NDP central is restrained, so far [UPDATED minutes later] - Macleans.ca

NDP central is restrained, so far [UPDATED minutes later]


No wild partying here at Jack Layton’s headquarters. It’s odd, given what’s happened. New Democrats were cheering as the results flowed in, pushing them up into the triple digits. Since them, the din has died down. Perhaps the corresponding rise of the Conservatives into majority territory is what’s keeping them from cutting loose.

Nobody in the NDP will say this, of course, but this result is arguably the best possible news for Layton. It means he will get to be Leader of the Opposition, but not face the prospect of a Tory minority falling quickly, and forcing him into a series of politically fraught decisions. Instead, it looks like he will get the traditional four years to consolidate tonight’s historic achievement.

A night when the Conservatives and NDP are both huge winners has a certain symmetry to it. In 2003, Stephen Harper united the right and Jack Layton took over the NDP. They both brought stability and professionalism to their parties. Both built through four elections of steady gains. During the years when they’ve kept teams intact, learned from mistakes, built on success, the Liberals have gone through three leaders, and even more fundamental changes in strategy.

I waded out into the crowd here a few moments ago, and there’s more staring wide-eyed at the screens than there is, say, hugging or dancing or high-fiving. Maybe that will come later. For now, an air of amazement rather than joy prevails.


Okay, I have to admit, they went pretty crazy when they heard that Peggy Nash beat Gerard Kennedy in Parkdale. This is a Toronto crowd, I guess. They want to hear about their own.

Filed under:

NDP central is restrained, so far [UPDATED minutes later]

  1. "Nobody in the NDP will say this, of course, but this result is arguably the best possible news for Layton."

    Party before country. Mr. Layton's going need a massage. So am I.

  2. So far very classy concession speech from Ignatieff

  3. the liberals are out of touch. Even Ignatieff's speech is out of touch. They don't know they're out of touch. That's the problem.

    • He seems sedated. Or possibly has been hitting the champagne a little early, when it turned out it wasn't the celebratory kind.

    • What do you expect Ignatieff to say? I thought it was a good speech, but it'll be hard for him to stay as leader since he's about to lose his seat.

      • Ignatieff speech was just like his campaign style: out of touch with ordinary canadians. The Liberals still live in times gone by. There is a modern canada coming into focus and most of the media members and academics like Ignatieff don't understand that new Canada.

        The average Canadian voter is waaayyyy ahead of the media and is surely ahead of academics like Ignatieff.

  4. I've always believed that Harper knows how to play chess while the others are playing checkers (including the media).

    Jack's win in Quebec is still at the level of playing checkers!!

    • If you think Harper OR Layton planned the NDP victory in Quebec you are whacked ot… That was a social phenomenon the likes of which one rarely sees. It was something out of this world.

      But then if you want to attribute it to Harper's strategic genius, go get another drink of that Tory kool-aid. Nobody could have predicted or planned that.

      • Sour grapes.

        Go cry yourself to sleep.

        • classy

      • I have said for the longest time that people at Macleans don;t understand Harper and have never understood him nor have they tried to understand him.

        But it's up to you. You don;t have to try and understand Harper and the smart man he is. It's up to you. Canada is changing. The Quebec separatist thread has been dealt a serious blow, and for the time being could only flee to the NDP because the NDP promised Quebeckers something special. Harper will never ever do that and thats the part of him you don't want to understand. We understand it, and over time you will too.

  5. Interesting, Canada just made a huge move to the left.

    And now we have the final battle of capitalism v socialism

    • I suppose that is one way to look at a Conservative majority!

      • We always run about 10 years behind the Americans, so we're still in our 'Bush era'.

        We'll get to our own 'Obama era' eventually.

        • Emily, it's unbelievable how out of touch you are with politics in Canada.

          BTW I can;t wait what list of excuses the central media comes up with to explain these excellent results. The central Canada media is out of touch. They really are.

          • Yawn.

          • Keep yawning Emily. The rest of the country will accept reality and move on to bigger things.

            Bye Emily (stay on this site to accomodate Wherry …….Have fun!!)

