Tease the day: Who’s talking about the New Democratic Party?

The Liberals keep stealing the spotlight from the Official Opposition

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

CP/Fred Chartrand

You won’t see this guy’s picture much in this morning’s papers. Every time some journalist writes about a federal Liberal, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s eye must twitch. This morning, it’s probable leadership contender Marc Garneau’s turn to find his way into John Ivison’s front-page column in the National Post—a piece that also looks more broadly at how the Liberals, by outflanking the Conservatives on key economic issues, might reawaken a voter base of some kind. Postmedia’s Michael Den Tandt fawns over Justin Trudeau’s decisive support of CNOOC’s $15-billion takeover of energy producer Nexen. The Toronto Star’s Tim Harper says something is happening in Calgary Centre, where a byelection campaign has both the Liberals and the Greens—but not the NDP—challenging the Conservative stranglehold on the riding. Indeed, you have to search pretty deeply to find much mention at all of the Official Opposition in this morning’s papers.

None of this is indicative of any larger electoral shift that will see the Liberals reclaim second place, or even first place, in the House of Commons. Despite what a few polls are saying, Postmedia’s Andrew Coyne reminded us yesterday, the Liberals could well remain the third party for some time.

So why is everyone talking about them so damn much?


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with an elusive truce between Israeli forces and Hamas militants. The National Post fronts the same storyline. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with $2 million worth of toy theft from Toronto’s Salvation Army. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s unwavering support of Israel. iPolitics fronts former environment minister Jim Prentice talking about the geopolitical consequences of diversified Canadian oil exports. National Newswatch showcases a CTV News story about an annual $20,000 housing allowance collected by Senator Patrick Brazeau for claiming a principal residence in Maniwaki, Que.—a house neighbours say he rarely visits.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Cigarette warnings. The feds are hoping an Ontario court will dismiss a suit filed by a tobacco company that complains mandated advertising violates its freedom of expression. 2. Child benefits. An anti-poverty coalition is calling on the government to clean up its assortment of child tax credits and boost the amount of money poor parents can receive.
3. Pot laws. A majority of Canadians polled recently say current marijuana laws aren’t doing the job. Two-thirds of respondents preferred either legalization or decriminalization. 4. “Provincial” MPs. Ottawa MP David McGuinty, a Liberal, accused a number of Alberta MPs of thinking only of their province’s interests when it comes to oil sands and broader energy issues.




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Tease the day: Who’s talking about the New Democratic Party?

  1. 1. Even *if* freedom of expression translates to freedom of lack of expression — which I don’t think automatically follows — health and safety trumps it. IMO

    2. Not sure why this is a story.. that’s kind of what they do.

    3. I think we need to define what the “job” is, exactly, then moving forward would become easier.

    4. It seems McGuinty doesn’t quite understand the point of an MP.. that’s what they’re supposed to do. And they’re supposed to be balanced out by the other MPs doing exactly the same thing.

  2. Oh, please, the NDP had a great deal of coverage for their leadership campaign, months and months (and months, a veritable forever really). Winning all those seats to become official oppo was a huge victory for NDP. Now that they are there, they need to fight harder for the limelight and try to continue to be relevant to Canadians. Overall, kudos to Bob Rae for his performance in the HoC that has kept the Liberals in the media now and then, and helped them stay relevant despite third party status. Mulcair is strong in HoC but still quite unknown to most Canadians, and I don’t know how any official oppo party is supposed to take on the bully government that refuses to debate policy or answer questions.

    Moreover, let me assure you that Andrew Coyne doesn’t actually know everything.

    • I thought Coyne had some good advice. “Before you can broaden the tent you will have to narrow it. You have avoided doing so until now. You can avoid it no longer.” And he makes a good point that the other 2 parties have done the same thing before rising to government/official opposition status.

  3. “So why is everyone talking about them so damn much?”

    PJ O’Rourke ~ The principle feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things. It’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.

    • That’s a ridiculous characterization of what it means to be a liberal. It’s also hypocritical. Hard-right conservatives promote their own aristocracy (plutocracy) and they also take a hard stand on moral issues (getting “tough on crime.”)

  4. “Postmedia’s Andrew Coyne reminded us yesterday, the Liberals could well remain the third party for some time.”

    Coyne is making too much of the whole “third party” thing. The question is not whether a third-placed party can win an election. It’s whether the traditional third party can hold its lead over the Liberals. It could be a fluke, especially considering the charismatic leader who did all the heavy lifting is now passed away.

    Politics are fickle. The best case against democracy is to spend 5 minutes with the average voter talking about the issues. So anything can happen in 2015. A charismatic leader has a bigger effect than policies.

    Today’s NP: Justin Trudeau-led Liberals would win election backed by women, middle-aged Canadians, poll suggests
    “Under Trudeau, 39% of respondents in a Forum Poll for the National Post said they would vote for the Grits, while the Conservatives would take 30% and the NDP would fall to 23% — less than a quarter of the popular vote.”
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/21/justin-trudeau-led-liberals-would-win-election-backed-by-women-middle-aged-canadians-poll-suggests/

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