Sunday, May 01, 2011

NDP leader realizes his Laytont potential

                              (This is my 6ooth blog post)
There is definitely a parallel thread between Obama breaking the black barrier in 2008, and the socialist NDP in Canada, breaking the traditionalist party barrier (and the NDP see and are using this in their own styled references).

For election after election, there is a complacency in the traditional power holders, Liberals and PC/Conservatives, about the NDP being nothing more than a pest in terms of getting elected to government. In the 2011 era, with more world knowledge than ever, with social media, and internet news, and of course, regular tv and radio reporting, the vibes of a nation may be perceived by the general populace, much sooner than backroom media coaches can be prepared for. It does not take much for people to pick up a vibe, and to have their political senses suddenly awakened, to tune in to the excitement of being part of a radical shift in social, traditional expected status quo elected party status. At this moment, with only 1 day till election day, there is a sliml possibility that the NDP will be the governing party of Canada.

How quickly views can change. There is a lesson to be learned here. Whether the NDP's surge in polls will be sustained and grows enough till May 2, there is the lesson that it could, and that traditional parties should not take traditional results for granted. At this moment the NDP are Not 3rd place anymore. They are 1st in Quebec polls, and in an IPSOS Reid poll conducted on Apr. 27, 45% of Canadians see Jack Layton as the best Prime Minister as opposed to Stephen Harper at 42%. Interesting!

There are plenty of interesting lines of interest here - What's happening so suddenly on Canada's political landscape? Why the current shift to Layton and the NDP? Is there a leap of political thought that skips a more gradual evolutionary stage of transitional shift from traditional party to a "chancey" socialist party?

  • Well, today's political audience does not like to be told what to think, as in "The NDP are not ready to lead" (because of their inexperience in governing the country).
  • Jack Layton is a veteran, a political vetern.. even has a cane, which suggests injury... and an injury which is secondary to his commitment to country first.
  • Canadians are thinking, "hmm, so if you guys can call a 5th election in 7 years, then, let's play around with tradition.. and so let's see what the NDP can offer... especially, since we can get rid of a current government in a year, 2 or three anyway, if we don't like it... apparently.
  • In a social capture of gas prices rising, food prices rising, the fixed income populace (which is ever increasing) becoming a growing voting populate, people unsurprisingly gravitate to a political party that addresses their bottom line.. finances, and surviving life, it's not surprising that the NDP are a more relevant party to vote for.

    Jack Layton is indeed the dark horse story in this election. His latent potential has surprised everyone, including the party themselves. In fact at least two NDP candidates were off on vacation while the campaign was on (previous bookings out of country) which still gives an impression that they did not really take it too seriously that their party would win. Layton has also leaped wildly ahead of the Bloc in Quebec, leaving Gilles Duceppe in the sovereignist dust. According to Ipsos polling, he's at 42% in Quebec compared to the Bloc's 26% (Apr. 29). So it looks like Layton has caused a wave.

    Maybe if he had used sooner, his approach that rebutted the assumed and expected Liberal line that the NDP will never govern, and to also use "Prime Minister" and himself in the same sentence sooner, it may have began his surge sooner, hence a larger support at the ballot box.

    On election eve, it's surprisingly close between the Conservatives and the Liberals no, the NDP. Ipsos Reid on Apr. 29 had them at 38% and 33%. While it's looking like Harper's Conservatives will again be taking the helm, a D-day-like mobilization by NDP supporters to get the vote to the polls could close the gap. As usual it will be interesting to see the final outcome on Monday night.

    ViewPoint2010 said...

    Personally, I like the shift that the results present but I worry that too many Canadians bought Harper's fear-mongering message and what that means for our society. If we vote based on fear, how far are we from suppressing basic rights?

    Charlie said...

    True VP. I think it's also a little scary that Harper's campaign team threw out a couple of people from a rally because they had a Liberal photo on Facebook - it sounds too paranoid and controlling. However, I do like it that there is a refreshing change in the official opposition, and also that we are out of the minority government mud. With the departure of a certain extremist in the world, and a government that can govern for four years straight, it feels like a semblance of normalty has been restored.