Monday, April 25, 2011

Ignatieff’s Grits losing grip on second place nationally

Back on April 8, I wrote that the New Democrats’ electoral hopes were “slip, slip, sliding away.” So much for my expertise as a political forecaster. A little over two weeks later, the NDP campaign surge is all over the news. FileJack Layton-cr bl According to the Nanos Nightly Tracking poll, the socialists are in a statistical tie with the Liberals for second place nationally—the Conservatives at 39.2 per cent hold a 14 point advantage over the Grits whose support has slipped to 25.6 per cent. The NDP is at 23.6 per cent. (There is a margin of error of ±2.8 per cent.)

The specter of a government that includes Jack Layton and other Dippers at the cabinet table hovers about and portends a dark era in Canadian politics. The last time Canadians were faced with a socialist government in charge of a major economy with a large population, they witnessed an unmitigated disaster. I speak, of course, of Bob Rae’s NDP government in Ontario during those dark days of the first half of the 1990s.

Those in British Columbia will also remember the scandal-ridden NDP governments of the same era. BC’s NDP leader Michael Harcourt resigned in the mid 1990s over the “Bingogate” scandal, and his replacement, Glen Clark, resigned over the “Fast Ferry Scandal” and “Casino Scandal” at the end of the 1990s.

The Dippers usually get a free ride when it comes to scrutiny by the mainstream media: their outlandish campaign promises often go unchallenged. Now that they hold top spot in Quebec and second place nationally, however, they are already waffling under media pressure over campaign pledges, saying that they might not be able to pay for $3.6 billion worth of green spending promised in their platform for the first year of a new mandate. Oops!

Ontario seems to be the only province in which the NDP is not surging. The Tories have 47.8 per cent support in Ontario followed by the Grits at 29.3 per cent and the NDP at the more traditional level of 16.9 per cent—memories of the damage done to Ontario by Bob Rae’s NDP government are hard for Ontarians to forget or forgive.


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. I predicted that the Conservatives would have a majority and that the NDP would form the official opposition. That was for the previous election though. This time, I was caught by surprise. I guess neither of us can expect a cheque in the mail!

  2. On someone's blog at the start of the campaign, they had a prediction post up. I predicted 202 seats for the cons. with a N.D.P. official opposition. I'm starting to feel pretty good. I should have put some money down.

  3. I've had it up to here with this talk of the horrors of Bob Rae. Did he control monetary policy? Was it he who wanted to reduce inflation to zero by creating a much larger pool of unemployed people, which, according to the theory, helps keep wages down? This decreased revenues, increased expenditures keeping unemployed people alive, and the high interest rates increased charges on the debt and created record deficits. Was it he who passed free trade which everyone knew would damage Ontario manufacturing? Was it he who implemented other demand-dampening austerity measures such as tranfer payment cuts? The blame for Ontario's troubles in the 1990s come from one man and one man only and his name is Brian Mulroney, Conservative, and his right wing dogma, and nowhere else.