The last few days have have full of discussion about the rise in Jack Layton’s popularity. Hard to understand – Jack Layton is a man who has made a career demonizing corporations and confusing a desirable state of affairs with a just state of affairs. In any case, if the polls are to be believed (and the they may become a self-fulfilling prophecy), Jack Layton’s popularity will bring the NDP to heights not seen since the days of Ed Broadbent. What does this mean for the outcome of the election on May 2?
My predication is that it means a Conservative Majority!
Look at it this way:
– Mr. Layton’s increased popularity in Quebec will amount to nothing in relation to the Conservatives (the NDP will just take seats from the Bloc). It could however mean something in terms of who will be the Opposition Leader. The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Ignatieff will continue to be the Opposition Leader. That is far from certain.
– in the rest of Canada Mr. Layton’s popularity will be primarily at the expense of the Liberals. The leaking of Liberal support to the NDP gives the Conservatives an excellent opportunity to win some of the closer ridings. Interestingly, the Conservatives could actually get fewer votes but win more seats.
– The relevancy of the Green Party will be a casualty of an increase of NDP popularity.
So, the moral of the story is:
If you want a Harper Majority then Vote NDP!
Here is an interesting article written in June 2010 from a respected commentator which suggest some of the same things:
On Sunday April 9, 2011 History Television began a mini-series about the Kennedy’s. The first instalment focused on John Kennedy’s rise to the presidency of the United States. Kennedy’s first foray into Federal politics was when he ran for Congress in Boston. In any case, (whether this is true of not), according to the show, in Kennedy’s first campaign he was running against two Joseph Russos – the name Joseph Russo appeared twice on the ballot. (Presumably there was another Joseph Russo in that district.) This meant that those who wanted to vote for their Joseph Russo did not know how to indicate that their vote was for their preferred Joseph Russo. The Joseph Russo vote was split and the name John Kennedy (if not the man himself) received the largest number of votes. Because of the second Joesph Russo, John Kennedy was “victorious”. This incident is also described in an excellent article by the journalist Seymour Hirsch. Continue reading →
Democracy, The Appointment of Judges and the Charter of Rights
We are in the middle of a Federal Election. Respect for the democratic process has been an issue in this campaign. The conservative government has been the most heavily criticized of the main parties.
The grounds of criticism include:
– overriding the wishes of local riding associations in selecting candidates;
– being held in “contempt of parliament”
– renaming Canada’s parliamentary democracy “Harper Government”
– the “in and out” financing of the 2006 election
– the fact that Harper has prorogued parliament rather than face parliament
All of these allegations are deserving of investigation. That said, there is another area – which is potentially far more damaging – where Mr. Harper has exhibited a clear “contempt” for democracy. Continue reading →
The Green Party and Green Party supporters have the potential to make a big difference in the May 2 election. The Green Party is on a growth trajectory and may become a victim of its own success. Although the Greens are unlikely to win many seats (if any), they are likely to have an influence on the outcome of this election. Green Party supporters are most likely to take support from the Liberals and NDP – increasing the chance of a Conservative being elected – and potentially giving the Conservatives their coveted majority. The Conservatives, could get the same number percentage of votes as in 2008 and win a majority. To put it simply:
Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who is well connected and knowledgeable about Federal politics. The thoughts immediately turned to election prognostications. This election has a strange feel to it – kind of like people feel that they should be interested in it – even if they aren’t. Welcome to my series of thoughts on Federal Election 2011.
Why are we having this election at all? The answer is simple:
This election is NOT about the well being of the country. This election IS about the well being of the parties and the party leaders. To put it simply we are having this election because:
– Harper wants a Conservative majority government
– Ignatieff wants to be Prime Minister
– Layton wants to matter to something beyond the NDP
Political parties are private organizations whose activities are largely funded by Canadian taxpayers. Consider this:
– the election of 2011 is an activity orchestrated by The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP which will cost Canadian taxpayers in excess of 300 million dollars (Query Mr. Layton – should this 300 million not have gone to the poor instead?)
– political parties receive $1.95 from the taxpayers for each vote their party receives Continue reading →