Are We Leaving Liberals Behind?

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Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

I think a rupture is happening that is or will disrupt traditional moderate left/right/centre modeling. The Progressive Conservatives split up for a reason. They do not form a logical whole anymore. To be Conservative in the past meant being conservative as in traditionalist don't rock the boat types. Old-fashioned. They were not radical. They were social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Reformers are radicals. The parties reluctantly reunited because neither can win alone but they remain uncomfortable bedfellows. Bernier just took a bite. A significant portion of the votes the Conservatives depend on are not satisfied. They need social conservatives and the anti-immigrant vote but to get them they lose the centre votes. 

Climate change and pollution are longer issues of "the left". While progressives as a whole are more likely to support more radical measures no educated person denies climate change or the need to act. They know it isn't a vast conspiracy. Insurance companies are taking it into account. Millions of dollars are being spent to protect coastlines and others are falling into the sea. How to deal with it is often guided by ideological bend but both the centre and left recognize it as a major threat. Businesses see it as an issue. Farmers see it as an issue. 

I predict that the Conservatives will soon have a ceiling under 30%. Their base won't change much. They will lose swing voters many of whom are fiscal conservatives. They will drag the Liberals farther right than they are already. 

Regardless of what happens this election the NDP has again proven itself a contender. I believe Singh's turban and beard caused him to lose a significant number of votes particularly in Quebec. Imagine how successful he would have been without that issue or the issue of his race. Or imagine if he had the boost Trudeau got through name recognition.

Conservatives, slowly but surely, will become the fringe party.

 

No and that is offensive actually. To define a party with 1/3 of the vote as heading for the fringe would be to suggest every party other than the leading party is fringe.

The reality is much different. The Conservatives are the safest party as they are far and away the party most supported by money. The Liberals are second and only competative when they are in power of have a good imediate chance at it. The conservatives even when they are deeply unpopular remain the party of choice for money and usually get the most. They also are the default right of centre party.

It is possible that they could lock themselves in with no friends and no way to get a shot at party but theya re not ever going to be fringe.

The NDP is also not fringe. I would not even call the Greens fringe although the argument could be made. The Conservatives are likely the least fringe party. The only way they could no longer be fringe is if another Conservative party took their place -- in other words a name change with the same support.

I would argue that the same is true of the NDP and the Liberals. There will naturally be a centre party, a left and a right party. One of the three could struggle badly but the three will exist as non fringe parties even if the system becomes essentially a two party system practically.

A two party system can only happen when the most right party is close enough to the centre to leave little room for both a left and centre party. So when the Conservatives leave the centre for the extremes they guarantee enough field that one party cannot cover it without splitting.

A fringe party is one that has many of the following characteristics:

1) cannot be relied on to have representation in the House,

2) not part of the conversation at election time and does not get much if any media

3) is not invited to debates

4) is not included in polling numbers

5) does not have reliable financial support at even a low level.

6) Cannot put up a slate of candidates in a substantial number of the ridings it wishes to contest

7) has no historical tradition of success (even if they struggle now)

8) has most of its supporters understanding that it will not contend for power any time soon

Sure - non fringe parties can sometiems struggle with these and fringe parties will sometimes be able to secure these. But if you look at the list a party that is not fringe will pass the bar in a few and a fringe party will fail in a few. I am sure others can propose more.

The Conservatives  are no fringe by every measure - even if they could get shut out for a time.

"Fringe" party is a widely understood term and we do not help discussions by radically altering the meaning. A third party is not fringe. The Rhino party is Fringe the BQ and Greens are not -- even if the Greens are very weak and neither is an official party in the House. I do not forsee any time when conservatives (by whatever name they have at the time) would not have party status.

 

cco

Aristotleded24 wrote:

As for your cheering for PR specifically to give the rural areas less clout? That is a desire to effectively throw rural Canadians under the bus and not have their concerns met, or try to point out how the Conservatives are actually doing nothing meaningful to reverse the decline in those communities. After seeing how that resentment in the US expressed itself politically in 2016, do you really want to bring that into Canada? Not only that, but this loss of clout would also hurt Frist Nations communities as well.

