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Layton’s against the old games. It’s a new one now.

What leverage will Layton’s much larger caucus have?


 

It was after 12:30 a.m. when Jack Layton finally emerged—swinging his newly emblematic cane, grinning his old signature grin—to soak up the adulation of about 2,000 NDP supporters gathered here in Toronto.

Their cheers grew louder as he talked of his determination to work to lift seniors out of poverty, help families make ends meet, create new jobs. These were, he reminded them, the things they had voted for.

“And you voted to end the same old debates and political games,” he said, wrapping up that section of his speech to a huge roar.

Ending the games, yes. That was the underlying theme of the NDP campaign: “Fix Ottawa.” And it can’t be denied that Parliament Hill will be a different place now.

But will it be different in a way that Layton’s many new voters will find congenial? I can’t imagine how. He made his reputation as a pragmatic politician by playing the angles in successive minority Parliaments.

He pressed Paul Martin into spending $4.6 billion on NDP priorities like affordable housing and mass transit in the spring of 2005. He persuaded Stephen Harper to extend Employment Insurance benefits in the fall of 2009.

Those were deals cut with governments striving not to be voted out of office. The big news tonight is that Harper has won his long-sought majority. He doesn’t have to play by those rules anymore.

So will the “same old debates and political games” come to an end? Absolutely. A new sort of debates (in which the Conservatives need not pay overly much attention) and a different sort of games (in which opposition parties struggle to have an impact through means less reliable than the arithmetic of House votes) are about to begin.

“I will propose constructive solutions focused on helping Canadians,” Layton said. “We’re going to focus on lifting Canadians out of poverty. We’re going to focus on tackling the crisis of climate change.”

I don’t think those are priorities for the new majority Tory government, however—at least not the way New Democrats imagine they might help the poor and cut greenhouse gas emissions. What leverage will Layton’s much larger caucus have, for the next four years or so, in trying to force their perspective on these and other issues onto the agenda?

Layton closed with a heartfelt reminder to the predominantly young crowd that the NDP has a 50-year history, that many have struggled long in the party’s social-democratic cause. “They refused to give up often in the face of overwhelming odds,” he said.

As struggles go, it’s far better to toil as the Number Two party in the Commons than as Number Three or Four. Against what’s likely to be an uncompromising majority government, though, a struggle it will assuredly remain.


 

Layton’s against the old games. It’s a new one now.

  1. Ironically, Layton has less power than he did in the last parliament. He can no longer participate in blocking the government, now he must simply oppose.

    • This is why I refuse to believe that Jack Layton has any principles other than power. If the NDP were true to their principles, they would be dismayed that there is a Conservative majority. Instead they're happy that they're the official opposition. The fact remains that the NDP had the most influence as a small caucus cooperating with a Liberal government. Since then, Jack Layton has consistently given away influence in order to improve his own party's standing, so that now we are at the point where the NDP has its best result ever but absolutely no influence.

      I fear that the Liberals being wiped out is a recipe for consistent Conservative majority governments. In a 2-party system, given a straight choice between the Conservatives and the NDP, I believe most Canadians would vote Conservative (as we saw tonight). And I say this as someone who would probably choose the NDP in that situation.

      • http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/seco

        Read it and weep. If you're a progressive Democrat. I truly hope Jack does nothing to hasten the demise of the LPC, however tempting it may be for him. Not unless he wants to be sitting on the wrong side of the aisle for a long long time.
        Tough times ahead for a progressive Canada.

        • What is worse is that I live in Toronto, which is supposedly the most progressive city in Canada (and possibly the world).

          Yet by the end of the year, I will (probably) be ruled by Rob Ford, Tim Hudak and Stephen Harper (and for at least 3 more years).

          [shudder]

          Maybe I should move to Calgary. At least their mayor seems intelligent.

          • Try Quebec. :)

          • Except that in a couple of years I'd be rule by a separatist government. New York City, on the other hand, seems to have intelligent people filling its leadership roles (Mayor, Governor an President).

