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Libs and NDP, in a tree: a problem in need of a vote split


 

Tania Liu/Flickr

There are several really good reasons why the NDP and the Liberals aren’t about to go beyond first base anytime soon (the political version of first base being where each side teases and scorns the other in equal measure.) The best is alluded to in this morning’s Globe and Mail editorial. Usually the Globe’s Front Street take on Quebec is about as specious and disconnected as you’d expect, but this one made sense. A leader out of Quebec, reason the Globe sages, would properly root the party in the province where it has its most MPs and where, arguably, the halo of Jack Layton seemed to shine that much brighter. And since whatever candidate steps up will have to speak French (one really, really hopes so, anyway), why not have him/her from Quebec?

So, imagine you’re the next NPD leader from Quebec. Why in the name of all things orange and green would you want to merge with the party that ranks somewhere amongst bad breath, parking tickets and syphilis, as far as Quebec public opinion is concerned? Put another way: you’ve just hauled in the most support in your party’s history, punted aside the long-reigning sovereignist Bloc Québécois and captured the eye (if not the hearts) of Quebec’s fickle voters. Is now really the time to start playing footsie with the party of Trudeau, Chrétien, adScam etc—the same one that, with the sponsorship scandal, gave the Bloc a new lease on life on 2004? If nothing else, this would be a fantastic way to give weight to the sovereignist argument that all federalist parties are the same.

Here’s the other thing. Even if the NDP were to jump into bed with the Liberals, I doubt very much the Liberals would have them—if only because of who, exactly, owns the bed. Again, the Dippers just came off a stunning electoral victory in which they won 103 seats and came in second in 121 ridings. The election was a good, old-fashioned, dragged-to-the-woodshed whupping of the Liberals, mostly at the hands of the upstart NDP, and if there is merger chatter then the NDP has every right to bargain with this reality in mind.

Now, if you’re a Liberal, are you really ready to douse 150-plus glorious years of crimson-tinted history in patchouli oil and unfortunate facial hair because of one lousy election? Heaven’s,  no! You’re the natural ruling party, after all!

In order for a merger to happen, the Liberals need to rebuild, gain momentum, get cocky again and go into the next election with fire on the brain. Then, they need to truly split the vote with the NDP and let the Conservatives at it for another term. That’s when things get desperate: when the Liberals and the NDP are on equal footing.


 
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Libs and NDP, in a tree: a problem in need of a vote split

  1. I hate to be the bearer of reality, but as usual, Patriquin missed the reality boat with one of his statements.  

    “The election was a good, old-fashioned, dragged-to-the-woodshed whupping of the Liberals, mostly at the hands of the upstart NDP”

    Reality check:
    As is easily verifiable here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/election-results/
    The Liberals lost 43 seats, 27 to the Cons and 16 to the NDP.
    They gained 1 seat, which happened to be an NDP seat.

    Now, there is no possible interpretation of the word “mostly” that would allow one to say “The election was a good, old-fashioned, dragged-to-the-woodshed whupping of the Liberals, mostly at the hands of the upstart NDP”

    • In the last election, the change in the share of the popular vote was; Con (+2.0 %), NDP (+12.4 %), Lib (-7.4 %), Bloc (-3.9 %), Green (-2.9%).

      By that measure, the NDP whupped the Liberals quite well. MPs is a more important measure in our antiquated system, but the Conservative’s gain would have been less likely without the NDP gain I suspect.

      • I would argue the opposite, that the NDP gain would have been less likely without the Conservative gain.  Quebecers did not want Liberal, Con or Bloc, so they went NDP.

        As for your precentages, you completely ignore the obvious fact that almost all that NDP gain came at the expense of the BQ (they gained 12% across Canada, while 7.5% of that was in Quebec, 4.5% in ROC).  The Conservatives did not gain whatsoever in any of those Quebec ridings.  Most of the NDP gains came in ridings where the Conservatives did WORSE than before (ie Quebec).  Not only that, the Liberals were already at rock-bottom in all of those ridings, where they’ve been hated for years.  You could not be more mistaken.

        • “you completely ignore the obvious fact that almost all that NDP gain came at the expense of the BQ.” – the BQ’s loss of vote share is less than 1/3 of the NDP’s total gain. Less than 1/3 is not almost all of the whole. Total seat count, that mostly came at the expense of the Bloc (NDP gained 7 seats outside of Quebec), but not percent of the total vote. (Bloc lost 45 seats, NDP gained 58 in QC)

          “NDP gain would have been less likely without the Conservative gain.” You need to back up this conclusion. What are the premises? The large majority (86 %) of the vote that left other parties settled with the NDP, the remainder to the Conservatives.