I can't speak for Pondering, but my desire for PR has nothing to do with giving rural areas less clout. No area has less clout than an area that always votes the same way, because no party bothers appealing to voters there. Under PR, no party will be able to write off rural voters, or urban ones.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

Regardless of what happens this election the NDP has again proven itself a contender. I believe Singh's turban and beard caused him to lose a significant number of votes particularly in Quebec. Imagine how successful he would have been without that issue or the issue of his race. Or imagine if he had the boost Trudeau got through name recognition.

Imagine if the NDP leader was a progressive white poser from an entitled background. Wait the Liberals are already led by that kind of person. I think that Singh's beard and turban coupled with his ease of dealing with Canada's day to day racism is winning him votes. I would hope among social justice advocates in Quebec he is gaining ground as well as everywhere else in the country.

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote: 

To be Conservative in the past meant being conservative as in traditionalist don't rock the boat types. Old-fashioned. They were not radical. They were social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Reformers are radicals.

I'm not sure what you mean by "social conservatives" and "fiscal conservatives" here, but, going by the textbook usage of those terms, the Reformers were both. Or at least a very significant number of them were.

The Reform Party had a sizable contingent who wanted to restrict immigration, outlaw or at least severely curtail abortion, and roll back equality for gays and other marginalized groups. All of that is very much in tune with what is commonly called "social convervativism".

And they railed against spending and deficits, which made them "fiscal conservatives", though some would call that neo-liberalism.

If by "social conservative", you meant not taking supposedly extreme positions(of the left or the right) on social issues, then yeah, the old Progressive Conservatives would qualify, eg. Mulroney tried to pander to both sides of the abortion divide by proposing a bill(nixed by the senate) that would make abortion legal, if a woman could find two doctors willing to say it was needed for health reasons, thus avoiding the "radical" polarities of a total ban on one side and "abortion on demand" on the other.

But that's not the commonly understood definition of "social conservative". As for "fiscal conservative", that would work only if the term is considered the opposite to neo-liberal, which it isn't; like I say, they're pretty much synonymous.

I'm talking about people not politicians. People who voted PC in the past would not picket abortion centres. They were people who thought things were working fine and should not change or should only change gradually and with great caution. 

In todays terms even if they are against abortion and against gay rights they would not want to open either debate. In my opinion the PC voters of old wanted to let sleeping dogs lie. Reformers are not the same as the old PCs. 

A person who is fiscally conservative is careful with their money and wants the government to do the same. They still want public education and infrastructure. The neoliberal think tanks worked out a campaign of demonization of government in order to promote smaller government and privatization. They sold free trade as a removal of tariffs that would make goods cheaper. It has little to do with tariffs anymore. It's all about deregulation. They are losing moderate conservatives in climate change denial. 

There hard core base is shrinking and they are becoming less able to attract moderate conservative centrist voters. Many of those will go Liberal as the next best thing. 

The Liberals are failing on climate change and income inequality. Cannabis legalization was progressive, even the way he did it. He used that to cement his reputation as a progressive as well as the acceptence of Syrian refugees. The thing is for actually progressives that isn't enough. People are looking for "what next?" and there is no next. 

What really took the cake was appealing the court decision in favor of indigenous children. How tone deaf do you have to be to not realize a lot of people, not just indigenous people, are shocked. That's why Singh's point, that Canada is wealthy, we can afford clean water for everyone, resonated so well. 

It's possible but I don't think Scheer can get a majority. If Scheer wins a minority and Trudeau refuses to work with the NDP Singh will make him wear it and he will pay for it in 2023.

The Liberals will become openly what they are anyway. Neoliberal but without the social conservatism. They will be centre right. The Conservatives will be far right. and the NDP will be centre left, but with the overton window shifted left. That is, climate change is a centrist issue now and income inequality is getting there. The wealth tax is popular with Conservative voters and Liberal voters and NDP voters. 

