The Decline of the Conservatives

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Pondering
The Decline of the Conservatives

The purpose of this thread is to identify the signs that herald the decline if not demise of the Conservative Party which was formed in 2003. The following was written in 2015. 

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2015/05/peter-mackay-who-killed-old-pc-party-will-leave-politics#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5dc0ccd105bc768b&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=1&at_tot=5

The key commitment of that deal was that there would be no merger of any sort with the Stephen Harper-led Canadian Alliance (CA).

The CA was the successor party to the Reform Party, which had stormed Ottawa in 1993, completely displacing the Progressive Conservatives in western Canada.

Mere months later, however, MacKay broke his solemn, written promise to Orchard.

At the urging of powerful forces in corporate Canada, Mackay entered into negotiations with the Canadian Alliance.

By the end of 2003, the merger of the two parties was complete.

The new party called itself simply the Conservative Party.

The Progressive Conservatives are gone.

The Reform Party is gone.

The Canadian Alliance is gone. 

The Reform party basically took over the Progressive Conservative Party. Most Canadians just don't realize that this Conservative party is not the one that has traditionally alternated power with the Liberals. 

Scheer's rival for the leadership was Bernier not someone more moderate than himself. The reform base demands some degree of social conservatism and  and resistence to climate change actions. They must be militantly pro-oil. Scheer's position on gay marriage is akin to saying I don't agree with interacial marriage but I won't try to pass laws against it. We aren't quite there yet but we are on our way. For many people it is at least again to saying "I am a dinosaur". For centrists the Conservatives are looking more and more radical as they remain stuck in the past. 

In my opinion that is a large part of why Trudeau won at least a minority. The Conservatives are losing the Red Tories that are not obsessed with oil, immigrants and social conservatism. 

They will splinter again because the forces that tore them apart in the past are still present even though Harper managed to quell them while in power. It couldn't last much longer. The signs were there in 2015 with Harper's last minute immigration dog whistle.

Pondering

Now for a more recent article...

https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/national-perspectives/andrew-coyne-conservatives-need-to-change-course-not-change-leaders-370142/

The party was unable to attract the support of more than 35 per cent of voters in this election, but that has been more or less the case for most of the last 30 years, ever since the breakup of the Mulroney coalition. In three elections (1993-2000) when the right-of-centre vote was split between the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties it averaged about 37 per cent of the vote. In five elections as the Conservative party under Stephen Harper’s leadership it averaged 35 per cent.....

But not much better. Whatever Scheer’s failings, they pale in significance beside the more fundamental limitations of the party’s appeal — notably, its unwillingness or inability to come up with a coherent conservative message, relevant to the concerns of voters and distinct from those of the other parties, and to present it in a persuasive manner....

But if all the Tories do is change leaders, without a more fundamental change of course, as I suspect more than a few of those calling for his head would prefer, they will be doomed to much the same result. The problems of the Conservative party are not of a kind that can be cured by a simple leaderectomy. They are deep and enduring.

We can talk about the party’s repeated shutouts in the big cities, or its failure to connect with voters in suburban Ontario. We can dwell on its continuing unpopularity with educated voters, or minorities, or women, or youth. We can snicker that, for all its endless pandering to Quebec nationalism, it still cannot win more than a handful of seats there....

But what we are really talking about is a conservatism that lacks three things: confidence, coherence and caring. The three are inter-connected. Until and unless the Conservatives think through what they believe and why — until, that is, they have a coherent alternative of their own to offer — they will be stuck in reflexive opposition to whatever the left proposes, on issues from inequality to diversity to climate change....

They need, that is, to rediscover their own philosophy — to renew their understanding of conservative principles, only updated and applied to the issues of today. As a party of ideas, they have some hope of breaking out of the cul-de-sac in which they now find themselves. As a mere vehicle for the ambitions of whoever the party settles on as Scheer’s replacement — a Peter MacKay here, a Rona Ambrose there — they are condemned to repeat the cycle.

It seems he doesn't understand that it is the Reform Party which took on the Conservative banner. The party can't afford to bleed more support to Bernier or have another splinter party. 

I keep reading that central Canada doesn't understand Alberta. We understand. Alberta doesn't understand. They thought they could get seats in Quebec proposing an Energy Corridor that would put a pipeline through Quebec. The Federal government may yet force a pipeline through BC but they will never get one through Quebec. 

JKR

Looking at the trend of history it seems that to win an election the Conservatives currently need to win over 70 seats in Ontario. If they can't manage to get 70 or more seats the Liberals win the election. But the Conservatives seem to have a bedrock of approximately 100 seats throughout Canada which means they have a lock on a top 2 position so their demise is very unlikely. Because the Liberals have an advantage in Ontario they seem to win around 3 out of five elections.

Pondering

That's why my first sentence was:

The purpose of this thread is to identify the signs that herald the decline if not demise of the Conservative Party which was formed in 2003. The following was written in 2015. 

JKR

Over the last hundred years or so the Conservatives / PC's have generally been Canada's second place party to the Liberals "natural governing party." During that period the Conservatives/ PC's have governed roughly 1/3rd of the time. I think that trend will continue so I don't see any real decline in the Conservatives fortunes from previous times. I see no reason to think that the Conservatives will go lower than 2nd so I see no sign of a decline in their fortunes. I think eventually voters will once again get tired of the Liberals being in power, as all governments have their best before date, and when that happens the Conservatives will once again win an election or two before the voters revert again to the Liberals for a longer stretch of time. So I don't see a decline in the fortunes for the Conservatives taking place now as they have been Canada's second place party for a long time and they have always been one of the top two parties along side the Liberals. I suspect the Conservatives will be back in power by the 2030's, especially if the Liberals win back power provincially in Ontario. I think once the PC's are out of power provincially in Ontario the Conservatives will be in good position to win back power federally. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire political spectrum shifted leftward during the next two decades or so.

Debater

Yeah, JKR is probably correct.  It's unlikely the Conservatives are in danger of going extinct, especially if they keep the party from breaking into 2 factions again.  There is a solid right-wing base in Canada -- not as large as in the U.S. -- but enough to guarantee the Conservatives a good number of seats in the West and in rural Ontario, just for starters.

What is noticeable though is that the new Conservative Party (eg. the one that formed in 2004) has not been able to attain the levels of support of the old PC red tory party.  Eg. the Conservatives have not won a single seat in Montreal since Mulroney was PM, and they struggle to retain support in Toronto, Vancouver and many parts of Atlantic Canada.

JKR

I think the electorate is more polarized now than it was before 1993 when the PC collapse produced the Reform Party and the BQ. I think fewer voters switch to and away from the Conservatives than switched to and away from the PC's. I think this has given the Conservatives a stronger base but less room for growth. If the Conservatives lose more support in Ontario it may become very difficult for them to ever form a government even though they are firmly lodged in second place. It may also mean that the Liberals strengthen their position as Canada's "natural governing party."

Pondering

My argument is that the Conservatives will become what the NDP has been, the third party. The NDP will become what the Conservatives have been; the natural alternative to the Liberals. 

If ever there was an election for the Conservatives to win it was this one. Trudeau has been so discredited. Very few people celebrated Trudeau's re-election. Had Mulcair still been running the NDP he may well have won but then the NDP would have been stuck with the Liberal Lite approach. That was one of the reasons I didn't want the NDP to win. It would have cemented that approach. They would not have been more left-wing once elected. They would have failed to balance the budget or create national daycare. The relationship with indigenous peoples would have deteriorated. Longterm it is a good thing the NDP didn't win in 2015 and maybe even a good thing Singh didn't win either. The fate of TMX will probably be decided before the next election. Either way the Liberals will wear it. If it goes through they will be vilified for it, if it fails they will be vilified for it. 

Better for the NDP to attain power once the transition is a bit farther along. If and when TMX fails Alberta will be incandescent with rage. Nothing will pacify them but separation is implausible unless they volunteer to become a US state. Unfortunately Alberta will have what Quebec has which is a permanently disgruntled portion of the population that believes themselves to have been treated unfairly. 

The Conservatives may win another minority government but I don't believe they can achieve another majority unless something incredibly unimaginable happens.

