What now? - Macleans.ca

What now?

by

Dan Gardner considers.

In a matchup between the Conservatives and NDP, particularly at a time when voter turnout is appallingly low, the electoral math may show that moving to the centre to grab some of the dwindling number of Liberal voters is no longer the smartest option. The more effective strategy may be to identify, engage, and energize the party’s base.

That’s done two ways. One, demonize the opposition. Portray them as extreme. Call them a threat to all the base holds dear. Two, move away from the centre: Conservatives to the right, NDP to the left. If that were to happen, Canadian politics would become increasingly polarized and nasty. And Canadians would increasingly be asked to choose between two options which do not reflect the centrist views of the population as a whole.