That's my prediction for the future. I was totally wrong about Trump and Ford so there's that. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering - I am surpirsed by this last post. The PC party of old contained all the yahoos and extremists that are now running the show in that party. Their supporters also contained the same minus whomever voted for a fringe right wing party. The only real difference is that the extremists are closer to power and are no longer constrained or contained.

As for Trudeau's choice I think it is complicated. Trudeau ran on a pipeline we in the NDP do not want. He can say that a deal with the Conservatives would allow it to get built since more voted for parties that wanted one than against (if it turns that way).

Trudeau will have a problem if he needs either the Conservatives or the NDP : many who supported him will be furious. A minority means he loses the chance to sit on a fence. I cannot say which side would be the more painful becuase he would also lose support to go to the NDP perhaps as much as to go with the Conservatives (even if not here).

the most politically asture thing Trudeau could do is to go first to the Conservatives and offer a deal giving them nothing but the pipeline and hoping they reject it. Then he can blame them and go to the NDP and shelve the pipeline at least for the term of the agreement and say it is the Conservative's fault. The NDP has to be careful as if the NDP asks for too much Trudeau will blame them and go to the Conservatives and build the pipeline and say the NDP could have stopped it.

I really do not think that Trudeau has the skills to pull this off without it backfiring but he has to find a way to blame the party that he does not side with for the lack of agreement. The NDP must know that  this is the plan and therefore cannot ask too much. If Singh says that the deal stops the pipeline and gives a future vote on PR then this is about the price he can exact. It is doubtful he will get more before the next election. If he tries the Conservatives and Liberals might between them build a pipeline before disolving their partnership.

voice of the damned

Pondering:

I'm talking about people not politicians. People who voted PC in the past would not picket abortion centres. They were people who thought things were working fine and should not change or should only change gradually and with great caution.

Well, maybe, but that doesn't match the definition of "social conservative", which would indeed include people who picket abortion-clinics. I think something "social moderate" might be the better term for you to use, though its usage isn't as standardized as "social conservative".

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering:

I'm talking about people not politicians. People who voted PC in the past would not picket abortion centres. They were people who thought things were working fine and should not change or should only change gradually and with great caution.

Well, maybe, but that doesn't match the definition of "social conservative", which would indeed include people who picket abortion-clinics. I think something "social moderate" might be the better term for you to use, though its usage isn't as standardized as "social conservative".

The people who support the radical Conservative agenda today are part of who supported the more moderate agenda previously because it was as right wing as they could get. The only difference is that they are now in charge of the party.

bekayne

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering:

I'm talking about people not politicians. People who voted PC in the past would not picket abortion centres. They were people who thought things were working fine and should not change or should only change gradually and with great caution.

Well, maybe, but that doesn't match the definition of "social conservative", which would indeed include people who picket abortion-clinics. I think something "social moderate" might be the better term for you to use, though its usage isn't as standardized as "social conservative".

Back in the 70s, people would would protest abortion clinics (or go on hunger strikes) could be found in all three main parties.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries.

As evidenced by the fact that right now, the Premiers who have approval ratings above 50% (excluding Horgan) are all Conservatives?

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

You are stuck in the left right axis. Climate change and wealth inequality are the big drivers of what is to come. Sure there are some young conservatives but I very much doubt they reach 30%. The Conservatives don't have to lose all of their followers to become the third party. I expect they will become the new NDP in terms of perpetual 3rd place. If the media sees the Conservatives as losers they will rally behind the Liberals.

Spoken like someone who has never been outside of a big city and learned that part of life. I spent most of my life in a smaller centre, and I can assure you that the conservatives are not going anywhere. Conservatives appeal holds much sway in small and mid-sized centres. There are also economic reasons why people choose the conservatives, mainly because people look up to the local business community as community leaders. They may not be socially conservative themselves, but it doesn't bother them enough to prevent them from voting for socially conservative candidates and parties. Even an influx of younger people and younger families into cities like Steinbach has not loosened the iron grip that the Conservatives have on Steinbach.

