Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Political strategy and Canada’s NDP

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  • simon g,

    I think the main lesson from Canada is that there aren't many lessons from Canada.

    This happens all the time - local factors are of internal interest, and explain the election results well, but they can't apply to the rest of us. Plus, we don't really care (sorry Canada!). So instead we grasp for things that aren't there, extrapolating and shoe-horning into our own world.

    But there's one lesson at least: FPP is a joke. Not that we need to be taught.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to David Hood,

    Yeah - whatever NDP did it doesn't seem to have worked at all. I'm getting the impression it's their voters moving to the Liberals that have been the biggest swing.
    Sorry Rob, it's not working to script.
    Watching things in the US is interesting. Sanders may not be winning, but he's definitely moving the conversation - which, I think, is a good deal of his ambition. It might seem odd, but demonising the 1% and the banks appeals to at least some Republicans. (warning: Facebook link)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Maybe the tide is changing?

    Trudeau, who has re-energized the Liberal Party since its devastating electoral losses four years ago, promises to raise taxes on the rich and run deficits for three years to boost government spending.

    Liberals Win Resounding Victory in Canadian Elections

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    And even 'tea partiers' are supporting Sanders
    (It's not just castigating the banks - it's the sort of 'nationalism' that says no to the TPPA, no to war-mongering, and instead proposes to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure in the US - creating US jobs and rebuilding decrepit public works.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Yeah – whatever NDP did it doesn’t seem to have worked at all. I’m getting the impression it’s their voters moving to the Liberals that have been the biggest swing.
    Sorry Rob, it’s not working to script.

    The Ottawa Citizen report tends to agree:

    But the concerns NDP strategists had going into the campaign lingered on the hustings. Many Canadians still didn’t really know Mulcair that well and weren’t certain whether to trust the NDP as the face of change federally.

    “One of the things we always noticed is the softness of their vote,” said pollster Quito Maggi, CEO of Mainstreet Research. “Some of these votes were just visiting. They were kind of parked with the NDP.”

    Those votes, say some longtime NDP strategists, slipped away as Mulcair ran a safe, frontrunner campaign that took fewer risks than the Liberals and didn’t embody some of the dramatic change the party was trumpeting.

    For example, the NDP took a similar position to the Conservatives in promising to balance the books over the next four years. The policy was meant to demonstrate strong fiscal management, but sparked questions about whether the NDP’s economic plan, which also included some big ticket items, was realistic. The Liberals, meantime, said they would dip into the red to fund infrastructure pledges.

    “The deficit versus non-deficit position of Trudeau and Mulcair … it did hurt in that it got a lot of attention and it did frame (the Liberals) as being bolder than Mulcair,” said one longtime NDP strategist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    Still, however much of a silver fox Corbyn is, there are a few noticeable differences to Trudeau yeh?

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So a whole bunch of my best friends are lefty Canadians. What they want is 'shot of Stephen Harper'.

    Exactly. The elephant in the room that must never, ever be mentioned by political strategists is that governments lose elections at least as much and almost certainly more than oppositions win them. They'd love everyone to think that their political savvy enabled them to somehow capture the right combination of moonbeams, and they were able through raw skill and talent to focus these on the philosopher's stone in just the right way to turn lead into electoral gold. But I'm struggling* to think of a change of administration in recent years where the incumbent government weren't looking tired and punch-drunk going into the campaign. The opposition merely have to look halffway competent and not a complete shitshow.

    *obviously, given the number of political wonks here, I'll shortly be taken to school with a detailed analysis of the results of the Swedish Federal elections of 2003 or whatever.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to simon g,

    But there’s one lesson at least: FPP is a joke. Not that we need to be taught.

    Justin Trudeau has thought out loud of electoral reform.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to simon g,

    So instead we grasp for things that aren’t there, extrapolating and shoe-horning into our own world.

    While I tend to agree with that, in terms of shoe-horning the Canadian landslide does give a very easy answer to the next time someone says "people don't vote for tax raises"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So a whole bunch of my best friends are lefty Canadians. What they want is 'shot of Stephen Harper'. I've never heard any of them mention the opposition parties.

    It never hurts if your opponents are about as palatable as a pork sausage in a kosher deli, but it also didn't do any harm that the Liberals and NDP said what they meant, meant what they said, and did it consistently and clearly. Then again, I might be dramatically under-thinking it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to David Hood,

    “people don’t vote for tax raises”

    Contextualisng: raising taxes for 1% to pay for tax breaks for the middle class may not be so much about the hike as the breaks. It’s not comparable to say Labour’s proposed 2014 CGT where, unless you bothered to wade through their website, there was insufficient exposition as to the pressing need that the revenue had been earmarked for.

    However I remain more partial to what Rich outlined above.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I am surprised nobody has mentioned this…
    Trudeau is the eldest son of former Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau.
    A new political dynasty?.

    The first Trudeau to arrive in Canada was Etienne Trudeau (1641–1712), a carpenter and home builder, in 1659.

    Good roots, similar to our Samuel Parnell

    Samuel Duncan Parnell (19 February 1810 – 17 December 1890) was an early New Zealand settler often credited with the establishment of the eight-hour day in New Zealand.
    He trained as carpenter's apprentice until 1834, when he took a job at a joinery on Theobald's Road in London. As carpenters in London routinely worked 12 to 14 hours per day, the problems with such long working days would have been painstakingly clear to him.

    But hey… There goes the neighbourhood…

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    and a distant cousin of Garry Trudeau, the Doonesbury cartoonist.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    *obviously, given the number of political wonks here, I’ll shortly be taken to school with a detailed analysis of the results of the Swedish Federal elections of 2003 or whatever.

    I didn't want to say ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    But hey… There goes the neighbourhood…

    A veritable pile....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    A veritable pile….

    An ostentatious one at that...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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