I don't believe the country is "moving left" because that assumes adoption of ideology. Climate change concerns Progressive Conservative people too, or those who used to vote that way. The Conservative party cannot answer to those concerns because they are too beholden to oil. Social Conservatives and the anti-immigrant gun toting types are also difficult to keep. They will support splinter parties. Alberta, Quebec, and BC cannot all be accomodated. Quebec is objecting TMX on the grounds of provincial rights to protect the environment. As long as the Conservatives are pushing pipelines they are locked out of Quebec. They must push pipelines because so much of their support is from Alberta. 

The Conservatives are ideologically free market. The Liberals are not. They support whatever they percieve to be good for big business and throw in some social stuff which is also often good for business. Fiscal Conservatives are satisfied by the Liberals. Cannabis legalization is good for business. A cottage industry turned corporate real fast. 

The Free Market cannot solve societal problems, inequality, nor address climate change. It's a small constituency. Being against gay marriage is fast becoming the equivalent of being against inter-racial marriage. In Canada the focus on multi-culturalism coupled with high immigration I think leads to a population that is very live and let live. Another influence may be that many immigrants come from repressive regimes and societies that don't have social services or good transport etc. So, they may be socially conservative but that doesn't mean they will support the Conservative party especially with the racist dog-whistles. Speaking of which, one does not have to be a PoC to be highly offended by the Conservatives doing that. Society is becoming more and more intolerant of intolerance.

The Conservatives are between a rock and some hard places. They need social conservatives, anti-immigrants, and Albertans which means actively supporting the oil industry even more than Trudeau has done. 

The more oil declines the more angry Albertans will get. Nothing but a pipeline and another boom will satisfy them. Canadians will be willing to help Alberta but not to boost the oil industry. 

Climate change is only going to grow as an issue that really scares people. The Liberals will successfully pacify people for awhile. They will pick up red Tories so the Liberals could get stronger. The next election could produce a Liberal majority. If the Conservatives win it will be a weak minority. 

Next election is too soon but I think the NDP is well-placed for the one after that. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

My argument is that the Conservatives will become what the NDP has been, the third party. The NDP will become what the Conservatives have been; the natural alternative to the Liberals. 

Where will the Conservative voters disappear to?

Sean in Ottawa

The suggestion that the Conservatives could fade to third place is a complete denial of the advantages they have in terms of finance and support of capital and business.

When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

Debater

Yeah, I don't see the Conservatives falling as low as 3rd unless the party splits into 2 factions again.

Canada has a strong Conservative base, and although Conservatives are not the majority in this country, they aren't going away in the near future as long as they dominate the West & rural Ontario and keep a few seats in Quebec & New Brunswick.  That's enough for at least 2nd.

Pondering

If dollars were votes the Conservatives would have won this election easily. They have collected more money from more small donors than any other party by a lot and for a long time JKR said it well. Their supporters are devoted but there is no room for growth. I acknowledge that they could win another minority but within a decade they won't be able to break 28%. That will send many Conservatives to the Liberals to stop the NDP.

Scheer tried to use the fear factor by warning of a Liberal/NDP coalition. Red tories may have decided they better back Trudeau so he wouldn't need the NDP. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

If dollars were votes the Conservatives would have won this election easily. They have collected more money from more small donors than any other party by a lot and for a long time JKR said it well. Their supporters are devoted but there is no room for growth. I acknowledge that they could win another minority but within a decade they won't be able to break 28%. That will send many Conservatives to the Liberals to stop the NDP.

Scheer tried to use the fear factor by warning of a Liberal/NDP coalition. Red tories may have decided they better back Trudeau so he wouldn't need the NDP. 

Dollars do impact elections. That is just a fact. But apart from that we are talking about a substantial base and money to leverage it plus media and businesses to promote it. The idea of a third in the manner of the NDP as a normal space for the Conservatives is a fantasy that cannot exist in this reality.

They may well get to a chronic second where they cannot get elected by taking minority positions like against climate change mitigation or social conservatism and by being repulsive enough that they cannot get a partner to work with in minorities. But that stagnation is a far cry from a weak third like what the NDP struggles with now.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Their supporters are devoted but there is no room for growth. I acknowledge that they could win another minority but within a decade they won't be able to break 28%. That will send many Conservatives to the Liberals to stop the NDP.

If the Liberals were clearly in first place with the Conservatives in a distant second place, why would Conservative leaning voters worry about the NDP winning? And if both the Conservatives and NDP were tied in distant second place, why would Conservative leaning voters switch to the Liberals since the NDP would still not be in a position to win?

I think under your scenario, if the Conservatives were mired in second place they would moderate their policies after losing a couple of elections. The Conservatives would also likely select a leader from either Ontario or Quebec to increase their chances of winning.

Debater

But how likely is it that there will be a Red Tory leader of the Cons again in the near future?  The party seems dominated by the Reform/Alliance socially conservative wing.  First Harper, and now Scheer. (and Bernier almost became leader).

Unless they choose a red tory leader like Jean Charest or Bernard Lord or someone like that, it will be a while before they can win in Montreal, or make inroads in places like Toronto & Vancvouver.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The suggestion that the Conservatives could fade to third place is a complete denial of the advantages they have in terms of finance and support of capital and business.

When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

brookmere

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Their supporters are devoted but there is no room for growth. I acknowledge that they could win another minority but within a decade they won't be able to break 28%. That will send many Conservatives to the Liberals to stop the NDP.

If the Liberals were clearly in first place with the Conservatives in a distant second place, why would Conservative leaning voters worry about the NDP winning? And if both the Conservatives and NDP were tied in distant second place, why would Conservative leaning voters switch to the Liberals since the NDP would still not be in a position to win?

I think under your scenario, if the Conservatives were mired in second place they would moderate their policies after losing a couple of elections. The Conservatives would also likely select a leader from either Ontario or Quebec to increase their chances of winning.

They just lost an election. They are not moderating policies and won't no matter how many elections they lose because if they get any more moderate they lose part of their base and the party splits again. The Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives are ideologically different. They do not share the same goals. If the PCs had a persona it would be an accountant that goes to bed at 9PM, wears pyjamas and attends a boring church on Sunday. 

Scheer and Harper before him are Reformers masquerading as PCers, wolves in sheep's clothing. Harper kept the base quiet for his first three minorities with the argument that as a minority he couldn't go all the way with their demands. When he finally won a majority the base expected more. I really shouldn't say "the base" because they don't have one base. They have bases.

The alternative to Scheer was Bernier. Reformers will desert the party in droves if they have a leader from Ontario or Quebec. The next leader will again be from west of Ontario or perhaps east of Quebec but even that is unlikely. 

There are a few possible scenarios. I think the most likely is that the new Conservative party will split up because their differences still exist and will only become more pronounced. Even if they don't split up their support is going to continue shrinking. They have no credibility on climate change. I don't see them maintaining a firm hold on second place.

I predict more and more three way races as we had in 2015. The NDP is set to rise because the Liberals are so dirty their fall is inevidable. Part of my faith in that outcome lies in the belief that climate change will become more and more prominent as an election issue. The Liberals will continue failing to really do anything about it. The NDP base will grow. 

This past election Scheer said vote Conservative to prevent a Liberal/NDP coalition. Who was he trying to appeal to? I think the business community and fiscal conservatives. In 2015 that led to a Liberal majority. Now, even with the Liberals badly wounded, they still won a minority. You can't get blander than Scheer. 

The oil industry might prefer a moderate but voters want an aggressive leader that will push for hard for oil. That kind of leader cannot win Quebec or even Ontario. Basically as long as the Reformers are in charge they will not win another election. If the PCs take charge the Reformers will split off again. The Bernier party failed to take much supporter but it is evidence that disatisfaction is rising. 

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Basically as long as the Reformers are in charge they will not win another election. If the PCs take charge the Reformers will split off again. The Bernier party failed to take much supporter but it is evidence that disatisfaction is rising. 