As for your cheering for PR specifically to give the rural areas less clout? That is a desire to effectively throw rural Canadians under the bus and not have their concerns met, or try to point out how the Conservatives are actually doing nothing meaningful to reverse the decline in those communities. After seeing how that resentment in the US expressed itself politically in 2016, do you really want to bring that into Canada? Not only that, but this loss of clout would also hurt Frist Nations communities as well.

I didn't say the Conservatives were leaving or dying. I said they are in the process of exchanging places with the NDP. Provincial politics are entirely different than Federal. Voters often vote one way federally and the opposite provincially. Electing a Conservative government, like CAQ, doesn't mean the majority of Quebecers have turned Conservative ideologically. For the most part they voted Caq because they and the Liberals are the only two non-sovereignist choices and they were fed up with the Liberals. Voting for Bloc doesn't mean separatist sentiments are up. It means they are uncomfortable with Singh's display of religion and don't like being judged by Canada over Bill 21. 

Toronto being forced to become a megacity has imposed the will of those who do not live in the city on those who do. 

As I understand it ridings were gerrymandered in Alberta portioning bits of city to the surrounding rural areas.

Part of my reasoning for resisting PR has been that Canada is designed to give more votes to some regions than others and that would be lost. Now you say it would not be lost. Doesn't make sense to me. 

I approved Dion's model because it maintained the same number of seats giving each region the same weight it has now. The version I most read about here would add seats. With 338 seats, PEI's 4 seats have more weight than they would if X seats were added. They would have the same number of seats but a lower percentage of them.

The popular vote is not counted by riding for PR is it? Isn't that the point?

I think Trudeau made some law that projects need to be evaluated from the perspective of equality for women or something to that effect. I'm sure it was an empty gesture with no funding but I like the idea if it were real. Legislation should be publicly evaluated for its impact on indigenous peoples, women, rural areas, immigrants, etc. by people representing those groups. Fat chance of that I know. But also fat chance that PR would force the parties to work together for the benefit of Canadians. 

KarlL

Pondering wrote:

I think Trudeau made some law that projects need to be evaluated from the perspective of equality for women or something to that effect. I'm sure it was an empty gesture with no funding but I like the idea if it were real. Legislation should be publicly evaluated for its impact on indigenous peoples, women, rural areas, immigrants, etc. by people representing those groups. Fat chance of that I know. But also fat chance that PR would force the parties to work together for the benefit of Canadians. 

There is a gender-impact analysis now in every Federal budget.  Whether the underlying policies are what you want is another matter but the analysis is certainly performed and therefore readable for anyone who wants to do so.

KarlL

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The people who support the radical Conservative agenda today are part of who supported the more moderate agenda previously because it was as right wing as they could get. The only difference is that they are now in charge of the party.

Agreed.  I remember campaigning against the attempt to resurrect the death penalty in 1987 and there were some real troglodytes on the fringes of Mulroney's caucus, private members bill-sponsor Bill Domm being one of them.  Mulroney had to put a quiet squeeze on the Quebec caucus to defeat Domm's bill.  But much of the PC Cabinet voted for it.  And I owe a brief shout out here to rural Alberta PC MP Walter Van De Walle, who voted against it based on his Christian principles even though it would have been overwhelmingly popular in his Pembina riding.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering -- I think the problem was when you used the word fringe. A fringe party is way less than a minor party. The NDP is neither. The Cons trading places with the NDP does not make them a minor party.

I do not see this happening either. There is far too much money and support from wealthy people. They will evolve but not decline to 20% of the vote.

