Will the Layton-led NDP now overtake the Ignatieff-led Liberals in the Polls?

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NorthReport
Will the Layton-led NDP now overtake the Ignatieff-led Liberals in the Polls?

._.

NorthReport

The timing could not be better.  

The Ignatieff Liberals are tanking in the polls, now only 5% ahead of the surging Layton-led New Democrats.

Now this:

Stéphane Dion's wife rips Liberals on Facebook

The Liberals have had little traction in opinion polls since September, when the party threatened to defeat the minority Conservative government and then backtracked.

The party was also stymied at the polls in four by-elections, finishing a distant third in each contest. A few months ago, there were organizational problems in Quebec culminating with the abrupt departure of Quebec lieutenant Denis Coderre.

Ignatieff has tried to turn the tide by shaking up his inner circle and bringing in Peter Donolo, a former communications director for Jean Chrétien, as his new chief of staff.

But he doesn't appear to have the support of Krieber, who offered a blunt assessment of the current situation and his leadership.

In the note, time stamped 4:16 p.m. Friday, Krieber, a respected political science and renowned terrorism expert, muses on the popular social networking site that things turned sour for the party when Paul Martin betrayed Chrétien.

She also laments that the party is in free fall and the Conservatives are slowly but surely reshaping the country.

As the debate rages on Parliament Hill over issues of torture of detainees in Afghanistan and corruption, Krieber questions whether Ignatieff is the right person to lead the charge.

Ignatieff has in the past mused in his writings about the possible acceptability of coercive interrogation and some critics have taken that as an endorsement of torture, a charge that Ignatieff has denied.

"The party base understood (in 2006) and Canadian citizens are understanding now. Ignatieff's supporters didn't do their homework. They didn't read his books. They contented themselves with his ability to navigate the cocktail circuit," she wrote.

"Some of them are enraged today. I hear: 'Why didn't anyone tell us (about him)?' We told you, loud and clear. You didn't listen."

Krieber writes she wants her vote to go to a party that is dedicated, that supports its leader through rough times and values work ethic and competence and isn't hypocritical in its support.

She adds, cryptically, there's reason to believe such a party exists.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/729112--st-eacute-phane-dion-s-wife-rips-liberals-on-facebook?bn=1

NorthReport

But perhaps an even bigger problem for the Liberals, which torture-positive Liberal Leader Ignatieff is facing, is that the Ignatieff-led Liberals will have zero credibility in attacking Harper and the Conservatives about the recently raised torture allegations concerning the behaviour of the Canadian government and the Canadian military hierarchy in Afghanistan. It will be now up to the New Democrats and the Bloc to take on this crucial issue.

 

Even environmental challenges are dogging the Liberals as well. After having allowed Ignatieff to depose former Canadian Minister of the Environment and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, without a democratic vote of the party membership. How can the Liberals claim to have any credibility on climate change issues.

Quite the believers in democracy, this bunch of political clowns. The Liberals talk the talk, but seldom if ever, walk the walk.  

janfromthebruce

my short answer to your header - I sure hope so! (think that everytime I see the "death-watch post for the liberals"!

NorthReport
autoworker autoworker's picture

If they do, it could ensure a Harper majority, with the Bloc, quite possibly, as the Official Opposition.

KenS

I really wish you would reign in your thread proliferation habit, or that it would be reigned in for you by closing threads like this.

Your title- and all the subject matter in here- would fit like a glove into the discussions in at least a couple existing threads.

If everyone called attention to what they wanted to say by having it in a new thread title, it would be a real mess.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Yep.

janfromthebruce

autoworker - that's a tired lib line - only the libs can save us - from what? More torture support by govt in-action? That is a joke - Libs got us in there, knew what was going on there - Read the latest James Laser blog. Anyway, Iggy is right-wing torture loving and missing in action. Time for libs to move aside and give up the myth - only they can save Canada - they can't even save themselves these days.

Get your house in order, and than come to your cheap talk.

RedRover

...and that's a tired old response Jan...seriously.

It seems New Democrat supporters on this board only care about destroying the Liberals and could care less if Harper gets a majority in the process.  This bizarre indifference could explan NorthReport's thread proliferation and his seemingly lack of comments criticizing the current government for everything from ethics, to torture, to the environment, to deficits, or anything else.

This bothers me and really defies logic unless you believe the two parties - Conservatives and Liberals -  are actually one and the same...but then again... not really because then you'd be equally committed to destroying the Conservatives in that scenario and some of these supposedly New Democrat posters would actually show concern about a possible Harper majority, especially because it would attack our core constituency - poor voters, urban dwellers, and unionized workers. 

