Update - 5:30 pm Sep 30/09: Olivia Chow has not said she would be thinking she would run for the Mayor's job in Toronto. In fact she will be staying in Parliament! I stand corrected and very happy!
Politics creates some odd realities. The Liberals fed up with taking the brunt for supporting the Harper minority decided it was time someone else picked up that dirty job and the New Democrats have obliged. Jeff over at his "I'm an Ontarian after being a BCer" blog has a good analysis of the situation, albeit from an LPCer point of view. He takes few little shots at the New Democrats.
The truth of the stranger than reality show in Ottawa is that the New Democrats and Liberals do not want an election now. The New Democrats are taking the hit in the media and from Iggy for "propping up" the Harperites. Funny thing is, its truly to Iggy's short term benefit that we don't have an election, especially with Bob Rae breathing down his back. An election now would likely see the NDP lose some seats and the LPC gain a few and Harper gaining some, maybe enough for a majority.
With a another dismal LPC performance, Iggy will have to leave and Bob Rae will step in, bringing with him all of Jean's buddies. The demon of Paul Martin will be washed away and the LPC will actually stand some chance of regaining government.
The New Democrats future looks about the same or worse. I wish I could suggest it would be otherwise. Instead of being acknowledged by the media for preventing an election and trying to make Parliament work at least until spring, they are being characterised as having to hold their noses while voting with Harper.
I haven't met any Canadian other than a few party hacks that want an election or think we need one. With that public thought pervading the land, the New Democrats should get some credit for doing the dirty work. But this is politics and the New Democrats are being roasted as hypocrites (79 Liberal votes).
Further disconcerting is the lack of imagination in any of the political parties. We Can Do Better and Standing up for Average Working Families are lame and bereft of content. Where is the grand vision. All we get is, "they are wrong and we are right."
The New Democrats must do better this time out or Jack is finished. With rumours that Olivia Chow may leave one of only two New Democrat seats in Toronto to seek the Mayor's job, the New Democrats fortunes look bleak for making any advances in Canada's biggest city. If Chow runs for Mayor then I expect the left and centre vote will split and John Tory will become Mayor, thats a lovely thought to contemplate.
The LPC and the New Democrats have a big job to do this winter. Polling does not build grand visions, polls do not inspire people to support this idea or that one. They both need to be out there listening and talking with Canadians.
I have seen many of the ideas the New Democrats have proposed and I support them whole heartedly. What they have failed to do is capture the attention of voters and would be voters. Instead of being seen as a party that supports working families, they are seen as the party that hates business. The LPC on the other hand is seen as having destroyed its foundation.
If we want to stop a Conservative majority we New Democrats and LPCers must take a good look at what our respective parties are offering Canadians and will Canadians like it enough to support it.