensure their survival for awhile. (real conservative)

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  8. C'mon anti-dippers... pretty selective use of polling data. There clearly is some angst about coalitions (common in the parliamentary system) and the fact that Layton is the likeable one.

    Do a quick survey on media coverage... even if you take this morning's polling average (NDP - 19, Lib - 26, Con - 41) and said we'll provide coverage based on interest/support, then out of 20 articles, 4 would be on NDP, 5 on the Liberals, and 8 on the Conservatives. If there's a bias in coverage it's for the Liberals followed by the Conservatives.

    Let's add a dose of reality to the conversation. Unless that's not the point!

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  9. ...Lineups outside of the Corona Theatre in St-Henri aren’t a unique sight. The classic movie house, reborn as a concert hall, has been hosting some of the larger local and touring musical acts playing the circuit these days. Energetic crowds inside the venue aren’t a new thing either. ...

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