So...

What I would like to see Jan, is a response to the argument 'vote splitting on the left will hand Harper a majority' that actually does something more than calling the poster a Liberal.  Demonstrate, or at least suggest, why if New Democrats surpass the Liberals in the polls it could acutally help in PREVENT a Harper majority...which all good progressives should fret about greatly.

Let me get the ball rolling...

- The NDP has a steady as she goes Leader that many people personally like and who has different, but positive, leadership attributes compared to Harper - Layton is seen as being compassionate, down-to-earth, is liked in urban centres, battle tested, and principled.  Iggy has none of these qualities and is trying to be a pale imitation of Harper - and failing.

- The NDP is succesfully purusing populist issues - the HST, pension security, credit card fee reductions, and the Liberals have nothing positive to offer Canadians that contrasts with Conservative populist programs - gun registry, pro-troops, pro-business positions.

- The NDP has developed regional strengths in key areas of battle with the Conservatives - BC, Atlantic, Prairies, the North - which means a rise in NDP support at the expense of the Liberals would capture seats in these places, not move Harper away form majority territory.

- Thanks to work on pensions, EI, and the HST - the NDP is back in the game for bluecollar voters in several places - Southwestern Ontario, Northern Ontario, BC, and mid sized urban centres that rely on a few struggling industries - which means that the NDP is better positioned to take voters and ridings in these areas from Harper than the Liberals who are only strong where the Conservatives are always weak.

Some thoughts, but proliferating anti-Liberal threads everytime a positive poll comes out for he NDP and calling those that worry about a Harper majority "Liberals" gets pretty fucking annoying after a while.

Stockholm

I totally agree RedRover. Its about time we stopped being obsessed with the Liberals. Better to just stop paying attention to them and stick to our knitting!

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

That's a somewhat dishonest reading, RR. Not being a New Democrat I can say the dippers here equally despise both parties. They despise the Cons because of what they stand for, and they despise the Liberals because of that party's duplicity and entire lack of values and principles. I'll give you an example. I almost  up-chucked my sandwhich the other day when I heard Iggy attack Stephen Harper for failing to show leadership or take action on global warming and this was just a week or two after Iggy and his Choir of Liberals just helped Stephen Harper ensure the climate accountability act would remain lost in committee for Copenhagen.

As a political orphan, my observations of the Liberals, as a party, is one without any scruples or ethics or principles. It is a party of opportunists who represent nothing and no one but themselves. Are they worse than the Conservative zealots? Probably not. But when I hear  Brison lie about the human rights record in Colombia and argue for free trade with that brutal regime, I think they're probably not any better, either. If we were looking for the lesser of the two evils we would probably be reduced to counting demons on the heads of pins.

 

K8DeS

The NDP are the only party working for Canadians

Of the top ten members putting forward private members bills, 7 are NDP, 2 are Liberal and one is PC
http://www.howdtheyvote.ca/member-stats.php?o=bw_dd&s=10 

Who shows up? You'd be least likely to run into a Liberal or Bloc MP in the HoC - particularly Bob Rae or Iggy - or Stephen Harper for that matter.
http://www.howdtheyvote.ca/member-stats.php?o=bw_dd&s=10 

In terms of who's the party of the opposition - again NDP.
18/30 of the most vocal MPs are NDP
http://www.howdtheyvote.ca/member-stats.php?o=wab_ddd&s=10

ottawaobserver

Greg Weston repeated a bromide on the Question Period panel today that said if the NDP overtook the Liberals in the polls, it would automatically spell a Conservative majority because of vote splitting.

I think that's a hypothesis worth testing, but I'm not as sure of the outcome.  As was noted above, the NDP has a broader national reach, ironically, than the Liberals.  Of the western seats that could change hands, the NDP is the more likely victor, and the higher they go, the more seats they can get.  Of the southwestern Ontario seats that could change hands, the NDP is already ahead of the Liberals in many of them.  The NDP is better positioned than the Liberals to pick off two of the Nova Scotia incumbents as well, and will be better placed to absorb Bloc votes in some urban seats when that party starts any cyclical slide as well.

The Liberals' hopes rest on reelecting defeated incumbents in Ontario seats, by defeating Conservative and NDP incumbents.  They'd have to be a lot higher than 26% to pull that off, particularly in light of the HST issue going forward.  They also want Outremont back, and some New Brunswick seats.  They don't have a hope in nearly any seat to speak of between Timiskaming and Vancouver, although they did send Iggy in to Kenora and Thompson, MB this past week.

no1important

So will the knives be out for Iggy anytime soon?

Harper won't earn his majority he will get next election, it will be a gift from the once mighty Liberal party.

