stop planning the implementation of the "New Jerusalem" on day one...
NDP wins but miss big opportunity.
No doubt the NDP can be happy with the election, they should not however be too happy. In an election where the Liberals were on the ropes, where Quebec was snuggling up and beginning to say sweet nothings into your ear, you have to pounce.
First the NDP campaign did a much better job of than in past years. Layton managed to get through the whole election without snickering once when he said he was running for Prime Minister and the media only snickered a few times. Well done.
The NDP platform was almost good enough. Much of it held things that were important to people. Bank charges, mortgages, health care, child care etc worked well. Unfortunately the NDP fell back to the tired slamming of Corporations and banks. Its true most of us don't care for these folks but at the same time we recognise that we can't always be talking about making them pay.
The NDP stated they would end the proposed tax cuts for business. Its a lot of money, 50 billion dollars. Canadians understand that business can move away, that the world is becoming increasingly smaller. That means we need to be at least on the outer fringes of competitive taxation. The message may appeal to the NDP's core support but it is a red flag for many that like the other things we talk about but are concerned about the reality of business.
Harper has learned a lesson in politics. He is practising incrementalism. Something the NDP could and should look at or the chances of electoral success will be limited to victories like this one. We have a few more voices but never enough to change direction of the flow.
The NDP don't call for leaving NATO or nationalising the banks anymore because it a lost cause and not needed. We don't need to bash business or blame them for everything. We use to have policies that were good for small business, yet they never get discussed because we have allowed others, the media, the Liberals, the Conservatives to define us. They can do it because our leadership are quick to dice up corporations the minute a microphone is stuck under their nose.
We need to know who it is that will vote for us. Its low and middle income families, people that shop at Wal-mart, IKEA and Canadian Tire. Immigrants should be voting for us as well, yet we losing to the Conservatives. Rural Canadians should be voting for us but we are losing there to those same Conservatives. Quebecers should be voting for us, yet we look like old radicals to most of them.
When we stop planning the implementation of the "New Jerusalem" on day one of our election to government, we will be elected to government. One plank at a time comrades...