I think after sacrificing so much to unite the PC / Reform / Alliance into the Conservatives, the right will continue to work together instead of dividing into two parties again and handing unending power to the Liberals by default. Bernier's complete failure shows how the right is not willing to split their vote as their primary goal is to win elections against the Liberals. The history in provincial politics in places like Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan show how the right is willing to put water in their wine in order to attain and maintain power.  I think recent history shows that former Reformers have been very willing to compromise with others to attain power. Maybe the left has something to learn from that?

JKR

Scheer just won the popular vote and held the Liberals to a minority but many people in his party are saying he should be replaced because he likely won't be able to form a government in the future. Unlike some other parties, the Conservatives put a very high priority on forming government.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

The Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives are ideologically different. They do not share the same goals. If the PCs had a persona it would be an accountant that goes to bed at 9PM, wears pyjamas and attends a boring church on Sunday. 

I don't think it really makes sense anymore to talk about the PCs being distinct from the Conservatives in any meaningful way. There was a global shift to the right among conservative parties from the 1970s onwards, and it would have happened to the PCs had they remained a force federally.

A Progressive Conservative party and government still survives in Ontario, and they are also to the right of what the PCs were in the 1970s. And whatever else you may blame the Reform Party for, I don't think they are responsible for the decision of Ontario voters to elect first Harris and now Ford.

Pondering

I do believe that Ontario is having severe buyer's remorse.  Do you think he will win a second term?

I just came across this article from a Progressive Conservative.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/stephen-harper_ca_5dc198a1e4b03d0aad00d226?ncid=other_trending_qeesnbnu0l8&utm_campaign=trending

Global News radio host Charles Adler tears up while discussing what upsets him about the Conservative Party of Canada. ...

The question took me for a ride, a rather unpleasant one. I have never seen my heart as having departed from mainstream conservatism, the kind I imbibed when I first moved from Montreal to Toronto and started voting for the Bill Davis Conservatives. Bill Davis was the premier of Ontario, one of the most decent human beings I had ever met. He happened to be a politician. He happened to be the Progressive Conservative premier of Ontario. His brand of conservatism was a great fit for how I saw my country. He was fiscally responsible and socially moderate. That’s who I am. That’s who I’ve always been.....

So as I tried to answer Nasser’s question, I was in physical pain. A lump formed in my throat, tears began to flow. After several seconds of dead air — my biggest nightmare as a broadcaster — I was finally able to form words. I told our host that it happened in the final weeks of the 2015 campaign, when Harper’s campaign was pledging to establish a “barbaric cultural practices” hotline. I told her this felt like an attack on my neighbours, my brothers and sisters. I told her this was asking me to politically travel to the dark side of the moon. And I wasn’t going there....

When did my heart move to the political centre? Truth is, it’s always been there. It’s the Conservative Party of Canada that moved far to the right of the centre — tolerance of people inside the party who are xenophobic, the Conservatives in the house of commons speaking out against even having a discussion about Islamophobia. They left me in the dust. But to me, if I had been given the choice of having the respect of this bastardized version of conservatism or that of my blessed grandmother, the choice is painfully easy.

Many Progressive Conservative voters have just kept voting Conservative through all the changes and I think many people treat this Conservative party as if it is still the Progressive Conservative party. It's not and can never become that again because there aren't enough moderate Conservatives, Red Tories, to win alone. They tried to make peace with Reformers but they took over the whole party. Reformers stayed moderate enough to fool PCers and win elections under Harper. They used the same approach with Scheer, choose someone who seems like a boring "square" that will be a good administrator. Trump emboldened the Reformers but Canada is not the US even though Ford was elected. His policies are being rejected. He is so unpopular he had to lay low for the election. Ford was elected because it was time for a change and apparently the NDP still haven't been able to convince people they are a viable alternative. 

Voters are not becoming more Conservative, at least not this brand of Conservative. 

melovesproles

Total wishful thinking. You only need 30% of the vote to win government in Canada. The Liberals got lucky Ford was so unpopular in Ontario but that doesn't mean Ontario has been permanently cured of voting for neocons and is suddenly a Red Tory province.

It would be nice if the Cons would turn on each other but it's going to take something a lot bigger than Mad Max pulling a tantrum because he didn't get to be leader. The fact the media is so solidly pro-Conservative and the Liberals are so bad at the democracy thing means we'll probably see another Conservative government sooner than later.

Debater

Ontario voters didn't really vote for Ford.  They voted PC because they wanted a break from the Wynne Liberals.  Wynne was unpopular and the Ontario Liberals had been in power for 15 years -- the longest period of time in modern history.

Brown had been ahead of the Wynne Liberals too in early 2018, so all that happened was that when Brown stepped down, Ford just slid into the spot Brown alrready occupied at the head of the polls.

melovesproles

Voting out a party is often the main reason why change of government happens in any province. Obviously the Liberals would have to be unpopular for the Conservatives to win power.

But sure, if you want to make a distinction between voting and slip-voting, feel free. If Ontario can slip-vote for a Ford or Harris or Harper government, they could slip-vote for the Federal Conservatives again which is why the premise of this thread is silly.

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

The purpose of this thread is to identify the signs that herald the decline if not demise of the Conservative Party

The decline was heralded in by 250,000 more voters than the Liberals and gaining seats where the Liberals lost them. A very sneaky hearld indeed.

 

jatt_1947 jatt_1947's picture

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, although they held on to power, lost their majority. One million fewer Canadians voted for them compared with 2015. They have the most seats, but finished second to the Conservatives in the popular vote.

And between the suburbs of Vancouver and the outskirts of Winnipeg, a distance of more than 2,000 kilometres, there is no longer even one Liberal MP.

Yet, the party that should be feeling the greatest sense of loss is Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

Once upon a time, there were lots of voters who were prepared to swing, from election to election, between the country’s two major parties.

Those two parties were the Liberals and the then-Progressive Conservatives and, although one leaned a bit more to the left and the other a bit more to the right, both aimed to find the middle, the electoral golden mean.

That is still mostly true for the Liberals. It is less so for the Conservatives.

The problem the Conservatives have is that a lot of voters in the centre no longer see them as a party they can swing to. They don’t see them as a desirable alternative.

For example, an Ekos poll conducted just before the election found that, while the Conservatives had the support of 32 per cent of decided voters, a mere 6 per cent of the rest of the population picked them as their second choice.

In contrast, more than one-third of NDP voters and a quarter of Green voters had the Liberals as their second choice. Just 7 per cent of Liberal voters, 6 per cent of Greens and 9 per cent of NDPers had the Conservatives as their second choice.

The Conservatives, in short, are now the party of their base, and their base alone.

On the plus side, that base is remarkably loyal; more than half of those in the Ekos poll who said they were voting Conservative said they would not even consider a second choice. But the brand identity that has been created in the minds of most other Canadians is that this is not the party for them.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-its-deeper-than-andrew-scheer-the-root-of-the-conservative-partys/

Haven't read parts 2, 3 and 4 will do so soon.. ish. :D

Pondering

What Jatt said. I already acknowledged the Conservatives could still win another minority. I'm talking about a longterm trajectory.

That the Conservatives won the popular vote is due to the strong support they get from Alberta. That support comes at the expense of getting centrist votes.

If TMX goes through it will help the Liberals enormously. If it fails, it may still help them. Failure will infuriate Albertans increasing militancy. That will turn off centrist voters. 

Shrinking base + declining ability to attract centrist voters = a party that cannot win. If they transformed themselves back into the Progressive Conservatives I think they would have a better chance of growing but I don't see that happening. 

I don't find the current "western allienation" narrative compelling but if TMX does not go through I could see it growing into a really serious problem. 

On TMX there will be a winner and a loser. The loser will not take it well. Climate change activists and indigenous groups may take radical action if they lose. I have no idea what that could look like but I do believe it could become violent. I also think the opposition may weaken once it is well on its way or finished. If the courts rule in favor of the pipeline protesters could lose support. I think the TMX situation is very volatile. If If were a bookie I wouldn't give odds. 

The only thing keeping peace in Alberta is the belief that Keystone XL and/or TMX will go through. They are pissed that it is taking so long but they believe it will happen.  I think if both are still stalled in two years time Albertans will be fit to be tied. 