Hard to believe Iggy could of been PM back in January but he did not want the job back then and he sure in hell ain't gonna get the job now..

As much as I want Layton to be PM, I would be happy if he could get more seats than the Libs and BQ and move into Stornaway, preferably under a Republican Party minority..

(Do not kid yourselves, when McKay sold out the PC's to the Reform party aka CDN Alliance the new party became 'Conservative' in name only, they are in fact the Republican Party of Canada and their principles are all bt identical).

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Greg Weston is overstating the case. That's one scenario. Another scenario is another minority government with the NDP holding the balance of power. If the NDP was smart, it would begin to promote the latter scenario before the former takes hold. Weston knows the threat of a Harper majority drives tentative votes back to the Liberals. To cement those votes and attract others, the NDP must provide a positive, less frightening, even giddy, alternative scenario.

RedRover

Frustrated Mess wrote:

That's a somewhat dishonest reading, RR. Not being a New Democrat I can say the dippers here equally despise both parties. They despise the Cons because of what they stand for, and they despise the Liberals because of that party's duplicity and entire lack of values and principles....

As a political orphan, my observations of the Liberals, as a party, is one without any scruples or ethics or principles. It is a party of opportunists who represent nothing and no one but themselves. Are they worse than the Conservative zealots? Probably not.  

If you think a Reform Party majority that is staffed by Mike Harris ideologues, for all intents and purposes, is no worse for the country than a Liberal majority, then I don't think you understand the first thing about party politics in Canada. 

The Harper Reform-Harris Conservatives want to fundamentally change Canada's culture, political system, and values.  You must know nothing of them as they are completely, and fundamentally, different than any party to govern in Canada before and a mile right of the Liberals despite Iggy's best misguided efforts to ape them. 

It's that indifference which is really dangerous to progressive minded people and the issues they care about.  Sadly, the general public feels much the same way as Frustrated at this moment, but just wait...if they get a majority - Harper and Flaherty will wipe the debt out in about two years, run roughshod over committees, bureaucracy, and the judiciary, and you have not even seen the start of oilsands development and the decline of human rights in this country. 

But, hey...let's just keep beating up and the Liberals.  They'll do the same thing right?

Focusing on the Conservatives and the Liberals - equally - is probably the path to success for the NDP...if that is wanted or desired.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

RedRover wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:

That's a somewhat dishonest reading, RR. Not being a New Democrat I can say the dippers here equally despise both parties. They despise the Cons because of what they stand for, and they despise the Liberals because of that party's duplicity and entire lack of values and principles....

As a political orphan, my observations of the Liberals, as a party, is one without any scruples or ethics or principles. It is a party of opportunists who represent nothing and no one but themselves. Are they worse than the Conservative zealots? Probably not.  

If you think a Reform Party majority that is staffed by Mike Harris ideologues, for all intents and purposes, is no worse for the country than a Liberal majority, then I don't think you understand the first thing about party politics in Canada. 

The Harper Reform-Harris Conservatives want to fundamentally change Canada's culture, political system, and values.  You must know nothing of them as they are completely, and fundamentally, different than any party to govern in Canada before and a mile right of the Liberals despite Iggy's best misguided efforts to ape them. 

It's that indifference which is really dangerous to progressive minded people and the issues they care about.  Sadly, the general public feels much the same way as Frustrated at this moment, but just wait...if they get a majority - Harper and Flaherty will wipe the debt out in about two years, run roughshod over committees, bureaucracy, and the judiciary, and you have not even seen the start of oilsands development and the decline of human rights in this country. 

But, hey...let's just keep beating up and the Liberals.  They'll do the same thing right?

Focusing on the Conservatives and the Liberals - equally - is probably the path to success for the NDP...if that is wanted or desired.

 

I sense a comprehension issue. If you read again what I wrote, I think I did indicate the NDP regards both Liberals and Cons with an equal degree of repulsion.

Thank you for the lesson in politics. I was in Ontario when Mike Harris governed and I'm still in Ontario and despite the Common Sense Revolution, Ontario is still here too. Yes, yes, Harper is a bad, bad man. But his economic policies are essentially a continuation of the policies initiated by the Liberals under Chretien. The Martin reforms, as it were.

The Harper cons will not push social legislation any more than Bush did in his eight years. He will, rather, push a neo-liberal agenda and, guess what? So will the Liberals. 

No, the big bogeyman of backing the Liberals because they're not Conservatives ain't enough. It's about time Canadians began voting for what's really important to them rather than out of a state of fear. Despite your condescending tone, we really aren't all politically unsophisticated to the degree you would like to pretend. We do read the news from time-to-time.

