Sunday, July 19, 2015

Harperites in denial over new NDP strength

Why aren't the Harper Conservatives aiming their guns much yet at NDP Leader Tom Mulcair? 

I suspect that the Harperites are suffering from major denial when it comes to new NDP strength, sort of like Jim Prentice did.   Thus far, the best Harper and his team can muster in attacks against the NDP is the same old anti-socialist stuff they've been spouting arrogantly for years.   They assume public confidence in conservative orthodoxy remains high.   They're dead wrong. 

Tory attacks against JT have empowered the NDP
The Harperites are ignoring the fact that since Mulcair's NDP re-emerged as a viable winner in the spring (after the Alberta election), Tory support has fallen from mid 30s down to the high 20s.  When public confidence in Justin Trudeau's abilities seemed to dip, Conservatives fortunes also dipped.   All of that support transferred over to the NDP.    

I do think the Tory attack against Trudeau's readiness has actually empowered the NDP.   Voters who might've been sticking with Harper because they didn't like Trudeau now see Mulcair as a viable alternative and they're prepared to vote for him.  But will they stay with the NDP in October?   That's the big question.

Meanwhile, the Tories seem to be assuming they're fighting the 2011 election again.  They're not.  Trudeau's Liberals will never collapse as much as Ignatieff's team did.  Blue Liberals who are justifiably sick of Harper will return to the Liberal fold, not vote for Harper to block the NDP.  Blue Liberals like red Tories are no longer afraid of the NDP, especially under Mulcair. 


Kirbycairo said...

If we are lucky Conservatives are stuck at their base and any of their attacks will, at best, shift votes between opposition parties. Either way, if Harper losses we may finally see some electoral reform in this country. And it seems to me that every act of real electoral reform will push us toward two positive outcomes. 1) It will reduce the chances that another Harper can ever happen - that is to say no future leader will be able to exercise the same kind of secretive, problematic, anti-democratic power. Rather future PMs will be more hemmed in by not only the other MPs but by the need to achieve greater consensus. And 2) Electoral reform will take the conservatives further away from power. It is difficult to see the present Conservative Party achieving any power with the existence of either some form of PR or even weighted voting. This will result in a break up of the Conservatives into more than one party because a large portion of their current membership will push for a more centrist party and the real wing-nuts will leave the party to form an ultra-right party.

doconnor said...

Prentice had mere days to deal with the sudden rise of the NDP. Federally the NDP has been a significant threat since 2011 and has been ahead of the Liberals for a couple months.

I think the problem is that they haven't found an attack that was successfully focus grouped. I expect they may have to go with what ever worked best, but with limited time to repeat the message over and over it may not work very well at all.