Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yes, Yes, and Yes again

I agreed so much with this article I was nodding while I read it:

Some parts I particularly liked:

The overarching promise the Liberals make to Canadians at election time is actually not about left or right but about delivering sound and pragmatic government. Competence has been the core of the Liberal brand, wherever the political winds have blown their policies.

The Liberals' humbling in the 2004 election under Paul Martin, and their subsequent defeat in 2006, were in no sense results of an ideological splintering like the one that Canadian conservatives suffered. The Liberals were brought down by the erosion of their reputation for sound governance, rooted in the sponsorship scandal, and abetted by the sluggishness that afflicts parties too long in power.

Still, a significant number of people said they had voted Liberal in 2006 but were switching to another party this time. Where did they go? Nearly 44 per cent of them said they were moving to the Conservatives. Thus, the Liberals' largest loss in the last election was to the Conservatives — not to the NDP or the Greens.
Now, consider this: The Liberals may be in a five-way fight for votes, but they are in a two-way fight with the Conservatives for government. That means that votes shifting directly between them and the Conservatives are more valuable.

This article shows the importance of building and renewing from the centre, and defining ourselfs as a resposible centrist party, one who can do more then just critize Harper, but can replace him.


WesternGrit said...

You are 100% correct about that evaluation.

We are a party of the CENTER.

Let's not get lost in the shuffle going on on the left...

We need to build our "center" position, and push the Cons back to the right - where they belong...

Gene said...

FWIW, here's my two-cents. I consider myself very much a 'leftist' person and the policies of a party like the NDP resonate much more with me than those of the LPC. Yet, at each election, I vote Liberal because of my deep conviction that the NDP will never be able to get enough votes to carry the day. And so, even though I realize that the LPC is a centrist party, more often than not tilting more to the right than to the left, I still pick it at election time.

I doubt that I am the only 'leftist' who feels that way. But more importantly, I would guess that the LPC knows that such is the voting pattern of many 'leftists'. The 'leftist' vote will always be divided as long as the NDP remains in the picture (and I personally have no wish that it disappears). There's not much there for it to garner. Rhetorically speaking, why should it spend any efforts to speak to that constituency? It just needs to show that it will keep the socons at bay and that's about all. The only way for it to make inroads in the electorate is indeed to appeal to those from the right to whom Harper's brand of conservatism is abhorent. My inkling is that the more it succeeds in doing that, the more it will attract 'leftists' like me because once again they will see the party as the only viable alternative to Harper's conservatives.

CuriosityCat said...

What the writer did not say was what the polls of those former Liberals who had voted Tory, showed with regard to their reasons for voting Tory.

If they voted Tory because they disagreed with the LPC green shift, then we need to know this.

If they voted Tory because they did not like Dion as the leader, this is also important information.

And if they voted Tory because they no longer agreed with the bulk of Liberal policies, this, too, is information we need.

Not knowing their reasons for voting Tory means the conclusions of the writer are not supported by the shift of voters to the Tories.