JKR

Approximately half of the members of my extended family favour the Conservatives with some of them now thinking about voting for the new PPC but nearly all of them won't because they don't want to split the right of centre vote. Their major issue is lowering their taxes. Because of that they support shrinking the size of government. I think almost 1/3rd of voters are also in this camp and they are all here to stay so I think the Conservatives, or any future right of centre replacement to them, are going to be one of our top-two parties for the foreseeable future. I think if the NDP ever move permanently into a top-two position, it will have to be the Liberals that move into third party status. I am also not sure that given the current dynamics of Canadian politics, that the NDP could win an election without the Liberals being pushed back under 20% in the polls. Because of FPTP, I think the Conservatives current path to victory depends on the Liberals, NDP, Greens, and, BQ, splitting the non-Conservative vote.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries.

As evidenced by the fact that right now, the Premiers who have approval ratings above 50% (excluding Horgan) are all Conservatives?

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

You are stuck in the left right axis. Climate change and wealth inequality are the big drivers of what is to come. Sure there are some young conservatives but I very much doubt they reach 30%. The Conservatives don't have to lose all of their followers to become the third party. I expect they will become the new NDP in terms of perpetual 3rd place. If the media sees the Conservatives as losers they will rally behind the Liberals.

Spoken like someone who has never been outside of a big city and learned that part of life. I spent most of my life in a smaller centre, and I can assure you that the conservatives are not going anywhere. Conservatives appeal holds much sway in small and mid-sized centres. There are also economic reasons why people choose the conservatives, mainly because people look up to the local business community as community leaders. They may not be socially conservative themselves, but it doesn't bother them enough to prevent them from voting for socially conservative candidates and parties. Even an influx of younger people and younger families into cities like Steinbach has not loosened the iron grip that the Conservatives have on Steinbach.

As for your cheering for PR specifically to give the rural areas less clout? That is a desire to effectively throw rural Canadians under the bus and not have their concerns met, or try to point out how the Conservatives are actually doing nothing meaningful to reverse the decline in those communities. After seeing how that resentment in the US expressed itself politically in 2016, do you really want to bring that into Canada? Not only that, but this loss of clout would also hurt Frist Nations communities as well.

I didn't say the Conservatives were leaving or dying. I said they are in the process of exchanging places with the NDP. Provincial politics are entirely different than Federal. Voters often vote one way federally and the opposite provincially. Electing a Conservative government, like CAQ, doesn't mean the majority of Quebecers have turned Conservative ideologically. For the most part they voted Caq because they and the Liberals are the only two non-sovereignist choices and they were fed up with the Liberals. Voting for Bloc doesn't mean separatist sentiments are up. It means they are uncomfortable with Singh's display of religion and don't like being judged by Canada over Bill 21.

Thank you Pondering for proving my point. I specifically mentioned things I'm seeing in my home province, and you glossed over to make observations about Ontario and Quebec. There is much more to this country than those 2 provinces, and out here there is a great deal of resentment that "Ontario and Quebec" decide everything that cuts across all age groups.

There's a whole world out here between Kenora and the Pacific Ocean that people are too happy to dismiss.  You're falling into that same trap. There will be a number of cities, with younger voters, that go Conservative by a wide margin.

Sean in Ottawa

There is an important point to be made here - maybe with a little less hostility. People can speak to their home provinces without being angry at others who speak for their own in terms of examples. Nobody should assume that their experieince is universal even where they live.

That said Canadian politics is very regional. It always was. The perception that some particularly in central Canada have that nothing else matters is a serious denial of the reliaty of other place. The response hopefully is to encourage other voices and to challenged on generalizations but people will always speak for what they know and we are individuals not parties so being upset that some speaks from their knowledge is hardly fair. Being upset that national policies, political parties speak from a single regional point of view (central Canada) is very natural. Central Canadians should not expect everyone to agree to their universal view. However, on this site, attacks on people for living east of whatever point they choose while reading posts with hostility rather than any understanding is not helping matters and it is not helping people in other parts of the country feel warmer towards them. If the goal is to shout down others then that might work but I cannot see any other point.

I am not taking sides in the present thread since there are a number of posts on both sides that make points that are not being heard.

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