Defining moment in the campaign...

Defining moment in the campaign...

 "You know, most Canadians, if they don't show up for work, they don't get a promotion. You missed 70 per cent of the votes"  - Jack Layton to Michael Ignatieff in English Debate, April 12, 2011

Ignatieff didn't know what to say.  He was like a deer caught in the headlights. This was the wake up call for  people that have heeded Liberal calls in the past to support them.  They could relate to "not showing up to work."  Add to this that he voted with Stephen Harper over 100 times and the door for the NDP was opened wide.

The Liberals have a good beef with Conservatives, who painted a picture of Ignatieff that even the most partisan voter would have to agree was unfair and one of the most successful smear campaigns this country has seen by a political party.   The only thing the Conservatives havn't done to Ignatieff is associate him with Paul Bernardo, didn't he go to the University of Toronto and wasn't Ignatieff a Professor who lives in Toronto?  

The Liberals failed to respond. They let the Conservative party with its rich slime machine work without a response.  Add to that Ignatieff did miss so many votes, leads many people to ask, If Parliament is so important, which it must be because that Parliament found Harper in contempt, why did you feel it wasn't important to be in Parliament to vote.  

I don't think I have ever seen a campaign run so badly, by a Liberal party in recent memory.  

NDP trending up in Ontario

Polling has shown the NDP trending up since the election was called.  Pundits are now asking why the numbers in Ontario don't match the NDP results in Quebec or the rest of Canada.  They are wrong however as the NDP numbers in Canada's biggest province are up.  Look at ekos poll data here.

The NDP started the campaign at 16% in Ontario and now are at 22.8%.  The trend line has been up for two weeks.  In fact the NDP is up in every region in the country. The Orange rise is a major factor in Toronto as well. The same poll shows the NDP at 21.9%.  The NDP vote in Toronto is most likely concentrated in the downtown, in seats held by Liberals.

These Toronto seats are largely battles between the NDP and Liberals.  The Conservatives are not a factor in the downtown ridings.  Look to see Peggy Nash, Andrew Cash and Olivia Chow take their races for the NDP.  Also in big fights are Liberals Bob Rae and Carolyn Bennett.  Once thought to be the strongest ridings for the Liberals, these seats are now in play.  They may still win, but it won't be the usual cake walk.  Again, the Conservatives are not factors here so people can really choose to vote the party they like rather than the party that can best stop Harper.

Don't quit until the job is done

In the days ahead there will be a lot of mudslinging at the NDP. It will largely come from the Liberal party and the media.  Be ready!  Stay strong.  It will only be a week but it will be an unrelenting assault. 

You can fight back.  The NDP's platform will be attacked and determined to be undo-able.  Remember that all the Parties have platforms and that the others will not be focused on as much as the NDP.  

Pundits will say the NDP can't do it.  That big business will leave, that the economy will suffer.  Remember there are many vested interests that the media pander too, and the NDP is not one of them. Don't quit until the job is done.

I have copied a post by Ian Capstick on Rabble.ca that makes some very good suggestions on how to keep the surge going...

Want the NDP surge to continue, but don't know what to do to make that happen?

It's time! 
Treat this election like there is no tomorrow. Every single day ask: what can I do TODAY to convince another person New Democrats are capable of winning.
Act like the team that is going to win. 
  1. Volunteer. Today. Just do it. Suck up what ever energy you have left in you and get out there and knock on doors, make phone calls and PLASTER the city you live in orange! RALLY! If the tour comes near you THEY NEED YOU. Go the rally.
  2. Talk it up. Don't be afraid to use the words, "Vote NDP to stop Harper."  Talk to your family at the table this Easter, talk to friends over beers and refuse -- refuse -- to be put down. For too long New Democrat voted have been scared into voting for a party that runs to the left and governs to the right. 
  3. Call, write and influence the media. Tweet, blog and Facebook. Reach out to journalists you once knew and tell them whats going on the ground. They listen. Help them learn about your community! If you see a mistake or Liberal/Conservative bias -- call them on it! And fast. 
MOTIVATE others. Please write a Facebook note or blog of your own, email your freinds and tweet like the Dickens. Pass it on. 