            Or Italy. Their politicians may be d0uchebags, but unlike ours, at least Berlusconi is an interesting d0uchebag.

          • Don't despair yet, despite that article. The libs are only really dead if both the cons and the dippers both perform up to expectations of their respective supporters, squeezing them out for good. Then we might have nothing to complain about – good governance.But given the dippers inexperience and Harper's track record, what're the odds of that? How's Ford doing? I don't read the Toronto press much? People sick of him yet? They will be!

          • I don't actually believe that the Liberals are dead, mainly because of Ontario. Despite the NDP surge, they still didn't do very well in Ontario, leading me to believe that Ontario will never vote NDP in a big way. When Ontario gets sick of the Conservatives (and at some point we will, unlike Alberta we keep our politicians honest ;) ) it will be the Liberals who are the main beneficiary.

            Thus, regional divisions may make merging the Liberals and NDP unnecessary. If the NDP can continue to dominate Quebec (admittedly a big "if") and the Liberals wipe out the Conservatives in Ontario (like McGuinty did in 2003), that's about 65 Liberal/NDP seats in Quebec and 80 in Ontario. Add in 20 seats in Atlantic Canada and the odd Western seat, and there's a progressive majority.

            The Bloc's collapse could be the best thing for progressives in Canada. A Liberal-NDP coalition/agreement/whatever is a lot more acceptable when it has an outright majority and doesn't have to rely on "the separatists". This realignment could make progressive governments easier (whether they be Liberal, NDP or a combination of both).

            Keep in mind, the Conservatives dominated every province east of Ontario (5 of the 6 biggest provinces) and still only won a 10-seat majority.

            Besides, it would be so much fun to see Rob Ford, then Stephen Harper, and then Tim Hudak turfed within a year of each other in 2014-2015 (one can hope).

          • "the Conservatives dominated every province east of Ontario"

            I think you mean west

          • Interesting concept. Could it work? The two parties stay two parties and concentrate on their respective traditional strengths [ not so tradional for the orange but still…] and work towards a national coalition. Could that work? How would they avoid the inevitable vote splits?

        • Me too. Iggy's poor performance has makes for interesting times in Canada.

      • Yeah, Layton should be all tears and fear right now. Why the hell is he celebrating winning the biggest seat gain in his party's history? Why celebrate the promotion of Official Opposition? It's baffling.

        A win for the NDP would have been maybe 8, or 9 seats max. Then they could celebrate. But over 100 seats? That's nothing to celebrate.

        • Thank you for proving my point.

          If the NDP are more concerned with winning seats than with implementing their ideas, then they should be celebrating.

          But if they are the "party of principle", and they truly believe that their ideas would make Canada a better place, then they would be dismayed that a party that believes in everything they oppose has complete control of the country for the next 4 years.

          • Fair enough, I guess that's the way the game is played. But honestly, going from 30 seats to 100 is an impressive accomplishment.

            Great discussion. You bring up some important points. I feel it necessary to apologize for my sarcasm in my first post. Sorry about that.

          • To be fair, I didn't mean to suggest that they go home and weep. They can be pleased that they improved.

            But chanting "NDP"? They're acting like they won something when in fact they lost whatever influence they had a month ago and their ideals are much less likely to be realized now (and for the next 4 years) than they were before the election.

            Methinks the NDP might be in for a rude awakening when they realize that the next election is 4 years away and that outside of Quebec they don't look any more likely to make the gains they need to win government than they were before. Even in Quebec there aren't many more gains to be had.

            But 4 years is a long time. We'll see what happens.

  2. It's too late for regrets….the die is cast

    You should have thought of this long since.

    • What's for Layton to regret? Voters made the decision to return a Conservative majority, not him; the increase in Conservative MPs is directly attributable to the growth of their share of the popular vote.

      • I wasn't talking about Layton….I was talking about journalists and Canadians in general.

        • I don't think the people who voted for this majority have any regrets, nor do I think it is fair to point at journalists as somehow responsible for the way things have turned out. The Conservative's vote share grew, that's the reality tonight regardless of the Liberal and Bloc collapse and NDP gains.