          The NDP shifted votes nationally, not just in Quebec.

          • Why on earth would I have to back up something that you did not back up in the first place?  Your statements were purely subjective statements based on no evidence.

            You’ve not yet presented an iota of evidence that supports the conclusion that the Libs lost more votes to the NDP than anyone else.

            So you’ve decided that you will ignore seat counts and seat gains.  You will ignore total votes.  Instead you will try to focus on vote switches to make your absurd claim that most of the Liberal vote lost went to the NDP.

            Outside Quebec, the NDP gain was about 4.5%, the Green loss was about 3.1%, and the Conservative gain was about 4.5%.   Even if you ignore total seats, you ignore seat swtiches, and you ignore total votes, and you want to focus on vote switches alone, you still cannot say what you are attempting to say.

          • The NDP ate the Liberals lunch.

          • I see you’re wearing one of those tinfoil hats.

          • I see you’re wearing one of those tinfoil hats.

          • I see you’re wearing one of those tinfoil hats.

    • I live in one of those ridings that flipped from the Liberals to the Tories, and in my riding it’s absolutely clear that the reason it flipped was because of the increase in the vote going to the NDP. 

      That’s only the case in a few ridings, I realize, but perhaps enough ridings to still contribute “most” of the Liberal slide to the NDP, not the Tories.  My riding is certainly one case where the incumbent Liberal got whupped by the NDP candidate, even though the RESULT of that whupping was a Tory win.

      • This is one of those ridiculous myths that will likely live on forever in the fevered minds of progressives like Patriquin and yourself.  I know it’s something you wish to believe, therefore you ignore the facts and believe it regardless of the truth. It has been debunked by intelligent people numerous times, in great detail here, for example:
        http://www.punditsguide.ca/tag/vote-splitting/

        There are only 11 ridings in all of the 308 ridings of Canada that fit your description of “the reason it flipped was because of the increase in the vote going to the NDP”. That’s 1 out of every 30 ridings. When you think about it, the reason for this is absolutely obvious: most of the NDP gain came in the province of Quebec, where the Cons did worse than before and the Liberals were already at rock-bottom.

        Considering my previous comment that the Liberals lost a net 12 more seats to the Cons than the NDP, it is therefore absolutely impossible that the NDP were mostly responsible for the Liberal loss.

        Even if you assume all of those 11 ridings were vote splits, the Conservatives still would have won a majority anyway without them, and secondly, the Conservatives still would have taken more seats away from the Liberals directly without the aid of any splits whatsoever.

        • I’m not talking about whether or not the Tories would have gotten a majority without the NDP, I agree that they could have and almost certainly would have.  I’m just talking about who hurt the Liberals more, and I think it was clearly the NDP.

          You said that “The Liberals lost 43 seats, 27 to the Cons and 16 to the NDP“.  If you admit that 11 of those seats that went from the Liberals to the Cons went from the Liberals to the Cons because of the NDP, doesn’t that mean that the Tories were responsible for 16 of the Liberals’ lost seats (27-11=16), and the NDP were responsible for 27 of them (16+11=27)?

          Also, my comment hardly touted some “ridiculous myth”.  I was talking about what ACTUALLY HAPPENED in my OWN RIDING.  My riding was won by a Tory with the lowest popular support for a winner in the history of my riding.  Sure, she beat the incumbent Liberal by 4% (35.6% to 31.7%) but the incumbent Liberal lost 14.4% of his support to the NDP candidate.  The Tory candidate picking up roughly an additional 5.5% of the vote wasn’t nothing, but it’s not why the Liberal candidate lost (he beat the exact same Tory candidate last year by over 18%!).  To me, there’s no other way to explain the Tory win in my riding other than as a direct result of the NDP vote going up 14.39% over the previous year.