Why was Bob Rae in un-winnable Vancouer Island North riding

After my last post, I am sure to be accused of ensuring Harper will win because I am splitting the vote.  It seems as a supporter of the NDP I can only love them most of the time and then when I can actually help them at election time, I'm to vote Liberal to stop someone else from winning.  Forget that the NDP actually expresses my values, that the Liberal party doesn't.  Just vote Liberal because you are better than the other guy.

It would appear to me that the people online most supportive of strategic voting are Liberals.  Please feel free to correct me.  If Liberals really wanted to let other ideas into their big red tent then they would work with me and others like me.  Let me give you some examples. 

In Toronto the Liberals ran Gerard Kennedy against sitting NDP MP, Peggy Nash in the last election.  Two fairly good progressives in my mind.  My point here is why didn't the Liberals run Kennedy in another riding.  I had a very nice Liberal blogger suggest that Peggy Nash should accept this and not run against Kennedy this time out.  But it was okay for the Liberals to do it.

In Quebec the Liberals are running a star candidate against Thomas Mulcair, the only NDP MP in the Province.  Why are they doing that?  Wouldn't it be better to run that person in a neighbour riding and use the star appeal against the BLOC or a Conservative?

Next I would like to ask why Bob Rae was campaigning for a Liberal in Saskatoon Rosetown Biggar Saskatchewan riding.  The NDP barely lost this seat to the Conservatives last time out and are the only real contenders against the Conservatives.  The Liberals have no hope in hell of winning that seat, yet Bob Rae was there. 

Bob Rae didn't stop there either.  He went to Vancouver Island North.  This seat is always a toss up between the NDP and Conservatives.  The Liberals are in green party territory there, yet Bob Rae spent several hours campaigning and attending a town hall meeting.  If the Liberals were interested in ensuring we defeat Stephen Harper, why were they in these two ridings with rock start Rae. 

Finally let me say that several Liberal bloggers I know of are campaigning in un-winnable seats.  In ridings where the NDP could defeat the Conservatives, depriving Harper of his majority. If Harper wins a bare majority I know of a couple bloggers for sure who will have contributed in a very tangible way to that success.

Liberals did it to themselves.

It happens almost every election.  The Liberals choose an indecisive leader, run a bad campaign, and then lash out at the NDP for deliberately splitting the left vote.  You could set your clock on their timing. Usually the Liberal appeal to NDP supporters has worked.  This time I'm not sure it will work and I certainly don't want to see it happen. 

The Liberals are tired, they can't raise any money, and they have lost Quebec in a big way.  Now it seems every Liberal online is taking their shots at Jack Layton.  Its not going to work this time because you have tried so often and failed to deliver that people do not buy your line anymore. 

Martin lost his last election because he thought he could do what Liberals always do.  Offer up a four or five carrots and when elected  deliver on one or two of them.  Paul Martin did that in the last election he fought. He had two big things in the wings, the Kelowna accord and childcare.  Both were excellent steps forward, yet he failed.  He could have introduced them in the house and passed them but he chose not too.

From 1993 to Martin's last budget he cut the CBC funding from 1.7 billion to less that 1.1 billion per year.  Harper has barely cut the CBC based on that comparison.   The bill for cheaper HIV/AIDS drugs passed and lauded by singer Bono has proved so ineffective that only one country and one drug company has been able to benefit and that was only one shipment.  The law is absolutely useless.

The Liberal Prime Minister promised to make MP's more effective, committee work would become meaningful.  He did nothing.  And Harper has done nothing despite his promise to do the same. 

Then there was the anti-scab private members bill from the NDP.  The CLC worked and lobbied Liberal MP's and got assurances they would vote for the bill.  The Liberals on third reading voted with the Conservatives.  They did this after agreeing with the bill.  When push came to shove, the Liberals rolled over.