          • Well….you really don't think at all.

            Mostly you just try to avoid blame.

          • Blame for what? I'm just one voter, and I didn't vote for the government.

            Obviously though, what I think isn't what a very large number of Canadian voters think.

          • No, of course not. You don't matter at all

            You're invisible in fact.

            Hellooo? Where'd you go?

          • Are you going to address what I've said (talking about what's happened tonight would be nice), or are you just going to attack me personally?

            I'm not really bothered either way, but perhaps you should think about directing your frustration in a more appropriate direction if you're just going to try and poke at me. I'm being nice by giving you the benefit of the doubt and trying to actually engage you in some kind of a conversation rather than just writing you off, you know?

          • Why would I bother with you?

            You've erased yourself from the picture….written yourself off

          • haha dear God. You've come undone !

            What a bizzare attack on that man.

            Weird Cats

          • Must be stupefyingly drunk or forgotten to take her medication!

          • Don't bother with Emily. She is famous here. Talks nonsense, and avoids issues.

            If nothing else, her posts are interesting. (not factual or anything with substance, though)

          • Sour grapes.

          • I was commenting on Iccyh's willingness to apologize for living. Nothing to do with you, so move along now.

          • I do blame the media.
            Mostly, I blame SUN Media, and sunnewsnetwork.ca for their interference on broadcasting their right-wing Harper loving windbag antics all day long, and I blame the CRTC for allowing broadcasters like that to illegally dupe and swingvote Canadians on election day.
            :)

          • They only preach to the already converted. They probably drove more people towards other options than they turned people to Harper, if they moved any votes at all.

          • "…They only preach to the already converted…" ??? say what ?
            That's wrong Iccyh, 'cause they don't need to "preach to the converted", now do they. ?
            No, it's 1,000's of those old windbags, like Adler :) , during election day, that want to scare the poorer son's and daughters of real hard-working canadians to vote for Harper, "trust in Harper".
            Yes, DO NOT trust NDP to help you pay for your food or tuition, Now now.
            And that is what hurts the mostly poorer canadian youth and students who voted NDP becuase they can barely afford to feed themselves let alone pay for their tuition ? Unlike the rich windbags, maybe like yourselves, that can easily afford to send your kids to the finest universities.

          • hahaha, that's awesome. i came here expecting to see a couple of liberal heads exploding, and so far i've been satisfied (see Emily above), but you take the cake.

            their network stinks. sun news only ever influenced people to do one thing: change the channel.

            and its nice that Harper's opponents are little fascists who oppose freedom of the press. it really confirms all my prejudices. thank you for that.

          • I'm betting a close analysis will show the vote split on the left played a bigger role than the CPC growth.

          • That may or may not be true, but there are some interesting facts about the election.

            First, the CPC has grown in voter share every election. That is a sustainable thing.
            Second, the NDP 'bandwagon' growth was largely because of Quebec. Once they started to poll well there, the weirdness seemed to spread across the country. Quebec is unpredictable, and if that is your base, you can't guarantee anything in the next election.
            The liberals, while severely kicked to the curb, probably won't 'merge with the NDP. That wouldn't be good for them, or the left. at about 40% of the vote right now, that could push the CPC into permanent majorities.
            I predict that the CPC will govern well and add to their base. The NDP will have their nutcases in the media a little too much, and the Liberals will await their return to #2 spot. Nothing else seems in the cards right now.

          • Sour grapes or blinders?

    • Well, everybody did. That's why the NDP campaigned for a majority and sensible Liberals pushed for an electoral coalition. But Mr. Ignatieff decided to try another tactic (the same one Chretien and Martin had used to diminishing effect).

      • ???? I was talking to the columnist.

        • Do the columnists ever reply to you? And where does Geddes say or imply that he hadn't thought of this before or that he regrets it in any way?

          • Yes, they do….and if you can't read the thread header, it's your problem.