 

RedRover

No comprehension problem here.  Your earlier statement speaks for itself: "As a political orphan, my observations of the Liberals, as a party, is one without any scruples or ethics or principles. It is a party of opportunists who represent nothing and no one but themselves. Are they worse than the Conservative zealots? Probably not."

You say Liberals are probably no worse than Conservatives, and I fundamentally disagree.

Harper's policies are a continuation of Chretien and Martin's because he has been bridled by a minority.  Take that bridle away and all hell breaks loose.  Harper will do whatever he wants for the first three years of his five year term, and then he will try to creep up again in the polls in the final two.

This is why progressives should be extremely concerned about Harper and moderately concerned about Iggy.

If you still don't think the Harper-Harrs Refromatories are worse than Iggy's elite sponsored establishment party, then well, geez. 

NorthReport

The Liberals under both Martin and now Ignatieff have smoked too many people. They are no different, and maybe even worse than what Harper represents, because these Liberals lie about it.  People like Scott Reid, etc. should be banished from participating in Canadian politics. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

RedRover wrote:

 

This is why progressives should be extremely concerned about Harper and moderately concerned about Iggy.

If you still don't think the Harper-Harrs Refromatories are worse than Iggy's elite sponsored establishment party, then well, geez. 


Yeah ... sure.

Look, progressives ought to be concerned about either/or. And we weren't talking about my feelings about the two parties, but NDPers, and, once more, the dippers seem to despise them equally. Dippers are free to correct me. As well, Cons are equally supported by the so-called elite establishment as they too are working to implement the corporate agenda each party equally represents.

The fear factor is tiring. I hope the dippers don't buy it.

NorthReport

 

Political scientist predicted Michael Ignatieff's woes

Ignatieff's disapproval rate of 56 percent was well above Harper's 44-percent disapproval rate and Layton's disapproval rate of 40 percent.

Then this weekend, Montreal academic Janine Krieber, wife of former Liberal leaderStephane Dion, wrote a devastating criticism of Igntieff on her Facebook page. She claimed that Liberals didn't do their homework. She also suggested they should have read Ignatieff's books before they installed him as the new leader.

Shortly before Ignatieff's official coronation as leader at the federal Liberal convention in Vancouver last spring, retired political scientist Denis Smith told the Straight that he expected that Ignatieff would fare poorly.

In his book Ignatieff's World Updated: Iggy Goes to Ottawa (James Lorimer & Company), Smith provided a fairly comprehensive account of what Ignatieff had written about torture and the war on terror.

Smith told the Straight earlier this year that the Liberal leader had a "political tin ear", and that Harper could make a lot of headway against him.

"Harper is not a warm, affectionate political leader, either," Smith acknowledged. "Ignatieff still has a condescending air, a superior air. I don't think he is going to go over well in a national campaign. That's a hunch."

Before the national campaign has even begun, Smith's hunch has proven correct.

 

http://www.straight.com/article-271600/vancouver/political-scientist-predicted-michael-ignatieffs-woes

RedRover

Right Northreport.

Harper doesn't lie about what he wants to do.  Got it.

It's like the only thing you are interested in is destroying the Liberals.  That's pretty weak friend. 

Try building a political party by gaining popular support instead of waiting for others to fail.  It can be very empowering.

RedRover

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Yeah ... sure.

Look, progressives ought to be concerned about either/or. And we weren't talking about my feelings about the two parties, but NDPers, and, once more, the dippers seem to despise them equally. Dippers are free to correct me. As well, Cons are equally supported by the so-called elite establishment as they too are working to implement the corporate agenda each party equally represents.

The fear factor is tiring. I hope the dippers don't buy it.

I'm a dipper and I'll correct you.  The values represented by the Conservatives (ie: social darwinism)  are entirely at odds with those held by most New Democrats (ie: social collectivism). 

Liberals and New Democrats share some values (ie: tolerance of different cultures and values), but others are different (ie: elite driven democracy vs. grass roots democracy). 

Put another more simple way, a Conservative majority government will intentionally assail progressive voters and their values while a Liberal majority will simply ignore or manipulate progressive voters and their values. 

The Conservatives will try to exterminate progressive values and institutions, while the Liberals will merely tolerate or diminish them.

Still see no difference Frustrated?

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Put another more simple way, a Conservative majority government will intentionally assail progressive voters and their values while a Liberal majority will simply ignore or manipulate progressive voters and their values. 

The Conservatives will try to exterminate progressive values and institutions, while the Liberals will merely tolerate or diminish them.

