Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By-elections show federal NDP is no longer a national force or real alternative to the Conservatives

"(Tom Mulcair's) party is languishing in third place in the polls and when it comes to real people stuffing real ballots into real boxes, his track record has been dismal. Of the 14 by-elections held since he took office in March 2012, the party has won just one and last June lost Olivia Chow’s former seat in Toronto. Even more worrying is the drop in New Democrat support and the surge in backing for the Liberals." 

Despite Tom Mulcair’s very best efforts, it's now fairly clear to me that the federal NDP is in the process of disappearing as a true national force and governing alternative to the Conservatives.  If trends continue, and we have every reason to believe they will, the federal NDP will return to its role as Parliament's social conscience after the next election.   They will not be competing for government. 

I don't believe for a second that Tom Mulcair has what it takes to suddenly win wide support across Canada once the next campaign begins.  

At best, he might be able to be very competitive in fickle Quebec.  And I do expect the NDP to be competitive in many of its pre-2011 strongholds in the rest of Canada, as long as their popular incumbents seek re-election.

But in places like Whitby-Oshawa where the NDP needs to be competitive to challenge Conservative rule, the NDP is instead shrinking to historic lows. 

To ensure a more progressive Canada, I know we could use as many NDP MPs as possible in the next House of Commons.  In places where the NDP has traditionally elected MPs before the Orange Crush of 2011, I suggest you consider voting NDP again. 

But in swing areas like suburban Toronto and elsewhere which will decide who governs Canada after the next election, it’s now clear the main fight will be between the incumbent Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. 


Ron Waller said...

Trudeau's position on economic issues show Liberals no real alternative to the Conservatives.

Liberals can only attempt to weasel their way into power, which, after having discarded all their postwar liberal values, is all they stand for. (All they have left.)

I guess if one views politics as sports, there is a point to the Liberal party. One can cheer if one's team wins the playoffs. Who cares if they represent corporations while destroying the living standards of everyone else?

Matt Guerin said...

You're so wrong, Ron. And no they haven't discarded all their postwar liberal values, but thanks for the baseless claim. The Liberals credibly represent the centre where most Canadians are - they want a balance between industry and labour. Many people don't sympathize with all aspects of the corporate world, but as long as there's a level playing field and a government willing to champion and protect the public interest, we can support corporations that behave.