          • I assume you mean your comment that "It's too late for regrets…You should have thought of this…". There's just no connection between that statement and the content of the article. We all understand how majority governments work, it's not like there's been some massive oversight on the part of the Canadian media and general public.

          • This has nothing to do with you. Go away.

          • 167 Tory seats. Suck on that knob.

          • You are so busy being stupid, you can't see what's right in front of your face.

            Lose the 'tude, dude. It'll improve your eyesight.

          • A national Tory majority and nine consecutive years of Tory governence.

          • Like I said, you are still too busy playing with the balloons.

          • "You are so busy being stupid, you can't see what's right in front of your face."

          • Oh good, now we have a parrot to go with the cat.

          • Wow, you are having a bad day. Another time I'd dig up one of your own comments about free speech, but this is clearly not the day for it. Hope you feel better soon.

          • Who is?

            You're very confused this morning….perhaps you need more coffee.

          • It's afternoon…

          • In some places.

          • Right, I'm just letting you know one of your "you're drunk" comments would be more appropriate in my time zone.

          • Well, you'd know best what you're drinking.

    • who is talking about regrets?

      • ??? The author of this blog….why is everybody butting in on posts that don't concern them?

  3. Just so I've said this somewhere tonight:
    The future mentioned in Wells' blog post is coming to pass. The reason Stephen Harper wanted this scenario as far back as 2006 is that in this situation, the Conservatives have the advantage. Nevermind the vote splitting benefits, the Conservatives and NDP have roughly the same challenge: persuading Canadian voters that they're not scary and that they can be trusted to do right by Canada. Given that Harper already has a majority, not only is it obvious that he's already convinced far more people than the NDP, he's also got the best platform in the country to find more converts.

    While I've voted for the NDP in past elections and did in this one as well, I'm concerned that their move into opposition heralds the dawn of a long string of Conservative wins, not that the NDP is going to be responsible for that…

    • So now you've successfully excused yourself from everything….now, in the past, and in the future.

      Why are you even on here?

      • Regardless of what I'd personally prefer, the writing is on the wall.

        I can't say I'm any expert in historical electoral trends, but it seems to me that the elections in '93 and '06 which changed parties in government were more about throwing out the party in power than they were about approving of their replacement. The ball is in Harper's court, its up to him to blow this now that he's got a majority.

        I don't really see it happening any time soon; if voters don't distrust what he's done already, they're probably not going to.

        • Yup, give up and die.

          • Crossing the line much ?

            Like really much ?

            Go to bed. Your cup is overflowing with bitter grapes of wrath sour vinegar wine.

            Heart broken. Glue together the shards tommorow.

            Harper is victorious. Cats has won.

          • Emily, why so bitter? I thought you were "not a Liberal"?

            hahaha.

            we all knew you were a Liberal.

            anyhow, hoping other people die (and nice people too, not jerks like me), that's really classy.

          • As usual you just make up what you want to believe….I in fact am delighted at the results.

            However, I've only ever been PC and Reform/CA….not Lib or NDP….sorry.

          • excellent, let's all rejoice at the conservative majority.

            so i suppose you're just telling people to go and die out of sheer delight?

          • I think you're confused….possibly because you have inserted yourself into a conversation you don't understand.

            I was talking to Iccyh, who voted NDP and yet seems very down….I was trying to get him to buck up. I've talked to him over several threads, and he seems very self-effacing. The conversation wasn't about politics, it was about his mood.

            As to politics, I'm not concerned with the Cons….Canadians have now moved heavily to the left….parliament is now polarized between Capitalists and Socialists….and both are populist…it should make for an interesting final battle. Massive change has come about, and you seem unaware of it.

          • There has been massive change, but it was not a 'move heavily to the left'. CPC got almost 40% of the popular vote. They appear to be growing their base every election.
            The Liberals call themselves the center, and garnered 20% of the vote. Don't presume that if they were to become swallowed by the NDP, that all 20% would go with them. A large chunk would vote CPC.
            A lot of the votes that did swing into the NDP camp seem to be jumping on a 'bandwagon' for change. That happened in the states, with a large block of voters. They got president 'hopey/changey' – those voters will likely stay home in 2012. It would be amazing if the NDP could even hold some of those votes for the next election. They won't hold them all, and they have no room to build. There are only so many Canadians who will vote for a person and party that they have no idea about.
            The Liberals will wait and build.
            Quebec voted for someone who promised them the world – nothing has changed there.