You're kidding me, right? Your stark contrast is, death or death by a thousand cuts? And you ask me if I see the difference? Do you? Reminds me of an old and bad joke ...

RedRover

Wow...I get i now.  You see the world as black and white while almost every citizen in the country sees shades of grey.

Trying to make a difference in a world ruled by common sense and compromise would be frustrating after a while.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Common sense? Try a revolution. Oh! It's been done.

Look, there's that condescension creeping in again, but let's try and be honest with one another here. Your argument is the the Cons would make for a worse government than the Liberals even though you acknowledge Liberal party policy pretty well dove-tails with conservative policies and the Liberals will not represent progressive issues. You know, to me, six of one, twelve of the other. But where we really differ is that I believe progressives have an alternative with the NDP if we stick to the courage of our convictions where you would marry us permanently into an unhappy and unproductive relationship with the Liberals just because the tories are worse. Been there, done that. No thanks, man,

wage zombie

RedRover,

Would you rather be beaten or stabbed?

Bookish Agrarian

Redrover, with respect, please give me one example from the most recent era - ie post Trudeau -where there is a substantive difference in what the Liberals and Conservatives actually do.  I don't mean rhetoric, I mean actuality.  This is one dipper who doesn't see much difference on most economic issues, or a lot of others.  Liberals would trash public health care in a heart beat if they thought that would give them another shot at the trough.  Look to Ontario where McGuinty ran not one, but two elections railing against Harris-Eves economic policies, but despite the rhetoric have carried them forward and now with the HST package are accelerating them.  Rather than using taxation to invest in Ontario's economic and social infustracture for every dollar in new taxation everyday people have to pay more for heating, fuel, and lots of other things McGuinty will be taking a dollar and 6 cents out of the provinces resources and handing it over to corporate interests without any strings.  That's shared progressive values?  I don't think so!

Liberals might talk like they are different, I see however, not one bit of evidence for your contention that they actually do anything different.  So this is one dipper that will not give the Liberals some sort of free pass like they are without sin because the current government is also anathama to everything I believe in.

RedRover

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Redrover, with respect, please give me one example from the most recent era - ie post Trudeau -where there is a substantive difference in what the Liberals and Conservatives actually do.  I don't mean rhetoric, I mean actuality. 

Sorry wage zombie - I don't respond to threatening posts.  Asshole. 

One example Bookish...Chretien's Liberals reduced funding money for the military on a per capita basis over many years and only participated in UN sponsored/approved military missions. 

Harper is investing massive money in expanding the foreces offenisve capabilities and would have had Canadian troops in Iraq had he been in power.  He said as much in parliament at the time.  You can rest assured that if he has a majority he will also have us in Iran when the time comes. 

When it comes to both rhetoric and action in military affairs,  Chretien's actions were markedly different than Harper's have been.

Am I wrong about this seemingly divergent approach to military affairs?

Bookish Agrarian

RR I think you are.  Let's not forget it was the Liberals who committed us to Afghanistan. 

I also think it is a fallacy to say that the Liberals reduced military spending.  Given the committment in Afghanistan military spending had to go up due to both operational costs and military procurement needs for that mission and the other committments the military has been given by the government (and by that I mean government generically).  So I see no evidence that military spending would have been substantively different.  I suppose you could make the case that the Liberals might have put more money into one particular area over another and that would be different than the Conservatives - but I doubt there would have been much difference at this point in overall spending.  Certainly not in any way that could be called substantive.  The Afghan War eats up a lot of the new spending. 

While I laud Chretien's decision it is not as if he was not criticized within his own party about the decision - remember that guy named Martin.  And that doesn't even begin to look at the current Liberal leader who if anything is more a hawk than many of the Conservatives. 

So in the end I think you are mixing up the stand of the last true Trudeau Liberal that was left in the party of any significance, with the general direction of the current incarnation of the Liberals.  I see no evidence that there is any divergence beyond rhetoric between these two parties and little evidence that there is anyone waiting in the wings likely to change that, even if they try to resurrect the ghosts of leaders past.

As I said they are both anathama to the values I hold as a progressive and I expect most others who share the same general world view.

flight from kamakura

the possibility of a bq official opposition is slim.  the liberals would be hard pressed to drop below the 40 seats the bloc would likely score in the event of a harper majority.

to the liberal - i think most of us would be willing to suffer a harper majority if it meant that the liberal party of canada dropped below the ndp in vote share and commons seats.  essentially, we'd be winning for losing, especially if that meant official opposition status for the good guys, and a prime minister-in-waiting tryout for jack.

NorthReport

And maybe, just maybe, we can have a realistic win-win situation here, where Harper is kept to a minority, and the Liberals are reduced to the trash can where they belong, that is, in last place of the four parties with MPs in Parlaiment.

