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Sunday 14 September 2008

Election 2008

We're a week into the campaign and so far the Liberals are running an anemic effort despite the fact that Stephane Dion pledged that the party would be election ready more than a year ago. Some polls suggest the Liberals and NDP could be in a fight for second place, though this is more because of Liberal weakness than anything else as the NDP has not broken through the 20% popular vote barrier - something the party only managed to do once in federal electoral history - in 1988 when the Broadbent led party won 43 seats with 20.38% of the vote.

So far though the NDP has run a stronger campaign than the Liberals and the media is starting to take notice. The NDP ads are crisp, visually interesting and take direct aim at the Tories and are designed to position the party as the real alternative to the Tories.

The NDP are bucking a decade or so of Ontario and federal party conventional wisdom which dictated that the party should focus its efforts on the Liberals. This attempt at "triangulation" was too clever by half and actually had the effect of alienating left leaning Liberal voters. The NDP's fear has been that if they attack the Tories they will only drive their own voters to the Liberals and encourage strategic voting. However, progressive voters are first and foremost anti-Conservative and it has been pure folly for a party to try to win the progressive vote by ignoring the real enemy.
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