Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canadian Federalection 2008 - Typical Liberal last minute strategy

In the 2000 election, the Liberals poigned the thought of a Stockwell Day led Canadian Alliance government. They took Stock's cockiness and translated it as a beacon call to leftists to unite under the Liberals. It worked. It especially worked because the right was still divided.

This divide and conquer method is a sneaky trick in Canadian politics, one the Conservatives tried this election by painting Dion's carbon tax as THE issue, dividing the already divided Liberals even further and having those old left Liberal votes drip to the NDP, Greens, or Bloc.

The method didn't work so well in Quebec, where the drip went to the Bloc as the Conservatives failed to divide and conquer properly there by announcing changes to the Young Offenders Act to try 14 year olds violent offenders. While that policy shore up support in Southern Ontario and the West, that coupled with the arts movement in Montreal shuttered any big Quebec breakthrough. Too bad really.

Watch for British Columbia though, where the big vote split on the left will allow many Conservatives to "shoot up the middle" and win.

With the Conservatives at about 34% going into the weekend, they'll be shy of that majority by about 20 seats. Some say if they hit 38%, then it's possible, due to the pile of votes splits on the left.

And the Liberals know it. Which is why Dion, on the last day of the campaign, called for an end to vote splitting. This is the same strategy they used in 2000, but this time, they'll fall short.

But here's what I don't get.

Many of these "progressives" on the left, including soft NDP supporters call for a proportional representation (PR) system. Perhaps if you actually voted NDP and Green, more MPs from those parties would get elected and you'd have more of a say on the issue rather than being all "scared" about Harper and being coyed into voting Liberal--a party that doesn't support PR.

As well, the more folks that vote NDP and Green, the more money they get from the new election party finance laws... $1.75/vote to be exact.

The Liberals are broke, in debt, and Dion's still in about $700,000 of debt. They have no grassroots support so little money coming in. Their old big corporate donors can only give $1100 or so.

The NDP and Greens have run excellent campaigns with leaders saying smart, articulate things. The NDP particularly have had slick TV ads, and Jack Layton has been outstanding right from the first day. He is an effective MP and opposition leader--much more effective than Dion ever was this past session.

The Liberals won't win this election, so voting for them is a waste. I encourage all of my NDP and Green friends to for once vote for the party they actually WANT to vote for, not against, which is never a wasted strategy.

Heck, I did it in 1993, 1997, 2000 when I voted Reform/Canadian Alliance. I wanted a strong opposition and while I didn't agree with all of their policies, there were some major issues that I did agree with. I never thought they'd form government but I didn't ever vote Progressive Conservative either.

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