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Interesting election May 2

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, April 26th, 2011 - 9 comments
Categories: election 2011, electoral systems, International - Tags:

Canada will go to the polls on May 2. That election has just got a whole lot more interesting. The latest poll has the New Democrat Party at 28% and rising, while the Conservatives, Liberal and Greens are falling.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has led a minority government since 2008. The election was brought on because the Liberal party forced a vote of confidence in March, and the NDP and Bloc Quebecois all supported it. Harper had to apologise for the royal wedding and go to the polls.

If this trend holds through to the election next Monday, and that is a big “if” in Canada’s FPP system spread across the North American continent, these numbers could see a legitimate NDP-led minority government. According to the pollster: “Together, the NDP and Liberals would have a clear majority with 38 more seats than the Conservatives, as well as a collective 20 more points in popular vote”. That would be huge.

The NDP was formed by the Canadian Labour Council and the Co-operative Commonwealth foundation in 1956. It has never been in government federally, but is the current provincial government in Manitoba and Nova Scotia. I have many good friends in the CLC and NDP  and would love to see it do well – we can learn a lot from them.

Again according to the pollster: “The NDP rise is not a blip, but rather a steady progression throughout the campaign that exploded last week and is now rocking most parts of the country. And because the NDP leads as the second-choice pick for voters, Graves said the growth potential may not be fully exhausted yet. Women and younger voters are the biggest demographic groups moving over to the NDP camp. Graves believes Layton’s leadership style, his message of change and scandal-free record are appealing to voters. “They like his positive style, funny disposition, courageous demeanour with his cane and getting out there talking about the average guy. I think that’s really working,” he said. “It’s a nice contrast to what they see as this sullen, controlling style of the prime minister or this intellectual style of Michael Ignatieff (the Liberal leader).”

 

9 comments on “Interesting election May 2 ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Canada need to seriously sort out what it is doing with its tar sands and environmental despoilation, and start saving for a rainy day (sovereign oil fund). Instead of getting state and national govts giving tax cuts to the rich to try and stay in power. Alberta, are you listening.
     
    The country is already becoming addicted to petrodollars.
     
    Mike, does the NDP have a position on proportional representation?

  2. ianmac 2

    Wasn’t Harper trying to destroy unionism, like some states in USA and some believe here in NZ? Then Harper tried to dodge democratic processes didn’t he like…….

  3. Mike Smith 3

    @CV They supported proportional representation in the referendum on MMP held in Ontario in 2007. This was defeated 2 to 1; key arguments against were too many MPs and back room selections; also the education programme by Elections Canada was regarded by many as poor.

  4. ChrisH 4

    The NDP’s secret weapon really is the current Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, an aristocratic White Russian foreign policy wonk and Isaiah Berlin worshipper (a type of Young Fogey), who might have seemed the coming man in the era of high Blairism ten years ago, but whose skill-set seems almost laughably irrelevant in the face of an election being fought along “it’s the economy stupid” lines in 2011. The kind of guy who thinks manual labour’s the Spanish ambassador, as Alliance stalwart Cliff Robinson once put it.

  5. joe90 5

    A blogger lists the top ten reasons to end the reign of Stephen Harper.

    • aj 5.1

      I love this comment on that blog

      “Canada started with British government, American technology, and French taste. But it now displays French government, British technology, and American taste. How sad!”

  6. Samuel Hill 6

    very interesting debate. would like to see NDP and Bloc merge

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkFwhMvrhog

  7. swordfish 7

    Good to hear.

    The NDP had their big SUPPORT breakthrough in 2004 (rising from 9 to 16%), but experienced their big SEAT breakthrough at both the 2006 (10 more seats) and 2008 (8 more seats) general elections. Hopefully the Liberal-to-NDP swings that have occurred over recent elections (particularly in Liberal Ontario) will continue.

    I always like to keep an eye on the electoral fortunes of the Left around the world and if the NDP can keep up this momentum going into the final week it can only be good for Canada.

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