NDP can see the road ahead and it leads to the Government benches

I wish I were in Vancouver for the NDP's convention.  Too bad I have too work at a regular job!  The next best thing to being in Vancouver is the internet and my cell phone with a plan including free long distance. 

The mood is exciting.  The mood is heading forward.  The mood is about what could be possible in just four more years.  The NDP plan to go for it.  No one will be laughing next election when Jack Layton says he is running to be Prime Minister.  

I know many in the media and my good friends in the Liberal party want to keep telling the NDP they have won nothing, Harper has all the cards. In one sense they are right. Harper can do as he wishes over the next four years.  

What these reporters and Liberals miss or are trying to avoid looking at is the way the NDP's message and Jack Layton are connecting with Canadians.  This last election saw the NDP's hard work in Quebec pay off with a JACKpot. We all know that people wanted a change in that province.  We all know that Quebec generally tends to be a little more progressive than other parts of Canada. 

The NDP's success in Quebec had some luck for sure, but as the old saying goes, you have to be good to be lucky.  Layton made Quebec a priority when he became leader.  You have all heard about his efforts to recruit candidates. What you haven't heard is about the ground work that went into the NDP's positions on issues of importance specifically to Quebecois voters.   

The election of  the immensely popular Thomas Mulcair allowed the NDP positions to be heard over the din emanating out of the BLOC.  Finally we had someone in the province who could command attention from media.  Once the media started listening, the people of the province heard what the NDP was doing.

That success may have come sooner and in larger numbers than we expected.  The results mean we will now have to move quickly to solidify our gains and find the remaining seventy seats to form the next government. We have a good new base to start from, we finished first in Quebec and second in every region and territory in the country. We finished second in over one hundred ridings. 

The NDP's success outside of Quebec was impressive.  Part of that success has to be attributed to a new and improved data base that the provincial arms of the party have been using for a couple elections and federal party support on the ground with the deployment of  paid party staff.  Local ridings were better funded, better prepared and much more effective in getting the vote out and donations collected.

The last election saw the NDP win the support of more women than any other party.  Young people supported the NDP in larger numbers than any other party.  Two areas the NDP has been focusing on a lot are new immigrants and seniors.  Traditionally these groups have voted for Conservatives and Liberals.  This last election saw the Conservatives win a majority based on their support from these groups.  Jason Kenny is often quoted these days saying he would be at all these ethnic events and nary a Liberal in sight.  I suspect he will see a lot of the NDP sitting at the table with him over the next four years.

The NDP's focus on seniors in the election could soon pay off.  Every low income senior in this country owes a debt of gratitude to David Lewis and the NDP who forced the Trudeau government to dramatically increase Old Age Pensions. That however was 38 years ago.  Medicare was 50 years ago.  Unemployment Insurance is even older.  The NDP also won concessions from the Liberals to build social housing in the 70's.  Millions of Canadians have benefited from this.  Of course social housing fell apart in Canada when the Liberals stopped funding it in 1995.

The NDP has not been as effective as it has needed to be for a while now.  That changed with the last minority government and of course this last election.  Finally we have a platform to be heard.  That is a win for me, even if the Media say its a loss.  

How do we spend our lottery winnings? Brad Lavigne, NDP director pointed to the way forward last night in his report to the NDP convention.  First is to work to elect NDP provincial governments in BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Elect more provincial representation in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and PEI.  

The goal is not out of reach.  The NDP provincially is showing more strength in all regions of Canada.  We have already began a huge effort to build infrastructure in Quebec. Fundraising efforts are meeting expectations and the bar has been raised to match that of the Conservatives within four years.  With more NDP provincial governments and more money, it will be harder for the usual red scare to resonate with voters.  People will see, right across this country, that an NDP government will be their government.

So with all the continuing infrastructural work going on, the NDP is also the government in waiting. That means going after Harper and his Conservative gang, stalling his agenda when they can, raising public pressure when he bulls ahead anyway.  The NDP can see the road ahead and it leads to the Government benches.

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