          If the incumbent Liberal won the last election with an 18 point margin of victory, and in the 2011 election the Liberals lost 17% of their total from the previous election, with the NDP increasing their vote 14.4% and the Tories increasing their vote by just 5.5% isn’t it blindingly obvious what happened? Given that the Tories were almost 7,000 votes behind the Liberals in 2008 (and all three candidates were the same in both 2008 and 2011) they didn’t win my riding because their vote total went up 2,400 votes in 2011. The Tories won my riding because the NDP vote went up 5,600 votes. The combined Liberal/NDP vote was almost EXACTLY THE SAME election over election in my riding (and in both elections it was roughly double the Tory vote). The reason the Tories took the seat is because those voters went from splitting 49/16 in favour of the Liberals over the NDP, to splitting 32/30 in favour of the Liberals over the NDP.

          • I didn’t say there were no vote splits at all. But I did say that it’s impossible to say that the Libs lost mostly to the NDP. No, the NDP did not hurt the Libs more. Inside Quebec, the NDP hurt the BQ and pretty well nobody else. Outside Quebec, their gains were small (just 4.5%).

            No, you’ve got the math all wrong. You’re making silly assumptions without reading my link, assumptions not based on fact, but based on what you want to believe.

            If you bothered to look at the facts, you would see of those 11 ridings:
            “That leaves 11 seats where the Liberals lost more raw votes than the Conservatives gained (see below). Of those:

            * The Liberals lost more votes than NDP gains alone could account for in 5 seats.
            * In 5 other seats, the NDP gains were less than the combined losses of the Liberals and Greens, so Liberal losses can not be attributed exclusively to NDP gains, as there might also have been Green-to-NDP switching as well.
            * This leaves one single Liberal riding going into the election – Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, NB – in which the NDP gained more votes than both the Liberals and Greens lost, and where the Liberals lost more votes than the Conservatives gained.
            * Note that turnout increased (i.e., the number of non-voters [NV] declined) in all 11 cases. So, overall, the Liberal vote did not “stay home” here, either.”

            So there is only 1 riding in Canada that fits your description. And according to you, it must be your own riding.

          • Fair point on not just lumping all 11 changes as being because of the NDP (I’m probably over-sensative since my riding clearly DID go Tory because of the NDP) but just 1 being the result of the NDP is just as ridiculous, if not more so.  My riding is Scarborough Centre and it’s NOT the riding they allude to but it CLEARLY went Tory due to vote-splitting.  Sure, the Liberals lost more votes than can be accounted for by simply the NDP.  But SO WHAT?  The Liberals won my riding with an 18 point margin in 2008.  The Tories increased their vote by 5.5%, sure, and they took many of those votes from the Liberals, no doubt.  However, when you lose by 18 points in 2008, increasing your vote by less than one third of that in 2011 doesn’t win you the seat.  What wins you the seat is the NDP vote going up 14.4%.  The Tories won my riding because the “center-left” vote split went from 49% Liberal 16% NDP to 32% Liberal 30% NDP, and suddenly the Tories could win the riding despite getting less than 14,000 votes (a riding no one else has EVER won with less than 16,500 votes).

            Call me crazy, but to me that’s clear as day. The Tories should be applauded for increasing their vote in my riding from 11,088 to 13,498, but they WON because the NDP vote went from 5,801 to 11,443.

          • Even in your own riding, your claim does not necessarily fit the evidence. If there were no NDP, then it is easily conceivable that the Cons would have won anyway. A vote switching away from the Liberals would not necessarily have stayed with the Liberals had there been no NDP, they could very well have parked their vote with the Cons or even the Greens.

            The Cons could very well have been leading in voter intention before the NDP surge, and then when the surge occurred, the NDP could very well have benefited from Con voters switching to NDP. In fact, there are plenty of ridings across Canada where voters switch between NDP and Con.

            Regardless, that is a diversion. The original claim was the the Liberals lost most their votes to the NDP.

            Inside Quebec, the Liberals lost few seats because they had few to begin with. Most NDP gains came from the Bloq.

            Outside Quebec, the NDP gain was about 4.5%, the Green loss was about 3.1%, and the Conservative gain was about 4.5%. You cannot make the claim from those numbers that somehow the Liberals lost primarily to the NDP.

            So those are the numbers (approximate numbers anyway).

            If I were to guess, Liberals were losing votes. They were not losing votes to any particular party, they were losing votes because Ignatieff had such low popularity and the party was really becoming disliked in general.
            Similarly, Greens were losing votes, because the environment was lower on the scale of important issues and because of weak leadership from May.
            I would guess, based on no evidence, that 2/3 of those voters decided to go NDP and 1/3 went Conservative. I would also guess that most of the voters they lost would have voted NDP had the Cons not existed, or Con had the NDP not existed. I think it’s more a fact that people did not want to vote Liberal anymore. I don’t think it’s a fact that people wanted to vote NDP, but would have voted Liberal otherwise.