To have a province or provinces so angry and disillusioned with the rest of the country would hurt the country a lot. If the pipelines are all blocked I expect rage. It could turn separation into a real threat if they decide they would prefer to be a state. Even if, as in Quebec, it never happened it would still cause enormous strife. 

What happens with the pipelines, especially TMX, will have a huge impact on Canadian politics that is very difficult to predict. 

Sean in Ottawa

brookmere wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

I am not referring to when there is a split and another right wing party takes over, but the sole right wing party will never fall to a distant third as it will be propped up financially and by right wing support that just is not that small.

Sean in Ottawa

jatt_1947 wrote:

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, although they held on to power, lost their majority. One million fewer Canadians voted for them compared with 2015. They have the most seats, but finished second to the Conservatives in the popular vote.

And between the suburbs of Vancouver and the outskirts of Winnipeg, a distance of more than 2,000 kilometres, there is no longer even one Liberal MP.

Yet, the party that should be feeling the greatest sense of loss is Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

Once upon a time, there were lots of voters who were prepared to swing, from election to election, between the country’s two major parties.

Those two parties were the Liberals and the then-Progressive Conservatives and, although one leaned a bit more to the left and the other a bit more to the right, both aimed to find the middle, the electoral golden mean.

That is still mostly true for the Liberals. It is less so for the Conservatives.

The problem the Conservatives have is that a lot of voters in the centre no longer see them as a party they can swing to. They don’t see them as a desirable alternative.

For example, an Ekos poll conducted just before the election found that, while the Conservatives had the support of 32 per cent of decided voters, a mere 6 per cent of the rest of the population picked them as their second choice.

In contrast, more than one-third of NDP voters and a quarter of Green voters had the Liberals as their second choice. Just 7 per cent of Liberal voters, 6 per cent of Greens and 9 per cent of NDPers had the Conservatives as their second choice.

The Conservatives, in short, are now the party of their base, and their base alone.

On the plus side, that base is remarkably loyal; more than half of those in the Ekos poll who said they were voting Conservative said they would not even consider a second choice. But the brand identity that has been created in the minds of most other Canadians is that this is not the party for them.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-its-deeper-than-andrew-scheer-the-root-of-the-conservative-partys/

Haven't read parts 2, 3 and 4 will do so soon.. ish. :D

I agree with most of this but it does not contradict the fact that this base remains large enough to prevent it from falling to a distant third and large enough that a small attraction based on a well-funded competent campaign they could get a majority. The only way it could be third is if the first and second take less than 1/3 of the vote.

The Conservatives as this comment states have little room for growth and little second choice support. However, their first choice support is solidly more than 25% and within a hair of 30% on a bad day. As much as other parties go up and down this changes little becuase while the Conservatives are not a second choice, they also really do not have much of a second choice for themselves either and may list a party if they are forced to but do not expect them to seriously consider it.

I think the Conservatives are in a rut: they risk being shut out of first place even if they are held above third. But we cannot be certain that they are there. Demographics are against them.

However, this may be short term. Sadly there is a lot of right wing sentiment in Canada that could be brought to them. Ontario and Quebec are not places where there is no chance of people voting right wing. Look at their current governments.

The old story of the Conservatives having to win two of three main regions is still true. These regions remain: Ontario, Quebec and the Western 4 provinces. They won 72 of 104 in the West so that is a win there despite the Coast voting against them but they only won 30% of Ontario and 12% of Quebec. They were about 50 seats short of a majority. 

Before you write them off as being capable of a majority consider how close they came.

Below are the 21 seats they were less than 5% behind the winner. If they had taken those they would have had 142 seats and since 15 were won by Liberals the Liberals would have had 142. This, also with the plurality of votes could have produced either a BQ-Conservative government or an Liberal NDP minority rather than the strong minority with ability to play parties off against each other that the Liberals have. Another 27 on top of this would have produced a majority. Ontario could have delivered that from seats currently held by the Ford government if that government had not been so unpopular. Imagine if the Ontario election had been closer to the Federal election and there had not yet been a budget or scandal there.

What I am saying is that the idea that the Conservatives cannot get a majority is really fantasy and they were not nearly as far behind in that as the FPTP system suggested. It is not that often that a newly elected government loses. It is highly likely that Trudeau will eventually lose to a Conservative majority government given the exaggerations of FPTP. 

The Conservatives have no friends in parliament and struggle to win but actually every party has to struggle to win in this very split and polarized parliament - but the Conservatives are closer than they appear in the rearview mirror.

Here are those seats the CPC came within 5% of getting. I noted quite a few only couple % over the 5% and not included here:

Atlantic
Avalon
Cape Breton—Canso
Cumberland—Colchester
Sydney—Victoria
Fredericton
Miramichi—Grand Lake
Saint John—Rothesay
Quebec
Beauport—Limoilou
Trois-Rivières
Ontario
Bay of Quinte
Peterborough—Kawartha
King—Vaughan
Richmond Hill
Niagara Centre
Kitchener—Conestoga
MB
Winnipeg South
BC
South Okanagan—West Kootenay
Fleetwood—Port Kells
Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
North Vancouver
Yukon

Sean in Ottawa

This is uncomfortable truth time.

There is polling evidence that a large number of people voted strategically despite the NDP imploring them not to.

I think there is good evidence to show that had they not done so the Conservatives would have a plurality of seats and very likely more than the NDP and Liberals combined meaning a CPC minority similar to Harper's with the BQ holding, but not really using, a balance of power. Given the numbers who claimed to have voted strategically and given the number of close seats and the final result it would be difficult to be able to presume that this did not turn the election.

Sean in Ottawa

The truth is very clear for those willing to confront it:

Politics is about power and doing things for people. It is not about perfection. It is about principles but not without compromises needed to build a big enough consensus to achieve things.

The Conservatives are viable enough to contest for a majority government. It is the Greens and NDP in their sanctimonious purity that are not.

The NDP cannot join the Liberals becuase the NDP would be outnumbered and irrelevant. But a merger with a smaller party, the Greens, does not have this dynamic. Not only is the NDP the bigger party but the resulting party would be bigger than the Liberals (once strategic voters come home on seeing this change).

Politics involves some compromises - not just with other parties but also with the political culture and the voters. NDP governments have had to compromise even when they won majorities in order to work with the people. The kind of compromise needed to work with most of the Greens is no less than that needed to be able to work with Candian society and govern. A number of right of centre Greens would leave but fewer than the number of potential NDP supporters presently voting Liberal in order to get a critical mass of support to hope to achieve change.

If the NDP cannot win over a minority of Greens on social democratic principles it could be that the NDP is not putting them properly and how could they hope to convince voters?

Why is there a debtate here about the viability of the party that got the most votes in the last election and came in second rather than about the parties we care about that came 4th and 5th in seats and 3rd and 5th in votes?

Why is there a presumption that the party that got blown out and lost half of its seats can still win but the party that got more than four times as many seats along with the most votes cannot?

Who here wants to speculate that if the Conservatives are eternally shut out of first place that the NDP is in a better position, dead broke and declining despite having the more popular leader in the vote we just had?

When will people recognize that the dynamics of balance of power are not the same in a 5-6 party system as they are in a 3 party system? We talk about false majorities here, about the issues of electoral reform. When will people confront the reality that in a system where there is such a gap in financing, the leverage of small parties is less than it used to be and when there are multiple parties after the first two, there are enough options to produce a majority on a given issue that the lead party with a minority has an effective falsse majority due to the control that party has, the powers that have been centralized in the PMO and finances.

We should be asking when the NDP has the balance of power if this is the best we can get (looks like it is now) and if this is meaningful at all given the poor bargaining position the NDP has being the third opposition party with two bigger ones the Liberals can make deals with on a case by case basis. Just remember the last time when the NDP was so lucky as to have a minority government just how much power it had then? None.

We have a source for pure social democrat thinking and policy production: the Broadbent Institute.

But when it comes to politics it is not just about having the best ideas -- it is about having a path to put them in place.

The NDP is starting a reduced numerical position in a minority government with the party headquarters mortgaged for the last election. What position of principle will the NDP choose to stand up and wipe out the rest of its seats and finances for? What aspect of this dynamic does the NDP imagine the other parties do not know?