          • Bye doofus.

          • Wow a historic repudiation of EVERYTHING you've ever said in any of your comments and you actually show up and insult people ??


            Everybody on these comment boards can't contain their laughter at your behaviour right now. Show some shame.

            Cats can't believe this. Could someone really be so banal ?

          • I honestly think she is senile – that is the only thing I can think makes sense. She isn't dumb, but she doesn't make sense. Not saying this to be mean.

          • She certainly tries to sound wry and wise but it all comes out jumbled.

            Its like a primal lefty scream thrown up on the page in magic marker.

            Has Cats met his rhetorical nemesis ? Our double ? Our evil flip side reverse ?


            There is coherence and soul and jazz to the internet phenom known as Cats.

            I did just help win an election after all.

            Cats away!

          • This thread is quite a breakthrough for her. Normally she's psychologically incapable of allowing someone else to have the last word. But not on this thread.

            She's not senile. Just obstinate. And somewhat deluded and dishonest.

  6. Looks like Liz May has won a seat in BC….Lunn goes down.

    • Comfort in small victories?

      • No. Just surprised.

  7. I believe Ignatieff lost his seat. That's at least some good news.

    • Somewhere tonight, I'm sure Dion can't help but chortle.

      • You're assuming he would prefer to see his own party suffer due to his own personal lack of success in the last election. Not a favourable view of Dion.

        • No, I'm assuming he's human like the rest of us….and however much he may regret the general outcome, I'm sure he's human enough to enjoy seeing the backstabber go down.

          • Some people are gracious losers. Not all, that's for sure.

          • Don't judge everyone by yourself.

    • Both Ignatieff and Duceppe. Has there ever been an election where two leaders in the house lost their seats?

  8. Ignatieff looses his seat and Harper will give his victory speech from donwtown Calgary….times they are a changin'


  9. Funny listening to Jack say what Canadians voted for. Of course, Canadians have voted for the Conservative platform. Why are our politicians so deluded? Almost purposefully so.

    • Canada just took a huge leap to the left….with the NDP and Greens.

      It's right there, under your nose.

      • I truly grow tiresome of you.

        Canada just voted in a Conservative majority. That is right there under your nose.

        Over the next four years, Harper has a chance to shore these results up, and pave the way for another decade (starting today) of Conservative government. Or, of course, he might screw up huge, and pave the way for a reaction vote. Either way, you are patently incapable of seeing this Conservative victory. Good for you. See you in four years when Canada is better than ever.

        • LOL well you are certainly tiresome without my help.

          Canada just took a huge leap to the left, whatever Conbots see through that blue mist.

          • Glad you got my joke. Bye bye Emily.

          • I have always considered koolaid a joke….bye bye

          • "no polls show a Conservative majority"
            "the US has a low corporate tax rate"

            Emily are you really going to stick around these boards for 5 years while Harper goes on to a strong second majority ?

            Cats in disbelief.

          • Anybody hear a funny muffled meow from that box?

            Nah…didn't think so.

          • Bitter ?

            You were PC and that party now no longer exists. You were a Liberal and now that party no longer exists.

            Maybe become a Green ? I find Lizzy May annoying. You could destroy that party too with your off putting, offensive, displeasing daily screeds.

            Wretched and catty, banshee wale (SEXIST ALERT?!)

            Good God Cats.

        • If you break it down by popular vote, Emily is correct.

          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.

          • Yes…I'm sure that we are bound to hear this fallacy put forward millions (and millions) of times over the next four years.

          • Whip out your calculator and tell me different.

          • Sigh…

            One of the reasons that the Cons got their majority tonight is because right leaning Liberals voted Con because they were horrified at the prospect of PM Jack Layton. I would suggest that probably not all right leaning Liberals voted Con though. And that's the point. Go ahead and unite the left already so we can be done with this silly talking point. It is a fallacy because you cannot simply add up those parties numbers and claim they represent some unified whole. They do not. Thinking they do is a pathetic sign of desperation, demonstrating that you are simply not willing to accept reality. If the left is united, the vote will not break down 60/40, so get over it.