            In Quebec, I would say things were different. I think it was mostly a fact that many people did not want to vote BQ anymore. But Quebecers hate the Liberals and they view the Cons as outsiders (Westerners). Meanwhile Jack was a home boy who spoke Quebec french and had a socialist platform as well.
            So I would say the NDP whupped the Bloq in Quebec (and to a lesser extent they whupped the other parites in Quebec), the Liberals imploded everywhere, and the Cons whupped the lot of them in the rest of Canada where the Cons had about 50% of the vote. Even in Ontario, in most ridings, the Cons won at the expense of the Liberals, they did not need vote splits. They had 44% of the vote in Ontario – they did not need help from anyone in that province. If the Liberals had completely imploded down to near zero, the Cons would have surpassed 50% in Ontario. Chretien won 100 of 103 seats in Ontario in 2000 with 51% of the vote there.

          • The original claim was the the Liberals lost most their votes to the NDP.

            No, I believe the original claim was that the Liberals were hurt more by votes they lost to the NDP than they were because of votes they lost to the Tories.  That’s not the same thing.

          • The origin claim is in the post, and it’s not the slightest bit what you just said. It was this: “The election was a good, old-fashioned, dragged-to-the-woodshed whupping of the Liberals, mostly at the hands of the upstart NDP”

            Since that time, you and Ottawa Centrist have selectively interpreted that statement to mean vote switches, rather than total seats, seats gained, total votes or votes gained. Not only that, you’re claiming it was not all vote switches, you’re saying that some vote switches were more consequential than others (only now of course, because I showed you that the Cons gained just as much votes outside of Quebec as the NDP), even though there is no evidence for that. You are trying to make this absurd claim it was that “the Liberals were hurt more by votes they lost to the NDP than they were because of votes they lost to the Tories” which is possibly the most selective and unrealistic interpretation one could provide to the original statement by Patriquin. Next thing you know you’ll be claiming that Patriquin was talking about the election of 1965 in Saskatchewan.

            I don’t mind a debate, but when starting saying ridiculous things like this, then it gets a little tedious.

          • There are indeed many ridings where the vote switch was between the NDP and the Conservative, but mine CLEARLY wasn’t one of them.

          • Good to know you’ve polled all the residents in your riding and determined that all NDP and Liberal voters in your riding would never vote Conservative, except for the ones that did. Good work.

          • A vote switching away from the Liberals would not necessarily have
            stayed with the Liberals had there been no NDP, they could very well
            have parked their vote with the Cons or even the Greens
            .

            I have no doubt that some would have done so, however, I think it’s RIDICULOUS to suggest that 73% would have done so rather than voting Liberal.  This is a riding that had elected this specific Liberal MP in the last SIX STRAIGHT ELECTIONS.  He lost because the NDP increased their vote by over 5,600 votes, there’s no two ways about it.  The notion that a six-time incumbent MP couldn’t have held on to 1500 of those votes if there’d been no NDP (the Tory margin of victory was 1470 votes in 2011) is ludicrous, imho.

          • That doesn’t make any sense. You seem to claim there is some innate sense to the fact that votes would go from Liberal to NDP, but the idea that votes would go Liberal to Conservative is RIDICULOUS,and that votes go from NDP to Conservative is impossible in your riding, even though it happens all across Canada. I’m sorry, but it happens all the time.
            What you’re saying makes no sense:
            -the riding always votes Liberal
            -except this one time it voted NDP, although the NDP did not win because the Conservatives did
            -but otherwise it would still be Liberal, because any vote that switches to NDP must always switch back to Liberal

            That’s absurd.

            You think it’s perfectly acceptable that the NDP gained much more votes than the others, but it’s ridiculous to suggest that the Conservatives could ever do the same. What poppycock.

          • Well, I was mostly just talking about what happened in my own riding, when you turned the actual results in my own riding into a “ridiculous myth” so, whatever.

          • You seem to claim there is some innate sense to the fact that votes
            would go from Liberal to NDP, but the idea that votes would go Liberal
            to Conservative is RIDICULOUS
            .