RedRover

NorthReport wrote:

And maybe, just maybe, we can have a realistic win-win situation here, where Harper is kept to a minority, and the Liberals are reduced to the trash can where they belong, that is, in last place of the four parties with MPs in Parlaiment.

This may be the first time I completely agree with one of your postings North.  This is encouraging.

I think what you described above is the most optimal and realistic possible outcome for the next election...speaking as a New Democrat.

RedRover

You've glanced over an obvious example Bookish.  Militarism.

The military engagements supported by the Liberals are generally (always?) UN sponsored and approved, and are generaly a coordinated reaction to events in the international community that threaten and undermine human rights and peace.  Liberals support multilateral military missions against nations that engage in ethnic cleansing, engage in unprovoked acts of aggression against other nations, and most recently against those that support or harbour terrorist organizations who target civilian populations.

The threshold for military action for the Conservatives is much lower and such action is often seen as simply another avenue to pursue foreign policy objectives.  Overthrowing regimes like in Iraq are consistent with some Canadian foreign policy objectives, but have to be considered militarily aggressive and are not supported by the United Nations.  Indeed, they are often condemned for that reason.

Staying out of Iraq because it was not supported by the United Nations was the right and principled move by Chretien and Harper would have gone in full bore.   That is a significant difference in policy and represents a significant difference in values held by the two parties. 

Are there violations of this generalization?  Yes...such as Haiti, but in general I believe the distinction holds and illustrates a major difference between Liberals and Conservatives.

 

Stockholm

I think its very misguided for Weston to claim that the Tories would get a majority of the NDP overtook the Liberals. It would depend on so many factors. i think that Weston is looking at that hypothetical situation through a lens where the only way it could happen would be if the NDP stayed more or less static and the Liberals went into free fall. In other words, i think that Weston buys into the idea that 20% is an absolute ceiling for the NDP (it isn't) and therefore, if the NDP came in second it would mean a popular vote split of Tories 43%, NDP 20%, Libs 19%, BQ 11%. That of course probably would mean a Tory majority.

But in reality if the NDP overtook the Liberals, it would be a testament to NDP strength and not just Liberal weakness. Imagine if the NDP was able to achieve some of its recent highs in region of the country. Last year the NDP got a relatively low 26% in BC for a variety of reasons. If things really went well I could easily see the NDP getting 32% in BC, the 13% in Alberta could easily be 15%, the 25% in Man/Sask, could easily be a few points higher and it would not be at all unprecendented for the NDP get from 18% in Ontario to 24-25% and to get from 12% in Quebec to 16-17% and there could be gains in Atlantic. So what if after the next election, the NDP gets 24% and the Liberals 23% and the BQ gets its 11% and the Greens and others get 5%, that leaves the Tories with 37%. As Ottawaobserver pointed out, in terms of seats, the Tories in that scenario would gain nothing in Quebec and might even lose a few to the BQ, the Tories would lose as many as 8-10 seats to the NDP out west, the Tories might pick up a seat or two in Atlantic Canada, but they might also lose a couple to the NDP in Nova Scotia. Ontario would be a big question mark, but even if in that scenerio the Tories managed to grab 8-10 seats from the Liberals in Ontario, it would still barely compensate for the losses to the NDP and BQ in the rest of the country.  

Bookish Agrarian

RR are you unfamilar with a country called Afghanistan.  None of your so-called Liberal conditions applied, did apply, or still apply.  The Liberals in their current incarnation are no less militarist than the Conservatives.  Sure they talk a different line, but when the rubber hits the road, they are there with the Cons beating the drums.  Chretien made the right call, regardless of his reasons, but he was not universally supported and if either Martin or Ignatieff had been in charge I would be willing to bet the decision would have been much different.

I think you are relying on a false history of the Liberals and their covert support for Amercian militarism and then comparing it with a false reality today.  Ignatieff is as much a militaristic hawk as anyone you can pick from within the Conservatives.  That is today's reality and today's choices, creating a Liberal get out of right wing beliefs free card is not my idea of being a progressive.  I, like most New Dems I know, will continue to go after the government because they are in charge, but I will not pretend the Liberals right now are some kind of warmer, fuzzier choice.  They are not.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

So what if after the next election, the NDP gets 24% and the Liberals 23% and the BQ gets its 11% and the Greens and others get 5%, that leaves the Tories with 37%.  

In such a best case scenerio, what kind of Parliament could be produced?

Something like?

