Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just too funny

This made me chuckle this morning:

The New Democrats counter that they simply were not trying very hard to win any of the four seats.
New Democratic politicians have spent much of their time in the most recent parliamentary session levelling fire at Stéphane Dion and his Liberals.

Henry Jacek, a political science professor at Hamilton's McMaster University, said that makes sense because the NDP can expect to siphon off Liberal voters but would have a much more difficult time with Conservatives.

The New Democrats "essentially put no effort into most ridings and they just target certain kinds of ridings,"
said Dr. Jacek. "So there was no effort put into the two Toronto ridings or Quadra, which are affluent urban ridings that they don't have a chance in."

That gave many NDP voters the licence to vote Green and they took it, he said. "But that won't happen in NDP-type ridings and generally probably won't even happen in a general election."

So that explains why the NDP nearly got beat by the Greens in Toronto-Centre and Quadra, and did get beat by the Greens in Willowdale. They just weren’t trying to win. Imagine if they’d only tried…

Sorry professor, I’m not buying it, and I don’t think all the NDP activists that worked hard in these ridings are either. No effort? That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Do all parties have ridings they target, and focus more resources on? You betcha, and the NDP is no exception. But Toronto-Centre would be high on any NDP list of focus ridings. And the drop in support for the NDP in Willowdale and Quadra can’t be explained away as easily as lack of effort, which isn’t a particularly compelling excuse in the first place.

Anyway, I’ve got my hands too full with Liberal troubles to spend much time diagnosing the NDP’s, so I won’t belabour the point. I’ll just say that while the smart people in their party should be rethinking their strategy, if they’d rather keep their heads buried in the sand that’s just fine with me. As I said, we have our own issues to deal with.

Mark has more

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Mark Dowling said...

Compare Elizabeth May's schedule with Jack Layton in the week preceding the by-election. Jack was bellyaching in Washington about NAFTA to immigrant-basher Lou Dobbs while his "star candidate" in TC, the riding sandwiched between Jack's and Olivia Chow, nearly got beat by the Greens.

Elizabeth May was campaigning in UBC on the 11th and in Willowdale (with the guy who beat the Dipper) on the 14th.

Imagine how great life could be if Jack went to the US during a general?

Mark Dowling said...

Hebert in the Star:

"Jack Layton, who recently played the leading role in the so-called NAFTA-gate debate involving a leak damaging to U.S. Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign and whose party has just shepherded a non-confidence motion on climate change in the Commons, might as well have spent the by-election campaign sunning himself on a beach."


Budd Campbell said...

Now that NDP turncoats Ujjal Dosanjh and Bob Rae are together in the House of Commons, how long will it be before they launch a palace revolt against the Dion-Marissen crowd.

Oh, I forgot. It was Marissen who recruited Dosanjh in the first place!

Steve V said...

If anyone wants to see a fascinating exchange, go to CBC Politics and watch yesterday's broooadcaast. 7 minute mark, an interview with Layton, a pretty fiesty debate

Carter Apps, dabbler of stuff said...

I guess there are no "working Families" in the ridings in question

Mark Dowling said...

oops - sour graphs in Sask.

Jeff said...

Mark, sour grapes? I don't think so, the Conservative candidate there also ackowledged it as a problem.

Budd, we've also got Conservative turncoats in the Liberal caucus, or as I prefer to say people that have seen the light... Anyway, funny how we never see the Cons refer to Wajid Khan or the NDP to Françoise Boivin as Liberal turncoats, isn't it?

Mark Dowling said...


The sour grapes:
"Ms. Beatty says the outcome may have been different if hundreds of potential Liberal voters had been given the chance to cast their vote."

Quite an assumption - that the only voters are stupid enough to leave their ID at home are so disproportionately Liberal as to overhaul a 17% margin.

Jeff said...

Mark, I wouldn't have gone as far as Joan with my comments as I wouldn't have wanted to leave the impression you're (not unfairly) inferring.

I'm not sure it would have changed who won, but it would have unquestionably changed the results, and it is a serious issue. Even at my poll in suburban Toronto, the photo id requirement caught many by surprise, and a few people didn't have it and needed to be vouched for by neighbours.

It's not just a matter of forgetting photo ID, how many don't have photo ID, and could be disenfranchised? In this riding, it seemed to be an issue on native reserves. If I was the NDP I'd be concerned too, they draw a lot of native support in BC, it was a big part of the margin in ridings like Nathan Cullen's.

Politicking aside, this whole issue is going to need to be revisited, I think. You'll recall this new requirement stemmed from the veiled voting hysteria in Quebec. It's an example of the kind of bad policy that stems from pandering to such elements.