          • Yes, it was a heavy move to the left

            'According to CBC it the Conservatives won 39.59% of the popular vote, the NDP won 30.66%, the Libs 18.88%, the Bloq 6.12%, the Greens 3.87%, and independents .43%. The majority of Canadians voted for a party with a progressive platform, but the idiosyncrasies of our electoral system means that popular vote does not always correspond with number of seats won.'

          • So the CPC vote share went up by over 3 points, at the same time voter turnout increased by 2 points.

            It sounds like Canadians came out in droves, to support this massive leftward shift you speak of.

            Glad you are so happy with the result. I am too.

          • We now have an opposition that's almost entirely left….NDP and Green….without the separatism.

            We also don't have a center now.

            The country has been polarized.

        • Well, on the bright side, there's a pretty decent chance Harper won't be leader for the next election (since most PMs step down before they've been in office for ten years), so if Layton can hold things together (yeah, a big if), the NDP has a pretty good shot in 2015.

          • Do you really see Harper letting go the reins now that he has a majority? If he's still leading in the polls near election time, he'll be around at least one more election.

          • Don't hold your breath. The liberals won't merge with the NDP, and once the honeymoon is over, the NDP support will die down.

  4. "…to work to lift seniors out of poverty, help families make ends meet, create new jobs. These were, he reminded them, the things they had voted for……."
    -lmao, Harper will NEVER give Canadians that now.
    And, obviously, there is no way the NDP can promise any of that now, becuase the NDP can't stop anything Harper wants.
    Atleast before, with a minority Harper at the helm, you, and Iggy, and the BQ were able to halt his destructive tendencies.
    -ALL of that is gandhi now.

    • rick…have you met Iccyh?

      You're two of a kind.

      • and you make three Emily
        :)

        • Not with your crowd I don't.

    • "lift seniors out of poverty, help families make ends meet, and create new jobs"

      "Harper will never give that to Canadians" – are you on crack? That is exactly what we will get. A stronger economy, less taxes (more money in everyone's pockets)
      "destructive tendencies" – now we have a gov't that can move forward, and get things done, instead of wasting money to get every bill through.

  5. I have to apologize to the good readers of Maclean's blog.

    I called 163 seats for the CPC. Please excuse my…ahem…conservatism.

    Emily? Jan? All those who called me a "LIAR" for predicting that which came true?

    • It's not your conservatism that's an issue. It's that attitude that's a problem. A bad attitude, which seems to be prevalent in conservative circles.

      Just because someone disagrees with you is no reason to cut them down; but, I guess you follow your leader's example.

      No class.

      • Dear students, the above is a classic example of projection.

        • oops – meant to give you a 'thumbs up' and accidentally clicked down. :(

          • Noooooooo, please delete your cookies, refresh the page, give me a thumbs up, and repeat.

            I want that 'thumbs up' dammit.

            :)

          • :)

            and someone gave me a 'thumbs down' for posting that. lol

    • Neither your conservatism nor your predictions got you called a liar…..it was the lying that did.

  6. While Layton ran a well focused campaign on all things for seniors, his party's performance in the House of Commons was sometimes all over the place. Either Layton will need to become more focused, or the NDP will need a new leader who may get the party on an organized track to forming the next government.

    • They don't have any prospects for a better leader. The MP's that they have are uncontrollable, regardless of who is in charge. They have no chance of forming gov't.
      This will be fun 4 years. I will watch the news every night just to see the sound bits of what the NDP backbenchers are saying. They have some crazy ones.

      • Unlike all those impeccable Conservative backbenchers, who never say or do anything crazy or embarrassing.

