Friday, May 20, 2011

Conservative and private media attack strategy against NDP already clear...

Stephen Harper's Conservatives have so many friends in the private media, from QMI and Sun Media to CTV. Already, Tory-leaning media friends have had a field day chasing down obscure NDP MPs-elect from Quebec, writing numerous stories about any resume mistakes the party may have made during the campaign. I'm sure we can expect no equivalent scrutiny against Tory backbenchers from the rest of the country from the same media. Do Canadians in English Canada care this much about backbenchers in the opposition? I don't think so.

But the anti-NDP narrative is now clear: all of those inexperienced, extremist amateurs from Quebec, some with alleged separatist tendencies (as long as you accept QMI's conservative spin), coupled with the NDP's socialist ideology, can never form an effective alternative to the Conservative majority. The narrative relies heavily on anti-Quebec sentiment in English Canada, writing off la Belle province as irrelevant.

The inherent dangers to national unity caused by the Conservative collapse in Quebec are ignored in favour of inside baseball analysis about some NDP MP nobody has ever heard of. At least, not all writers in the private media are drinking the conservative koolaid (thanks, Mr. Martin, for this accurate and scary portrait of the advantages Stephen Harper now possesses going forward.)

I trust Jack Layton and the NDP realize the forces they are up against over the next four years as they forge an alternative government and plan for 2015. Yes, many of their Quebec MPs look pretty green. Let's give them a chance to perform. In 2015, the NDP should allow fully democratic, open nominations in all ridings across the country and if their MPs perform well, they will be re-nominated. If not, they can be replaced by better people.

I also expect Jack Layton to continue to emphasize the practical, bread-and-butter issues he always has and follow the successful path of the Nova Scotia NDP. With Quebec in his corner plus way more support in English Canada than Harper has in Quebec, Jack Layton also has many advantages going forward too.

The next four years are going to be very interesting.

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