CON: 143
NDP: 60
BQ: 55
LIB: 50

Prime Minister Layton would then be a possibility! In such a scenerio, the Liberals be the kingmakers.

Stockholm

To be fair, there are SOME ways in which the Liberals are a teeny weeny bit better than the Conservatives. The Liberals wouldn't be doing things like cancelling the Court Challenges program and trying to pack the courts with "hang'em high" social conservatives like the Tories are doing. The Liberals did appoint Rosie Abella and Louise Arbour etc... to the Supreme Court. Its hard to imagine Harper doing anything like that.

The way I see it, the main difference betwee the two parties is that the Tories under Harper are neo-con ideologues - they may trim their sails from time to time for strategic reasons but their objective is to remake Canada into a small-minded, mean-spirited country with a small mean-spirited federal government that tries to disempower federal institutions as much as possible (except the police and the military of course). The Liberals have no ideology, they follow public opinion, they never lead it. If the coalition had taken power in January, we essentially would have had an NDP government because the NDP would be the only partner in government that actually had any policies and the Liberals would just go along with whatever Layton suggested as long as they got some fancy offices and could dole out a few patronage appointments again.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

To be fair, there are SOME ways in which the Liberals are a teeny weeny bit better than the Conservatives. The Liberals wouldn't be doing things like cancelling the Court Challenges program and trying to pack the courts with "hang'em high" social conservatives like the Tories are doing. The Liberals did appoint Rosie Abella and Louise Arbour etc... to the Supreme Court. Its hard to imagine Harper doing anything like that.

The way I see it, the main difference betwee the two parties is that the Tories under Harper are neo-con ideologues - they may trim their sails from time to time for strategic reasons but their objective is to remake Canada into a small-minded, mean-spirited country with a small mean-spirited federal government that tries to disempower federal institutions as much as possible (except the police and the military of course). The Liberals have no ideology, they follow public opinion, they never lead it. If the coalition had taken power in January, we essentially would have had an NDP government because the NDP would be the only partner in government that actually had any policies and the Liberals would just go along with whatever Layton suggested as long as they got some fancy offices and could dole out a few patronage appointments again.

In that case the CONS and the LIBS are very different.  The CONS are the antithesis of what the NDP stands for while the Liberals are a party the NDP can work with. 

autoworker autoworker's picture

flight from kamakura wrote:

the possibility of a bq official opposition is slim.  the liberals would be hard pressed to drop below the 40 seats the bloc would likely score in the event of a harper majority.

to the liberal - i think most of us would be willing to suffer a harper majority if it meant that the liberal party of canada dropped below the ndp in vote share and commons seats.  essentially, we'd be winning for losing, especially if that meant official opposition status for the good guys, and a prime minister-in-waiting tryout for jack.

A Harper majority to have Jack and Olivia at Stornoway?  What are you smoking?  As for the BQ, it will depend on whether the majority French Quebec continues to vote en bloc, and for whom.

Webgear

RedRover

The Liberals covered up several military casualties from their years in power 1993-98.

The Liberals have also purchased offensive capabilities for the military while they were in power.  

V. Jara

The NDP will probably only overtake the Liberals if the Liberals fall to 40 or less seats in the HoC. This is because Layton has nowhere near the charisma of Broadbent and neither do his partisan hack spinmeisters with the press. Those that are hoping there will be some magical liftoff in the NDP's poll numbers once they narrow the gap enough with the Liberals are deluding themselves. To leap frog the Liberals you need to inspire trust in swing voters. Campy Layton with his hot orange colours, hacktacular tag lines, hardline on everything, marginal policies, and necessary negativity (otherwise no one would notice the NDP) are largely topped out. They will never get more than 22% in an election even in a campaign where the party stands on its head and juggles apples. With the exception of Québec (where the NDP has only started to break single digits), seat gains are coming from strategic targetting of resources and little else.

While everyone on this board crows about the Liberals nosediving poll numbers (and all power to you), I would suggest that a much more fruitful activity would be to direct the gaze inward as to how the NDP could gain some momentum. Cheering the Liberals party's demise is just cheering how crowded the new company of losers is going to become. Yay! All opposition parties under 20% of the vote! Harper doubles the support of any given opposition party! Go Harper go!

Fidel

The Liberal Party's coming apart at the seams. We should vote strategically for the NDP next first-past-the-ghost election.

Stockholm

I don't recall Broadbent being particularly "charismatic" and his electoral results were nothing spectacular either. He managed to get 20.5% of the of vote in his fourth election - in a pure three party system. Layton got 18.2% in a four and arguably five party system and that could easily go higher next time.