We are not in this thread having the kinds of conversations this party needs.

We hate the Greens so much we cannot talk about merging while our supporters tell pollsters that they have walked to a second party choice becuase we are so weak that we cannot earn their vote. What part of that is hard to understand?

People, the merger is already there and it is with the Liberals as our supporters vote with them becuase we are too irrelevant. A merger with the Greens is one that NDP principles and current members can actually be powerful in. There are Greens we do not like but there are absolutely no principles in the Green party not compatible with us.

A merger with the Greens is a rejection of the merger our potential supporters are making with the Liberals because we are too weak to offer them a choice with a path to making a difference.

The Liberals are not effective agents for change. They are a poor compromise where we lose. It is happening now -- people around us who prefer the NDP are voting for the Liberals. This is a bigger, more damning and unforgiveable compromise than any we would have to make with the Greens. Failure to work with the Greens to give the NDP the critical mass it needs to attract support buth from voters and financial support is effectively support for the status quo which is a loss of much of our support to parties who actually stand a chance in their ridings.

We can sneer at the ridings that do not vote NDP from the sanctimonious mountain tops of 7% of Canada's electoral districts. We can whine about not having a fair shake form the media and complain about the electoral system. OR - we can work with what we have and do what we must do to make a difference. Maybe after being in power with the Greens we can bring in electoral reform and election financing and choose to split again but remaining small and powerless by choice is not going to change those things.

And if you want to make no compromises: write a book -- don't do politics.

 

melovesproles

 Shrinking base + declining ability to attract centrist voters = a party that cannot win.

Pundits were saying the same thing about the Republican party when Obama won his second term.

 

Debater

It's important to keep in mind a couple differences between the Canadian & American system:

1. In modern history the U.S. has a pattern of alternating the party in the White House every 8 years.

2.  There are only 2 parties in the U.S. and so it is easier for either one to take power than it is in a multi-party system like Canada (or Europe).

melovesproles

3. In Canada you can form government with less than 34% of the popular vote.

Debater

True.  And that's the case in Europe, too.

By contrast, when there are only 2 parties in the U.S. (except for the odd race with a viable independent/3rd party) it is much more common for a winning candidate to get 50%+ of the vote.

Pondering

The Roman Empire didn't fall until it did. The Quebec separatist movement didn't exist, until it did. The past can inform the future but it doesn't dictate it. 

Alberta wants unfettered access to world markets for oil. That isn't a left/right issue within the province. It takes precedence over all else just as in Quebec the survival of French and Quebec culture take precedence over all else. No party in Quebec can win without standing in defence of the French language. No party can win in Alberta without defending oil and fighting for access to world markets. There is a major difference. Alberta only has 30 years or so to sell oil so they have to sell it fast. Militancy is going to grow. Alberta is determined not to take "no" for an answer on TMX but it doesn't have the direct power to force it through.

Cataclysmic events change the course of history. Climate change is causing many cataclysmic events worldwide. The first world is not immune to fires, floods, coastal errosion, hurricanes and deadly heatwaves. As I understand the science there is a delayed reaction. As we have increased emmissions year after year since the industrial revolution the impact of climate change will become more extreme year after year.  In my adult lifetime global warming has gone from hippy dippy to mainstream. Insurance companies take it into account. That makes it very real for people. 

Ironically if oil were nationalized pipelines would probably have an easier time of it. Alberta says the benefits accrue to all of Canada and that is true but to the same extent as any have province. The majority of benefits accrue to Alberta. The East has not forgotten the messages sent when our manufacturing was dying. Alberta said suck it up and go where the jobs are. I'm not defending that attitude in reverse just saying it is unlikely they will recieve better in return.

Alberta politics are informed by their heavy dependence on oil. Most of the rest of the country isn't. We are not fooled by declarations that investment in Canada will dry up. No it won't. The problem is not with major projects, or major energy projects, or even oil projects in general. There is little to no opposition to building new refineries, only pipelines.

Our political parties are like the three bears. Conservatives, pro-oil damn the environment, The Liberals, pro-oil but willing to institute a carbon tax and take other actions. The NDP, not quite no pipelines but much more climate oriented and willing to go against TMX.

The Conservatives have tried to defend their climate change mitigation policy. I'm not familiar with it but if someone told me it's as good as the carbon tax I wouldn't be shocked. It really doesn't matter because their identity is forged with the oil industry and Alberta more so than ever. The more militant and insistent Alberta becomes the more unpopular the Conservatives will become in non-oil provinces. 

The rate at which they shrink and what happens as a result I am less certain of. I assume red tories will swing to the Liberals if they think the Conservatives can't win. What remains to be seen is how much the NDP can take from both. I think the NDP is well placed to replace the Conservatives as government in waiting within a decade. As the Conservative's popularity in the RoC wanes there will be less reason to vote Liberal strategically. 

If because we have always alternated between the Conservatives and Liberals we will always continue to alternate between the Conservatives and Liberals then what is the point of bothering with an NDP party? Might as well put all the progressives in the Liberal party. 

Debater

Avantage Trudeau

par Chantal Hébert

6 novembre 2019

À défaut d’obtenir la majorité qu’il souhaitait, Justin Trudeau se retrouve néanmoins devant une Chambre des communes dont la composition est optimale pour son gouvernement minoritaire. Grâce à l’élection de deux douzaines de néo-démocrates et de trois députés du Parti vert, il n’aura pas à passer les prochaines années au pouvoir à la remorque du Bloc québécois.  

https://lactualite.com/politique/avantage-trudeau/

brookmere

Debater wrote:
It's important to keep in mind a couple differences between the Canadian & American system:

You're missing the elephant in the room, so to speak - the equal representation in the Senate, which works massively in favour of rural (i.e. Republican) states. It also biases the presidential elections because electoral college votes equal Senate plus House seats.

The other problem is gerrymandering of Congressional districts by Republican state legislatures.

The fact is that in 2016 the Democrats won the total popular vote not only for President, but for the Senate and House too. And that's with a terrible candidate at the top of the ballot.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:

Had Mulcair still been running the NDP he may well have won but then the NDP would have been stuck with the Liberal Lite approach. That was one of the reasons I didn't want the NDP to win. It would have cemented that approach. They would not have been more left-wing once elected. They would have failed to balance the budget or create national daycare. The relationship with indigenous peoples would have deteriorated. Longterm it is a good thing the NDP didn't win in 2015 and maybe even a good thing Singh didn't win either.

You show your true political colours here.

So you say that Mulcair would have been Liberal-Lite if he had won the election. So Liberals being Liberals is ok, but a lighter or slightly more progressive version of Liberal governing is somehow something bad for the country. Then you contradict yourself and claim that the NDP would not be more left wing than the Liberal party.

The Liberal party of Canada is a large corporate backed party that caters to Bay Street and large corporate interests. They are a centre-right political party with a corporate agenda.

The NDP is a centre-left labour Party with no ties to Bay Street. So according to you, don't vote for the New Democrats because they cannot be more left-wing and socially conscious than the Liberal party even though their reason for being is to address the needs of the working class and the most vulnerable in society and not  to the dictates of big business. Maybe that is why Liberal and Conservative parties get large corporate donations and the NDP doesn't. But the NDP, according to you, will not deliver on their base if given the power to do so.

Then you claim that they would not have enacted a national day-care program so it's good that they didn't get elected. You have no basis to formulate that claim unless you are referring to the Liberal party's history of making campaign promises that they never keep. But that is somehow ok because that is the Liberal party breaking promises. So don't vote NDP because their election promise is deemed by you to be unachievable just because you think so.

Then, after stating that the NDP would not honour their election promise then you claim that they would not balance the budget, so again, don't vote NDP because they are fiscally irresponsible.

The current national debt is at $780 billion dollars. I can guarantee you that the NDP did not create this national debt. I can quite comfortably assure you that both the Conservative (including PC) and Liberal governments have worked cooperatively to create this national debt. The NDP did not.