  7. As struggles go, it's far better to toil as the Number Two party in the Commons than as Number Three or Four.

    Especially when you have risen to Number Two, and Numbers Three and Four are collapsing.

    So… is it the dawning of a new age, or is it a bubble waiting to burst? And if the latter, well, yikes, what's left after the pop?

    • It is a bubble, and after the pop, there are a few more CPC majorities.

  8. Just as in 1993, the voters have exiled a moderate governing party to the wilderness and replaced it with a party with a much lower cieling and much to prove. Conservative majorities will ensue until the moderate left and the hard left start working together (and be seen to be working together) in some fashion.

    Jack Layton = Preston Manning.

    • Preston Manning, even when derided, attacked, and made fun by the media, has more class, brain, and decency.

  9. While I can't say I'm happy about the result, it certainly does provide a lot more opportunity for clarity.

    With a majority, we get to see what Harper really considers his main priorities.

    With the NDP in opposition, they can finally show what they are or are not made of.

    With the LPC in the tank, we can finally see whether they have the guts to rebuild or whether they'll fold like superman on laundry day.

    With a seat in parliament, we'll finally see if Elizabeth May can't get a seat at the next debate without all the begging.

    With the BLOC practically obliterated and the CPC with a huge number of eastern seats, maybe we can finally get around to a real national discussion instead of all the bloody regionalism.

    Things to look forward to.

  10. now I know why rape is so difficult to prosecute. But I hope Mr. Layton and Ms. Chow use their stay at Stornoway wisely and work toward moving into where the guy who runs the Harper Government lives. Because I really don't like Harper's country being called Harper's country. Partisan .. you bet!

    • Jack now lives in subsidized housing, without having to cheat or lie to be there (might have lied or cheated to get there, but doesn't need to to stay – lol).
      Put your bets on the LPC, cause the NDP don't have a chance of getting into Sussex.

    • There is nothing new in that. They have been unfairly attacking Harper since immemorial. What makes their win more amazing is; even the combined unfair attacks from elitist media and delluded opponents, they still managed a majority.

    • Sorry, I posted my above comment in the wrong thread!

  11. "What leverage will Layton's much larger caucus have, for the next four years or so, in trying to force their perspective on these and other issues onto the agenda?"

    Their ability to form the next government. Making improvements at the margins of other people's minority governments is admirable. But now the game is to increase the NDP's popularity, demonstrate it's a government in waiting, and build the party across the country. A popular opposition leader with a credible chance of winning the next election can have a lot of influence on the government.

  12. This is more or less what I expected. When I saw that the Ontario numbers for the LPC were faultering, but not at a huge rate, I knew the classic vote split was at play in Ontario.

    The CPC got slightly more seats than I expected, but I suspect that it was center-right Liberals voting CPC that pushed it the last few seats, because when it comes right down to it, a center-right Liberal is more afraid of the NDP than the CPC by a fair margin.

    I expect at least another eight years of CPC majority government from this point in.

  13. As far as the NDP is concerned, I don't really expect them to last past the next election.

    I simple don't think they have the talent in caucus, and they're too far left to capture the center, which despite what some may think, is still the single largest group of voters.

    Whatever happens over the next eight years, the progressive center needs to do the work to get its electoral act together and stop splitting the damn vote.

    As long as we're running under a first past the post system, having more than two parties is always going to create havoc in terms of fair representation of the public's opinion.

  14. Everyone posting is assuming gradual change with a slight shift to the right — more likely will be a hard right turn masked as well as Steve can manage as "evolutionary". It won't much matter how the other parties evolve when we see what they have to work with in four years.

  15. Was Layton's rally broadcast from Nurenburg?
    NDP, NDP, NDP, …

    not one NPD

    I noticed all Maple leaf flags, no Fleur de Lis flags …

    What did Quebecois vote for? Not radical socialism.
    … trouble ahead with no bargaining power at all now.

  16. Jack will have little if any influence simply because the Tory majority will do whatever it likes. The next 4 years will probably be good for the economy and voters usually stick with the government in power, giving them the credit for it. The NDP's main concern will be if the LPC can find a leader the public connects with, then votes will leave the NDP.