            Not at all.  I’m CERTAIN votes moved from the Liberal candidate to the Conservative candidate.  However, look at the ACTUAL VOTE TOTALS.  The Tory candidate went up 5.5%.  The Liberal candidate went down 16.99%.  The NDP candidate went up 14.4%.  All three candidates are the exact seem people who ran in 2008.  In order for the Tory candidate to have taken more votes away from the Liberal incumbent than the NDP candidate did she would have had to have simultaneously LOST Tory support to somebody else, while still increasing her vote total.  Even SHE’d tell you she won because of the NDP’s success in the riding.  She was almost more shocked on election night than anyone!

          • Good to know you’ve polled all the residents in your riding and
            determined that all NDP and Liberal voters in your riding would never
            vote Conservative, except for the ones that did. Good work.

            The point is scf, the NDP candidate increased her vote exponentially more than the CPC candidate did.  It seems to me that the only possible way that the Tory candidate took more votes from the Liberals than the NDP candidate did would be if the Tory candidate was losing Tory supporters at a rate even higher than she was gaining Liberal supporters, while gaining MASSIVE amounts of Liberal support.  Unless she lost a whole bunch of Tory voters along the way, there’s just no way that she took more votes from the Liberals than the NDP did.  Not when her vote total went up less than 1500 votes from the previous election, while the NDP vote total went up more than 5,600.  Who needs to poll every member of my riding to understand what happened when the NDP vote increased more than the Tory vote by a factor of almost 4:1???  I really don’t think I need to consider the possibility that the Tory candidate in my riding both picked up massive amounts of Liberal support and simultaneously lost significant amounts of Tory support, all while the NDP candidate drew in record-breaking numbers of first time voters, and all of that without significantly increasing the total number of voters casting ballots.  There’s just no way that that happened in my riding!

  2. Adscam???

    Having now re-fought the 2004 election three times with three different leaders, the Liberals have to be beginning to wonder if this is ever going to end.

    New Orleans is recovering from Katrina faster for Pete’s sake, lol.

    • Let’s be honest though LKO, the fact is that “Adscam” has become little more than a metaphorical label for “all that is wrong” with the Liberal party. At least from the perspective of some.

      It seems to me that it stopped actually being about “Adscam” about ten minutes after Harper won the election in 2006, but remains to this day a symbol meant to obscure the acheivements of what was in reality one of the longest running and successful governments in Canada’s history.

      How else to explain the utter insanity this government has been allowed to get away with?

      Without the spectre of “Adscam” there to lower expectations, I can’t imagine Canadians allowing the wanton spending, misappropriation of funds, underhanded politics, abuse of parliamentary procedure, illogical and ideological decision making etc etc of this government without a serious response, let alone awarding them a majority.

      Harper has successfully managed to lower the bar by pointing to others and then using this lowered bar to enact policies that are only a hair’s breadth better. Suggesting in effect that we can’t really expect better.

      Seems to me Canadians feel more “secure” with a tyrant running things than someone who espouses principles and actually lives up to them.

      • Harper has successfully managed to lower the bar by pointing to others
        and then using this lowered bar to enact policies that are only a hair’s
        breadth better. Suggesting in effect that we can’t really expect
        better.

        As I’ve often said, his transformation into Chretien is now pretty much complete.

        • LOL

    • Oh, but we never hear about Katrina anymore do we Lord Kitchener? What would help put Adscam to rest is if some senior Liberals went to jail (as they should of long ago).

      • Sure, but my point wasn’t so much about how we’re still hearing about Adscam so much as that New Orleans is recovering faster from Katrina (which happened a year after the Sponsorship program ended) than the Liberals are from Adscam.

        Also, Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States and killed almost 2,000 people.  Surely you don’t believe that Adscam deserves a longer and more prominent place in history than Hurricane Katrina!

        Also, which current senior Liberals should be in jail?

    • Well, I don’t want to get into an argument about cities built a foot under sea-level in an geographical area prone to hurricanes –  but that’s another article

      The Adscam outrage will end when every dime that was stolen from Canadians is paid back by the LPC.

      But not to be partisan, Mulroney, and more recently Clement, seem to inhabit a region geographically prone to stealing taxpayer’s money.

      • So, which current senior Liberals should be in jail again?