Tommy Douglas and the CCF in Saskatchewan inherited a massive debt that the Saskatchewan Liberal government left them with. Tommy Douglas ran 17 consecutive budgetary surpluses for every year that he was in office. The NDP under Lloyd left office with a budgetary surplus for the incoming Liberal party that replaced the NDP.

Allan Blakeney and the NDP in Saskatchewan brought the government out of a 40 million dollar debt incurred by the provincial Liberal government and ran consistent balanced budgets in every year he was in office. He left the province of Saskatchewan with a AA international bond credit rating, and a $2 billion dollar heritage fund.

The PC party squandered the 2 billion heritage fund and left the province with a &15 billion dollar debt and the province on the verge of not making its payments. Roy Romanow took over the 15 billion dollar debt and the worst bond rating possible. The NDP under Romanow and Calvert cut the debt in half and restored the province to a AA rating.

The Saskatchewan party is running deficits and has expanded the debt from where the NDP reduced it by half. 
 

While the NDP cut the debt to under $8 billion dollars by the time they were voted out in favour of the Saskatchewan Party, the Saskatchewan debt as of last year has grown to around $20 billion dollars. They also ran a $2.5 billion dollar deficit in 2018 as well. They have gutted services in the name of fiscal responsibility and yet people see this as being good fiscal management. They celebrate this because it is a right wing party in power.

By repeating factoids about the NDP over and over and over again as unchallenged assumptions, people believe these factoids as truth.

The NDP, in reality, is fiscally responsible when in government. Other NDP governments have run deficits but so have Liberal and PC governments.

We tend to overlook the hypocrisy of Liberals and Conservatives and believe unchallenged their attacks on the NDP.

If the NDP were not fiscally responsible, they would not have been the dominant governing party in Saskatchewan for the last 75 years.

I personally liked the Party Québécois when Rene Lebesque was the premier. He ran a government that was most like the NDP in Saskatchewan and had many positive progressive positions.

We need to stop with these negative beliefs about the NDP. When given many years in office and multiple re-elections to make long term changes, the NDP has proven itself to be both fiscally responsible and progressive on social issues.

The problem is, other provinces elect them for one term and then expect short term miracles. Change takes time. The NDP is a record of success.

National debt

Tommy Douglas budgets in Saskatchewan

Blakeney balanced budgets and heritage fund

"permitting the Blakeney government to balance its budget every year, to attack poverty, to improve education and health care, to implement many other innovative and important reforms and initiatives, and to hand off to its successors a public sector with zero net public debt and a growing “heritage fund” that could have been used as investment capital to build a value-added economy"

History of Saskatchewan Government debt

You may notice debt with Allan Blakeney's Government. The NDP government bought up majority ownership in the Potash industry. They  bought an asset that generated revenues.

Brad Wall mostly ran deficits

Projected Saskatchewan 2020 debt of $21.7 billion dollars.

Debater

Misfit wrote:

The Liberal party of Canada is a large corporate backed party that caters to Bay Street and large corporate interests. They are a centre-right political party with a corporate agenda.

The NDP is a centre-left labour Party with no ties to Bay Street. So according to you, don't vote for the New Democrats because they cannot be more left-wing and socially conscious than the Liberal party even though their reason for being is to address the needs of the working class and the most vulnerable in society and not  to the dictates of big business. Maybe that is why Liberal and Conservative parties get large corporate donations and the NDP doesn't.

The Liberals are not right-wing.  The Liberals are a centrist party.  The Liberals are actually considered too far left for many Canadians.

And as for corporations, corporate donations have been banned in Canada since 2002.  It was one of the final pieces of legislation that Jean Chretien passed before Paul Martin took over.  The legislation was inspired by similar legislation passed by the Rene Levesque government in Quebec in the 1970's.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

The Roman Empire didn't fall until it did. The Quebec separatist movement didn't exist, until it did. The past can inform the future but it doesn't dictate it. 

...

If because we have always alternated between the Conservatives and Liberals we will always continue to alternate between the Conservatives and Liberals then what is the point of bothering with an NDP party? Might as well put all the progressives in the Liberal party. 

I would also love it if somehow the Conservatives fell into third place and the NDP somehow became a top-two party actually contending for power. But we just finished an election where the NDP received only 16% of the vote, which is worse than what they've usually received in elections over the last 60 years since their inception, while the Conservatives received the most votes overall, even though they were limited mostly to their base. I think it's important that we don't let our hopes and wishes prejudice our judgement. I think it's also important to take into consideration how the BQ and Greens have been taking more votes away from the NDP and how the NDP is moving closer to 5th place than 2nd place.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

brookmere wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

I am not referring to when there is a split and another right wing party takes over, but the sole right wing party will never fall to a distant third as it will be propped up financially and by right wing support that just is not that small.

The BC Liberals in 1991 were not a split off from the Socreds. They were very much a centrist party in the mold of the federal Liberal Party. They had been around since BC's ruling class decided to introduce political parties in 1903. They had last elected MLA's in 1972, and had last won an election in 1949.

The BC Liberals did not have any backing from BC's business community in 1991, which fully supported the Socreds in that election. The BC Liberals got just enough support in a poll prior to the election for their leader Gordon Wilson to be included in the leaders debate. During a nasty debate exchange between Rita Johnson (Socreds) and Mike Harcourt (NDP), Wilson famously said "Here's a classic example of why nothing ever gets done in the province of British Columbia.". This allowed the Liberals to win 17 seats to 7 for the Socreds (the socreds were in 2nd place in the polls pre-debate).

Four of the seven Socred MLA's elected in 1991 defected to the Reform Party of BC. Gordon Wilson was forced to resign from the leadership of the Liberal Party of BC after his affair with reporter Judi Tyabji became known. With the Socreds a spent force, BC's business community engineered a reverse takeover of the BC Liberals in 1994 when Gordon Campbell (a federal Conservative) became the new BC Liberal leader.

cco

Debater wrote:

And as for corporations, corporate donations have been banned in Canada since 2002.  It was one of the final pieces of legislation that Jean Chretien passed before Paul Martin took over.  The legislation was inspired by similar legislation passed by the Rene Levesque government in Quebec in the 1970's.


They've been banned, but they continue to be accepted and traded for immunity from prosecution. There are just a few more hoops to jump through these days.

Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

brookmere wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

I am not referring to when there is a split and another right wing party takes over, but the sole right wing party will never fall to a distant third as it will be propped up financially and by right wing support that just is not that small.

The BC Liberals in 1991 were not a split off from the Socreds. They were very much a centrist party in the mold of the federal Liberal Party. They had been around since BC's ruling class decided to introduce political parties in 1903. They had last elected MLA's in 1972, and had last won an election in 1949.

The BC Liberals did not have any backing from BC's business community in 1991, which fully supported the Socreds in that election. The BC Liberals got just enough support in a poll prior to the election for their leader Gordon Wilson to be included in the leaders debate. During a nasty debate exchange between Rita Johnson (Socreds) and Mike Harcourt (NDP), Wilson famously said "Here's a classic example of why nothing ever gets done in the province of British Columbia.". This allowed the Liberals to win 17 seats to 7 for the Socreds (the socreds were in 2nd place in the polls pre-debate).

Four of the seven Socred MLA's elected in 1991 defected to the Reform Party of BC. Gordon Wilson was forced to resign from the leadership of the Liberal Party of BC after his affair with reporter Judi Tyabji became known. With the Socreds a spent force, BC's business community engineered a reverse takeover of the BC Liberals in 1994 when Gordon Campbell (a federal Conservative) became the new BC Liberal leader.

We are getting lost in semantics and the original conversation.

The original conversation was about the idea that a right wing party falling to third and leaving the left and centre parties above them as a political dynamic.

This is not an example of that.

When the centre party out polled the right wing party, it got taken over in time for the next election and the Liberals have been the "conservatives" of BC ever since.

There will always be a party to the right in the top two as an ongoing dynamic. If there is an explosion of change and a party has to die another party will be reborn or rebranded for the purpose.

Capital can be caught flat-footed for an election but money to political control to right wing policies is like electricity to ground. It will find a way and in a very short time-frame.