I have many more examples, these ones were the most important to me.  The point is in case it has missed my Liberal friends is this, The New Democrats are attuned to my interests.  The New Democrats are the party that best represents what I desire.

The Liberal party has cried wolf far too often, I and many folks I know have been hoodwinked once too often.  Its not going to happen this time, no matter what you say.  Oh and I detest Harper more than you do!


Harper's Democratic Deficit

Here are a few things about Harper from NUPGE you have forgot about!  

November 2010 - unelected senate defeats climate bill BEFORE debate

"Stephen Harper has done what he always promised never to do – use unelected officials to counter the will of Parliament and the Canadian public," says Graham Saul, ED for Climate Action Network-Canada.

The Liberal Party has one thin hope

It may be a desperate times yet the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) does have the luxury of bringing out a previous Prime Minister.  Two of them.  I think it can only help.  

Jean Chretien, lets call him JC, is still popular, he can remind people of the good days. Its easy to get excited with JC, he is quick, witty and sharp.

Paul Martin is also seen as competent. The deficit slayer.  Not so smart as a Prime Minister but as Finance Minister he has peoples' respect.  It may be too late however. 

Why is this needed?  The LPC have lost Quebec, they are struggling to hold what they have in Atlantic Canada and have pretty much all but pulled the dead and dying roots out of the ground in the west.

Toronto and the GTA is the LPC. It the only region left that they can say is ours.  Lose the GTA and you give Harper a Majority.  Lose the GTA and your party will finish behind the Bloc in the next election. 

We are seeing the unraveling of the LPC. They likely will finish 30 to 40 seats better than the NDP this time, but any growth by the NDP over 40 seats and a NDP percentages in the 20+ area in Quebec spell doom for the LPC in next election.

I suspect a big part of the problem goes back to the Dion coalition plan and a very effective anti-coalition campaign by Harper.  Its my view many of the GTA LPC MPs liked the coalition plan. They could actually be liberal in their approach to governing. I loved the idea. It was a recipe for success. A chance to bring a progressive approach to governing in Canada.  

It went off the rails when the LPC backrooms got cold feet. In fact I believe these behind the scenes unelected folks were opposed to the coalition from the start. The LPC backroom boys are still thinking of the days when the Royal Bank and HBC wrote them cheques for $100,000 or more every year.  Those days are gone due to JC's legislation and the RBC and HBC are far more comfy with Harper.  

The coalition would have been a gamble but one that was worth trying. The LPC would be the government.  They would have two years to show they can govern and I expect they would have done a far better job for Canada than the Harper gang did.  

That's all history now and full of what-ifs.  Those same backroom boys went to work arranging the coronation of Ignatieff.  They forced Dion out, they wanted Iggy and had to smackdown Bob Rae who likely would have won the leadership in a vote of LPC members. 

So not only had Ignatieff not earned the leadership, he was seen by the public to have not earned it.  Ignatieff was behind from the beginning.  And it just got worse.  The Harper Conservatives managed to paint a view of Ignatieff as visiting professor. Add all those votes or missing votes that amounted to the same thing, for Harper's budgets, showed a weak and desperate party, trying to wait out the storm.

The Liberals dug a deep hole waiting for Harper to screw up.  Harper has screwed up, yet it hasn't translated into LPC support.  That being the case, the LPC fell back to their tried and true practice.  Adopt as many NDP platform ideas without seeming too left, run the campaign from the left.  

This time the campaign from the left has not worked.  The NDP and Jack Layton have resonated with Canadians.  He has had fewer snickers from media when he says he is running to be the Prime Minister.  Layton has connected with voters.  He is the most trusted leader, he is seen as the one best able to address healthcare, which is fast becoming the number one issue.  That all spells bad news for Ignatieff and the LPC.

Its comes down to this.  Keep the left LPC voter from switching NDP.  It may be too late.  The LPC should be able to hold onto second place but its no longer certain.  

If I were the LPC I would spend a good deal of money getting 10,000 people into an arena in Mississauga to hear JC's call to action.   And I would do it now!