  17. I don't think Harper will be doing anything really radical before Ontario votes in October.

    • I just realised that Ontario will be voting less than two weeks before the federal election in 2015. It's really stupid to set fixed election dates where they will inevitably conflict with provincial elections. The federal election should be set in February or March.

  18. With so many questionable decision making, choices, and lame excuses (like "community clinic"?), I question the character of this guy!

  19. I know, I've been here on and off (lots of off, admittedly) for quite awhile now.

    Believe me, I'm not bothered by Emily.

  20. "I predict that the CPC will govern well"

    For the good of the country I hope you're right – but I sincerely doubt it.

  21. There's no way that the NDP would've been ready for power today. 4 years of accumulating experience in government and consolidating their news MPs and supporters is exactly what they need to have a credible shot at government. Minority government is a very difficult position to maintain, and making a botch of it could've poisoned NDP prospects for a generation. Examples of this would be BC and Ontario, where perceptions of poor NDP government in the '90s still carry repercussions with the electorate today. I still wouldn't be happy to see the NDP in power even in 4 years, but I'd be far happier seeing a seasoned and competent political organization as opposed to a group of bumbling amateurs.

  22. That's a bit far-fetched. The Conservatives won 40% of the popular vote, the NDP won 31% of the popular vote. The Liberals took home about 19%. If the Liberal party hadn't existing in this election, we don't know where that vote would've gone. The Liberals ran a campaign on a left-leaning platform this time, but that doesn't necessarily imply that all of their vote would've gone NDP. The Liberals traditionally run to the left, govern to the right, and their supporters know it. The Conservatives won a big victory, and the NDP scored impressive gains toward eventually forming a federal government.

    • In my riding, the Liberal MP came third; the NDP second. In past elections, the NDP vote has been pretty low; the Liberals have been comfortably in the lead with the Cons mid-pack.

      I don't have the numbers from the last election, but it doesn't seem like there was much CPC growth; the difference is largely the split between Libs & NDP. Combined, the two are comfortably ahead of the CPC. It was the shift of a significant portion of Lib votes to the NDP that allowed the CPC victory – not anysurge in CPC support.

      From what I've read, this is true in many Ont ridings that went blue.

  23. All of these things are passing, skewed heavily by succesive minority gov'ts and the inability of the LP to get its feet under it and rebuild after being rebuffed for adscam without every truly being 'punnished'.

    I doubt this will be a reoccuring trend given 4 years for the Libs to rebuild, and all the countries problems settled squarely on the CPC shoulders. They will have nobody to blame, the voters wont be as succeptible to scare tactics and I don't forsee a sizeable chunk of Canadians being particularly smitten with Harper. Leadership is a heavy burdenm which Harper has largely shirked unto the opposition blaming them for all Canada's trials.

  24. 4 years is a short time, yes, but not to anyone who is living in Canada and has to live through the Conservative majority (whom doesn't want to).

    Like you've said though, the NDP has been granted quite an opportunity to mount a campaign for 2015. Who knows what will happen with regard to (consolidation of the Liberals and the NDP), but regardless, the NDP have a chance to position themselves as (not) conservatives. Invariably, with the ebb and flow of politics, some Canadians will be frustrated with what the Conservatives do with their majority, and as such, if the NDP can swing 50+ seats their way, they'd make history — again.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  25. Will someone remind Jack that the NDP was not in power in Saskatchewan it was the CCF that accomplished things in a different era.The glow will soon die in Quebec when they see he has less power than Duceppe who always played the separation card. Jack no longer is power broker by using his threat to vote against every government bill.He has no choice  having been sucked in by the Liberals now his first act will be to have to vote once more against a budget that even the head of the Labor Council thought was good.Not only is he now beholdin to the unions but the separatist vote that got him into official opposition .A protest vote that will soon be shown  as a hollow victory.Oh Yes and Jack drop the cane and try another prop.People with much more serious back injuries  don’t even use them. 

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