We should all remember that parties are brand names essential and can be taken over under new management. Power goes to money so even a left party if it ever shows dominance with be corrupted through the process to become a centre party.

BTW in other threads there are interesting conversations about the NDP and Greens and cooperation vs merger.

One way to deal with the situation would be for these parties to work out some kind of non-merger radical cooperation if we want to avoid merger. I will go to the other thread and discuss this alternative.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:
 You show your true political colours here.

I certainly hope so but I doubt your ability to understand the finer points of politics or political strategy. Being able to recite history says nothing about understanding it. 

Misfit wrote:
So you say that Mulcair would have been Liberal-Lite if he had won the election. So Liberals being Liberals is ok, but a lighter or slightly more progressive version of Liberal governing is somehow something bad for the country. Then you contradict yourself and claim that the NDP would not be more left wing than the Liberal party.

Of course it is okay for the Liberals to be the Liberals and the Conservatives to be the Conservatives. I would like the NDP to be the NDP not the Liberals. We already have a Liberal party. We don't need two. If Mulcair had won we would have two Liberal parties in action if not name. A win would have cemented the power of the centrists within the NDP. They would be vindicated. The only reason the NDP is now focused on climate change and inequality is because Mulcair lost. The move to the centre and replace the Liberals strategy was a failure. That has given the left side of the party more power.

Mulcair would not have been able to deliver a balanced budget for all four years and give us national daycare. Yes, political parties break promises all the time but for the NDP to break either or both of those promises would have led to attacks that would freeze the NDP out of power for decades to come as has happened in Ontario. 

You and the NDP fell into the trap of agreeing with the right that the definition of fiscal responsibility is to deliver balanced budgets even if it means selling off government assets or paying twice as much for a hospital to keep it off government books. GDP to debt is a much more important figure. Selling the house then paying rent to live there is not financially prudent even if it balances the books for a year. 

Misfit wrote:
 ​The NDP is a centre-left labour Party with no ties to Bay Street. So according to you, don't vote for the New Democrats because they cannot be more left-wing and socially conscious than the Liberal party even though their reason for being is to address the needs of the working class and the most vulnerable in society and not  to the dictates of big business. Maybe that is why Liberal and Conservative parties get large corporate donations and the NDP doesn't. But the NDP, according to you, will not deliver on their base if given the power to do so.

Why isn't the NDP winning over the working class, the class they most claim to represent? NDP supporters blame voters and make excuses for not reaching them. 

Winning an election, especially with a minority, would not have given the NDP the power to deliver to their base. Looking at the fine print of the National Daycare plan suggested it would take 10 years or something like that to roll out. The 15$ minimum wage promise was considered bait and switch because it would only apply to workers in federal industries. Even with raising taxes a tiny bit on corporations there is no way Mulcair could have delivered a balanced budget for 4 years. The Conservatives ran huge deficits under Harper yet the Conservatives have the rep for fiscal prudence. Both Liberals and Conservatives can get away with running deficits after promising not to. If the NDP does the exact same thing they will be strung up to hang. The NDP cannot get away with promising no deficits then running one because they are considered financially imprudent due to being bleeding hearts. Note; perception matters more than facts.  People say "life isn't fair" well politics is beyond unfair.  Winning is ditated by length of time in power, smart marketing and fake reputations. If it was ever good enough to be right it certainly isn't now. 

Whining about how unfair it is and how the other parties are tricking people is unproductive. Wishing politics worked differently won't make it so. 

I don't believe capitalism or the world financial system are on the verge of collapse. I do believe we are on the cusp of a seismic change which will be or is occuring over the next 15 years. People are going to be very angry. The NDP has never held power federally yet is poised to do so. Timing is everything. The Liberals and Conservatives should fully wear the responsibility for taking so little action and increasing inequality. I would like the NDP to win power federally in the moment the public is clamouring for a Green New Deal at any cost. I would like the NDP to be positioned to keep power for at least 8 years if not 12 or even 16 if need be. For that the Liberals and Conservatives have to be thoroughly discredited.

I supported and voted for Singh and will again unless a more progressive party magically appears. That doesn't mean I can't see the pros as well as the cons to that outcome. I am ashamed by my province's failure to see past the turban but it was sadly predictable.  I don't think Singh can win an election or make substancial gains within 4-6 years.  By then maybe Canadians will be ready for Niki Ashton. 

I am not sure when the rupture that I foresee will happen but I believe that climate change makes it inevidable. Delayed reaction means it is going to get progressively worse by a lot. Traditional parties will be discredited none more so than the Conservative party. The Liberals will point to the carbon tax which isn't much but will convince people who want to be convinced that the Liberals tried. Many more people will be ready to listen to the NDP and the Green Party. 

The New Deal after the depression heralded a time of prosperity and a growing middle class. Within decades oligarchs founded think tanks to turn the clock back to the free market and do away with regulations and laws that interfered with their ability to maximize profit. Neoliberalism grew. If it were not for climate change I think it might keep on growing for decades to come but eventually the tide always turns. 

People in the western world expect governments to be able to stop bad things from happening and deal with them when they do. People gave up arosols for the ozone layer and phosphates for acid rain. Governments and the wealthy can make all the excuses in the world for not acting on climate change but Greta is right. They will not be forgiven for allowing this level of destruction. Whether or not they would have been is up for argument but people will claim that they would have given up personal cars and flying around the world to avert climate change if government had informed them it was so bad. 

It is in this window of time that people will be ready to really listen to the NDP. They will understand that free public transit and other measures are as necessary as roads and schools. They will understand that we have to pour money into research on green technology and transition. Nobody will be worrying about deficits. Climate change is already scary and getting scarier every year. The news hems and haws on specific disasters being attributable to climate change but most people are at least beginning to attribute the severity of weather events to climate change. People are not happy about invasive species moving north. It's affecting farmers and will affect them more as every year passes. 

Climate change is the issue of the century. We don't expect to be able to see a flower opening because it moves so slowly. It has been the same with climate change. It has moved so slowly it has been difficult to convince people of the urgency and they are still not quite there. That will change because climate change is now visible to people and it is speeding up. 

It isn't something that can be hidden or minimized. They won't be able to say " I didn't know". Having written all this I could see the Greens and the NDP displacing both the Conservatives and the Liberals. It could happen suddenly as it does in Quebec. 

If you understand and believe that the impact of burning fossil fuels is delayed, and that the rate at which the world uses oil is still increasing, then you know that it is going to get expotentially worse.

In other words we ain't seen nothing yet even though houses are falling in the ocean. 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/06/sea-level-rise-centuries-climate-crisis

Even if governments meet their commitments from the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, the first 15-year period of the deal will still result in enough emissions that would cause sea levels to increase by around 20cm by the year 2300.

This scenario, modeled by researchers, assumes that all countries make their promised emissions reductions by 2030 and then abruptly eliminate all planet-warming gases from that point onwards. In reality, only a small number of countries are on track to meet the Paris target of limiting global heating to 2C above the pre-industrial era.

 

Debater
JKR

Pondering wrote:

Shrinking base + declining ability to attract centrist voters = a party that cannot win. If they transformed themselves back into the Progressive Conservatives I think they would have a better chance of growing but I don't see that happening. 

The Conservatives/ PC's have always been wrong about Canada's major issues but they have always been able to reformulate their policies and afterward go on to win elections and form governments. They survived being wrong about denying women the vote. They survived being wrong about introducing an income tax. They survived being opposed to the Canada Pension Plan. They survived being wrong about Medicare.  So now they are wrong about wealth inequality and climate change but I think they will once again reformulate their policies to better accept reality and thus they will continue to successfully represent Canada's privileged classes. I suspect that after the fact they will accept higher taxation on the very richest members of society as they did between World War 2 until the 1980's. I think they will also come up with some free market solutions for climate change. One of Scheer's biggest mistakes probably was not coming up with an acceptable right-wing climate change plan, probably because the Liberals carbon tax is what most people on the right who accept climate change as being a problem think is the best way to deal with climate change. If the Scheer Conservatives had proposed a lower carbon tax than the Liberals, the Conservatives might have done much better in the election. In the future the Conservatives will probably be able to do a much better job highlighting ideas like carbon-capture, tax breaks for people to reduce their carbon foot print, tax breaks to corporations that help reduce carbon production, etc.... The pipeline issue will also likely be resolved before the next election which should also help the Conservatives next time around. Throughout Canada's history the Conservatives have always resisted progress but when the time has come they have always been able to accept that the status quo has changed and they have been able to change their policies to accept the new reality all in the name of returning to power. I think the Conservatives reformulation is already under way as they are now doing an autopsy on their losing election campaign all in with the hope of not making the same mistakes next election.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

brookmere wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

I am not referring to when there is a split and another right wing party takes over, but the sole right wing party will never fall to a distant third as it will be propped up financially and by right wing support that just is not that small.