  3. I think for the Liberals to recover one of two things have to happen.  (1) If Harper’s government becomes unpopular, much of the establishment, media or otherwise, that supported him will turn to the Liberals instead of the NDP.  (2) If the NDP can’t beat Harper in the next election, and all they have to do is make sure Harper loses 20 seats, Liberals can claim, not entirely unreasonably, that the NDP can’t beat him, and only they can.

    • A concern I have with your two scenarios is the lack of action/change required by the Liberals. They sound like quick fixes the Liberals currently could not exploit.

  4. The simple fact is that most Canadians are center or center-right, and it’s only becoming more that way as the boomers age.

    As such I can’t imagine the NDP forming government in the forseeable future. Their history and tendency to attract far-left fruit-loops makes them a non-starter for most Canadians. I mean for Christ’s sake, the first thing Mulcair did after the election was accuse Obama of backing a conspiracy concerning the assasination of Bin Laden! (shakes head) That might fly in Quebec, but most Canadians are embarassed by that type of silliness.

    Frankly, I knew Harper was back in government and possibly at a majority a week before the actual election, and the reason was simple:

    No right-wing Liberal was EVER going to vote for a possible coalition that had the NDP leading it.

    EVER.

    Which is why Ontario Liberals practically RAN to the vote for Harper. LOL

    • This may be true now, but Liberals were saying almost the exact same thing about Steven Harper/Conservatives circa 2004. Too extreme, to many far-right nuts, and the left-ish progressive conservatives will actually feel more at home with Liberals than the new CPC.

      This is not to say the Lib/NDP coalition will happen. Its to say that people who say something will NEVER happen are often wrong.

      • The difference being of course that most Canadians are center to center-right in my opinion, as opposed to center to center-left.

        Harper has capitalized in a way I don’t think the NDP can without a radical shift towards the center, which is more or less forestalled by the existence of the Liberals.

        There’s a reason Liberals tend to govern more to the right than some of their campaigning language suggests.

        Would the NDP ever do the same? 50 years of history says otherwise, and most of the voters alive today remember that history only too well. 

    • The simple fact is that most Canadians are center or center-right, and it’s only becoming more that way as the boomers age.

      Is that really a “simple fact”??? 

      ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that most of the votes in the last election went to parties that are center/center-left, not center/center-right.  I consider the NDP, Greens and the Bloc to be “center-left”, the Liberals to be (or to be aspiring to be at least!) “center” and the Tories to be “center-right”.  And even leaving the Liberals aside, the combined NDP/Bloc/Green vote was HIGHER than the Tory vote.  So, if “most” Canadians are center to center-right why don’t they vote that way?  Or, are you lumping the Liberals 18.9% of the vote solidly or predominantly in the “center-right” camp?

      I also question this idea that Ontario voters “ran to vote for Harper”.  In my riding at least, the Liberal incumbent lost all of his support to the NDP candidate, and the Tory came up the middle by simply holding the traditional level of support the Tories have always had in my riding, but that was never enough to actually win the riding before.  I know that not all ridings are the same as mine, but my riding isn’t unique either.  In the final standings my riding counts as a Harper pick-up of course, but Harper didn’t pick my riding up because the people of my riding ran towards HIM, he picked it up because the people in my riding ran towards JACK LAYTON, allowing the Tories to win my riding with the lowest popular support EVER for a winning candidate in my riding.

  5. It’s fantasy to think that the NDP in the rest of Canada is interested in anything more than Liberal voters. When Pat Martin talks merger he really means Liberal capitulation.

     There’s no way the rank and file NDP members would accept any sharing of leadership from a Liberal Party they perceive to have controlled wages but not prices, that repeatedly legislated public sector workers back to work, that caved in to the US on FTA and NAFTA, and that signed Canada up for war in Afghanistan. A few strategic thinkers might believe it’s a path worth travelling but the rest of the party has a visceral distaste for a party they see as two-faced for running on the left and never producing when in Government.

  6. The blog post is true! But good lord, that has to be a disheartening reality for anyone on the left who believes we’re at a bit of a philosophical-economic crossroads, with Libertarian Regressive Taxation Types on the right and Students of Progressive Economics on the left. For the Liberals & NDP to essentially cede the next election to the Conservatives based on Quebec game theory is such a bloody catastrophic scenario to ponder that it makes me shakey. The best we can hope for is that eight whole years of Harper’s economics advances the crisis of Randian free-market ideology so far that everyone comes running back to society and the evidence-based incremental policy-making that goes with it.

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