            I think I heard that west of Quebec, Harper got over 50 percent of the vote, and those parts of Canada are soon to receive 30 extra seats.

            It's time for the LIbs to stop pretending that they still are the natural governing party, and to start doing some grassroots work. Canadians prefer Harper and the Conservatives. It was tough for me to swallow Chretien in the 90's, so I understand what you are going through.

          • "I think I heard that west of Quebec, Harper got over 50 percent of the vote"

            You heard wrong.

          • You're right. Just under. And only 56% voter turnout in Alberta, because everyone knows who's going to win there.

            Ontario 5,496,368 Con 2,443,870
            Man 491,225 Con 262,732
            Sask 455,053 Con 256,004
            Alta 1,386,284 Con 926,938
            BC 1,818,966 Con 829,639
            NWT 15,577 Con 5,001
            Nunavut 8,247 Con 4,111
            Yukon 15,877 Con 5,389

            Total 9,687,597 Con 4,733,684

          • "It is a fallacy because you cannot simply add up those parties numbers and claim they represent some unified whole. "

            That's right. You can only assume that majority of voters supports those issues on which they all agree.
            For example:

            Untendered fighter jets.
            "tough on crime"
            climate change
            corporate taxes
            per vote subsidy

            Pretty clear how Canadian voted on those issues.

          • Did you really just give me Ignatieff's talking points? The same one's that just won him 34 seats, not including his own?

          • If Ignatieff's "taking points" involved simply listing issues without offering any position on them, no wonder he lost.

          • I just read another article elsewhere, and it claimed that we pretty much would never have had a majority gov't, if we had proportional representation.

            Every party gets a chance to whine about it, but it is the facts of life.

          • Absolutely true. It's extremely difficult for a single party to get 50% of the vote, unless there are only two parties. And those people that wish to claim that the 60% of the voters who voted for parties that lost are some kind of amorphous blob that could be united to vote for a single party, that's ridiculous. The Cons would gain significantly from a merger of any two of those parties.

            The Liberals, in particular, likely held onto a large number of voters that would never vote NDP. The 18% that voted Liberal voted for them knowing that the NDP were the only party within reach of the Cons. What does that tell you about their opinion of the NDP? It tells you that they preferred to NOT help the NDP overcome the Cons.

          • "It tells you that they preferred to NOT help the NDP overcome the Cons. "

            Nah. It tells you that they preferred to NOT help the Cons overcome the NDP.

          • That doesn't make any sense – the Cons were in front for the entire campaign, and always at a level that could potentially deliver a majority.

          • And yet they preferred to NOT help the Cons overcome the NDP in order to do so.

          • Fascinating….truly fascinating.

          • Thankee….Cons can never see the forest for the trees.

          • Nope.

            We just keep winning though.

            Gloating Cats. How can you question us in victory ? Your politics lies in shambles.

    • "Canadians have voted for the Conservative platform. "

      Very sly those Canadians – voting for the Conservative platform by voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens or Bloc.

      • Huh…I thought this election was supposed to have taught us about how our democratic system works. I guess you can't expect everyone to get it.

        • What part don't you get?

  10. …maybe Layton will make a good OLO after all…

    • It's not really Layton who will be interesting – it is the other 102 nuts that he brings with him. :)

  11. Another bizarre fact:
    Both Duceppe and Ignatieff lost their seats. Has there even been an election where two party leaders in the House lost their seats?
    And despite Harper's success, so far he's lost at least two cabinet ministers, Lunn and Cannon. Bizarre.

    • Yup, it's been an interesting election all round.

      • Interesting?

        If you mean better then hoped for, then yes, it was very interesting.

        By the way, any reason you are avoiding Aaron's blog?

        • LOL yes, I'm tickled about the results.

          Aaron's blog?…no…I just pick the one at the top of the page. Why?

        • She's not kidding. She writes a gazillion comments on every blog.

    • 5 cabinet ministers gone in all.

  12. Heh. Jack Layton gets to live in public housing again.

  13. jaysus – is Jack STILL talking?