The BC Liberals in 1991 were not a split off from the Socreds. They were very much a centrist party in the mold of the federal Liberal Party. They had been around since BC's ruling class decided to introduce political parties in 1903. They had last elected MLA's in 1972, and had last won an election in 1949.

The BC Liberals did not have any backing from BC's business community in 1991, which fully supported the Socreds in that election. The BC Liberals got just enough support in a poll prior to the election for their leader Gordon Wilson to be included in the leaders debate. During a nasty debate exchange between Rita Johnson (Socreds) and Mike Harcourt (NDP), Wilson famously said "Here's a classic example of why nothing ever gets done in the province of British Columbia.". This allowed the Liberals to win 17 seats to 7 for the Socreds (the socreds were in 2nd place in the polls pre-debate).

Four of the seven Socred MLA's elected in 1991 defected to the Reform Party of BC. Gordon Wilson was forced to resign from the leadership of the Liberal Party of BC after his affair with reporter Judi Tyabji became known. With the Socreds a spent force, BC's business community engineered a reverse takeover of the BC Liberals in 1994 when Gordon Campbell (a federal Conservative) became the new BC Liberal leader.

We are getting lost in semantics and the original conversation.

The original conversation was about the idea that a right wing party falling to third and leaving the left and centre parties above them as a political dynamic.

This is not an example of that.

When the centre party out polled the right wing party, it got taken over in time for the next election and the Liberals have been the "conservatives" of BC ever since.

There will always be a party to the right in the top two as an ongoing dynamic. If there is an explosion of change and a party has to die another party will be reborn or rebranded for the purpose.

Capital can be caught flat-footed for an election but money to political control to right wing policies is like electricity to ground. It will find a way and in a very short time-frame.

We should all remember that parties are brand names essential and can be taken over under new management. Power goes to money so even a left party if it ever shows dominance with be corrupted through the process to become a centre party.

BTW in other threads there are interesting conversations about the NDP and Greens and cooperation vs merger.

One way to deal with the situation would be for these parties to work out some kind of non-merger radical cooperation if we want to avoid merger. I will go to the other thread and discuss this alternative.

Sean, you originally asked "When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party". The Socreds in BC in 1991 is an example of that.

I'll agree that it's not an example of where a economically hard-right neoliberal party permanently ceased to exist, but I'll also contend that you didn't ask for an example of that.

voice of the damned

JKR wrote:

They survived being wrong about denying women the vote.

Actually, it was the "Unionist" government, with a Conservative PM and majority Conservative members, who enacted female suffrage in 1918.

I agree, overall, that the Conservatives historically have not suffered fatal damage from being too far to the right on issues. When the PCs were wiped out in 1993, it was for issues almost entirely unrelated to the left/right spectrum, and in fact, in western Canada, the primary beneficiaries of that wipeout were the far-right Reformers.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

brookmere wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party?

This happened to the B.C. Social Credit Party in 1991. That said, I'm not prepared to predict that it will happen to the Conservative Party of Canada.

It also happened to the Alberta PC Party in 2015. But both cases were a long-time ruling right wing party hit with a split in support. Once the split was repaired (formal merger in Alberta, reverse takeover in BC) the right was back in power. And of course, the Canadian PC party itself in 1993 which took longer to recover.

This is not the situation faced by the CPC today. Bernier tried a split and you know how that turned out. The base is not going to desert the CPC.

I am not referring to when there is a split and another right wing party takes over, but the sole right wing party will never fall to a distant third as it will be propped up financially and by right wing support that just is not that small.

The BC Liberals in 1991 were not a split off from the Socreds. They were very much a centrist party in the mold of the federal Liberal Party. They had been around since BC's ruling class decided to introduce political parties in 1903. They had last elected MLA's in 1972, and had last won an election in 1949.

The BC Liberals did not have any backing from BC's business community in 1991, which fully supported the Socreds in that election. The BC Liberals got just enough support in a poll prior to the election for their leader Gordon Wilson to be included in the leaders debate. During a nasty debate exchange between Rita Johnson (Socreds) and Mike Harcourt (NDP), Wilson famously said "Here's a classic example of why nothing ever gets done in the province of British Columbia.". This allowed the Liberals to win 17 seats to 7 for the Socreds (the socreds were in 2nd place in the polls pre-debate).

Four of the seven Socred MLA's elected in 1991 defected to the Reform Party of BC. Gordon Wilson was forced to resign from the leadership of the Liberal Party of BC after his affair with reporter Judi Tyabji became known. With the Socreds a spent force, BC's business community engineered a reverse takeover of the BC Liberals in 1994 when Gordon Campbell (a federal Conservative) became the new BC Liberal leader.

We are getting lost in semantics and the original conversation.

The original conversation was about the idea that a right wing party falling to third and leaving the left and centre parties above them as a political dynamic.

This is not an example of that.

When the centre party out polled the right wing party, it got taken over in time for the next election and the Liberals have been the "conservatives" of BC ever since.

There will always be a party to the right in the top two as an ongoing dynamic. If there is an explosion of change and a party has to die another party will be reborn or rebranded for the purpose.

Capital can be caught flat-footed for an election but money to political control to right wing policies is like electricity to ground. It will find a way and in a very short time-frame.

We should all remember that parties are brand names essential and can be taken over under new management. Power goes to money so even a left party if it ever shows dominance with be corrupted through the process to become a centre party.

BTW in other threads there are interesting conversations about the NDP and Greens and cooperation vs merger.

One way to deal with the situation would be for these parties to work out some kind of non-merger radical cooperation if we want to avoid merger. I will go to the other thread and discuss this alternative.

Sean, you originally asked "When and where was the last time a party that could collect as much in financial support as the other parties put together became the third party". The Socreds in BC in 1991 is an example of that.

I'll agree that it's not an example of where a economically hard-right neoliberal party permanently ceased to exist, but I'll also contend that you didn't ask for an example of that.

Sorry if I was not clear: I was responding to the notion presented in this thread of a right party becoming the third party going forward as an ongoing reality.

Even finding one where due to scandal becoming third is rare but I certainly from the context was speaking about becomng third not just as a one election thing (Kim Campbell?) but where the right party is consigned to third as an ongoing thing.

This is no small distinction either. I am not saying a party supported by business will not once in a while fail -- we could create a lot of lists of that. However, business will always right itself right away. The Socreds went in having the money and lost the vote. The year after how much money did they have or did business find another place to send it to? The business cash did not follow the party to third as we are talking about in this thread. 

Once in a while a pro-business party will have the money and fail -- many examples. But where do you see beyond a single bad electoral result pro-business being stuck with a third place party? 

I would argue that the Socreds were a first place party supported by business until they practically ceased to exist and when that happened they were no longer the favoured party of business and another party got the cash and then won.

A por-business conservative party being consigned chronically to third has not happened and will not happen. 

Let me go further with the example: when they crash in an election they rarely survive like the Federal PCs or Socreds. the reson for this is that the conservative business political money will not tolerate a loser and first or second is what they expect and get. This was a response to the idea that the Conservatives could ever end up being third with Liberals or NDP ahead of them -- unless one of those parties became the business anointed party in which case the Conservatives woudl disappear and the new Conservative party would be one of the others.

Small "c" conservatives do not sit in third in this capitalist country. They may change party names etc but at no time do they ever chronically sit in third in any left-rght system in Canada. Even in Quebec, the Liberals were the party of business and alternated with the PQ. 

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