Its a good thing there was no babble during the Broadbent years, we would have heard no end to the sniping about how blah and uninspiring he was in the wake of Lewis and Douglas and how he betrayed the west and Quebec by going along with Trudeau's repatriation scheme and how he betrayed Canada by agreeing to the Meech lake accord and how he didn't campaign forcefully enough against free trade in 1988 etc...etc...

It'll be interesting to read forums like babble in 2030 when everyone will be waxing nostalgically about the "good old days" when the NDP had such great charismatic principled leadership under Layton. I'm not saying that he is perfect by any means, but I think that after his time as leader has passed he will quickly be in the pantheon along with the other federal NDP leaders (except the two disastrous AMs).

There is a lot that gets taken for granted when you have reasonably competent leadership. All we have to do is look at what happens when you have bad leadership to see what a difference it can make - look at the Liberals under Dion and Iggy to see what happens when you have leaders who don't know what they are doing. 

I think its a bit of a pipe dream to think that all that has to happen is for Layton to retire and then BOOM with the advent or (take our pick: Nathan Cullen, Thomas Mulcair, Peter Julian, Charlie Angus etc...) NDP support will surge into the high 20s like a jack in the box! I'm more worried that in the post-Layton era we could end up with a new leader with poor political instincts who could make all kinds of mistakes and lead us down the garden path. Then we won't have known how good we had it with Jack.

RedRover

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

 

RR are you unfamilar with a country called Afghanistan.  None of your so-called Liberal conditions applied, did apply, or still apply.  The Liberals in their current incarnation are no less militarist than the Conservatives. 

It's very different - the military operation in Afghanisatn was sanctioned by the United Nations under the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), is a multinational force, was undertaken after a terrorist attack on a member state of the UN, and targetted at a country that is a known sponsor of the terrorist group that carried out the attack. 

The Chretien decision to to participate in the ISAF  met all of my "so called Liberal conditions" for military action and is very different than the invasion of Iraq which was illegal under international law, repudiated by the UN, and which Canada would have been a party to if Stephen Harper were in power.

It is completely different Bookish, and the example hilights the difference between Liberal and Conservative military and defence policy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Security_Assistance_Force

Webgear

RedRover wrote:

Say what you want about the Liberals some money in Afghanistan, but they starved the military and decreased it's ability to project force abroad over the 13 years they were in power. 

 

I agree about the liberals straving the military.

 

RedRover wrote:

Harper looks like a madman next to them and is doing everything he can to militarize our society - from 'Red Fridays,' to having our paratroopers scale down from roofs at hockey games.

 

I disagree, paratroopers were at least scaling down from roofs at hockey games and other events between 1995-2003 well before Harper's time.

RedRover

Webgear wrote:

RedRover

The Liberals covered up several military casualties from their years in power 1993-98.

The Liberals have also purchased offensive capabilities for the military while they were in power.  

 

I did not say there weren't exceptions.  In fact I pointed to one - Haiti.  There are others too that you have pointed to.  They are exceptions to the general rule though - deviant behaviour if you will.

As far as military procurement is concerned - I don't think the Liberals have, or ever will, table a plan that is near the size and scale of the one put forth by Harper in the last three years....$490 billion in procuremen over 20 years. 

Say what you want about the Liberals spending some money in Afghanistan, but they starved the military and decreased it's ability to project force abroad over the 13 years they were in power.  

Harper looks like a madman next to them and is doing everything he can to militarize our society - from 'Red Fridays' to having our paratroopers scale down from roofs at hockey games.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/20/military-plan.html

NorthReport

Yup, gotta keep those NHLers under surveilance. Laughing 

flight from kamakura

autoworker wrote:

flight from kamakura wrote:

the possibility of a bq official opposition is slim.  the liberals would be hard pressed to drop below the 40 seats the bloc would likely score in the event of a harper majority.

to the liberal - i think most of us would be willing to suffer a harper majority if it meant that the liberal party of canada dropped below the ndp in vote share and commons seats.  essentially, we'd be winning for losing, especially if that meant official opposition status for the good guys, and a prime minister-in-waiting tryout for jack.

A Harper majority to have Jack and Olivia at Stornoway?  What are you smoking?  As for the BQ, it will depend on whether the majority French Quebec continues to vote en bloc, and for whom.

hein?  yeah, obviously i didn't say that a harper majority would result in an ndp official opposition.  in fact, i think it's fairly unlikely.  what i said was that if the result of a harper majority were an ndp opposition, then it would be sufferable.  learn how to read, dude.

NorthReport

Well said.

Although it wouldn't hurt to have organized labour buy a TV station or two. Wink

In the meantime let's apply those organizing skills that the Obama people shared with us in Halifax.  

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