quinn esq's picture

    Canuckistan About To Be Overrun By Socialist Hordes

    Acanuck is supposed to be covering this, but I thought you'd all be delighted to hear that Canada's socialists are a week away from what would be an historic election upset. Hell, THE election upset of all time up here in the Great White North.

    i.e. WINNING!!!1

    The NDP ("New Democrats" aka "the friggin' Socialists") are Canada's traditional electoral midgets when it comes to the Federal level. They and their leaders have long been beloved by Canadians, and widely-recognized as the moral conscience of Canadian politics - especially after starting Medicare at the Provincial level.

    But they were never seen as having a serious chance at winning Federally. And so, it was felt that an NDP vote would be "wasted." Which means that even after forming governments in 5 provinces (and holding 2 today), the NDP never moved above 3rd or 4th place nationally - through 50 years of elections.

    Just 10 years ago, in fact, they only won 8.5% of the vote. 

    Except that, in the past two weeks, the NDP vote has doubled, to 28%. This is enough that they would win ~100 seats and see their leader (my MP) Jack Layton, become the next Prime Minister, while forming the core of the next Government (potentially with Liberal minority support.)

    I have worked on and for this for 25 years, and while there are all sorts of reasons driving the change, I can assure you of one thing - NO ONE in the party, including its leader, saw this possibility arising so fast. In two weeks, the party has gone from one foot in the grave to one foot in the PM's office. Perhaps it's the sudden humanizing of the NDP leader (presently fighting cancer and carrying a cane)... Or perhaps the near-universal hatred for the other major leaders... Or maybe the last election debate just "precipitated" votes out of a super-saturated solution of general good will that's long existed toward the NDP and its leaders.

    Or maybe people are just likkered up.

    After all, it is Spring, and we've been in these cabins for a long time this Winter. It can make a man do goofy things. Look at Dick. And he's in balmy Minnesota.

    Anyway. For those of us on the NDP side of the tracks, we're... ecstatic. Rolling in the snow and peeing ourselves, basically. I mean, who could have imagined:

    - Driving out the despised Stephen Harper (think Newt Gingrich but with just the one wife) and his Right Wing Tea Partying Conservative freaks?

    - And hammering the Liberals down into 3rd place?

    - And watching both Harper and Ignatieff then have to personally resign as leaders...?

    - And reducing the separatist Bloc Quebecois to almost nothing in Quebec?

    Not one of these things was imagined as possible two weeks ago.  

    Really, it's a bit too much to take in. And sure, there's a significant likelihood the dream will crash. But acanuck can probably do a better job than I of tossing on some cold water. Thing is, this past week, as we've all waited for it to flop, the NDP surge has just kept on... surging.

    Personally, that's what I think has done the trick. A sharp rise in surge-osity.

    And now, with only a week left, it may be too late for the opposition to stop it entirely.


    P.S. If I may, I'd like to avoid discussions of the fact that this is a Parliamentary system, and thus could never happen in the US, etc. Been there, nothing to be gained from that. Besides, there are a lot of other interesting things going on in this case. I may write a bit more personal view later - as opposed to a silly overview - but for now, The Globe (below) has the basics. 

    From the Toronto Globe and Mail:

    The NDP is rapidly outdistancing the Liberals and has whittled the Conservative lead to single digits – a level of support that would see Jack Layton win 100 seats on May 2, says the latest poll from EKOS Research.

    Under that scenario, the NDP would still come in second in seat count to the Conservatives, but the support of the third-place Liberals would give Mr. Layton a working majority in the House of Commons.

    “We’re in terra incognita here,” EKOS president Frank Graves said.

    The EKOS poll... gave the Conservatives 33.7% support nationally; the NDP had 28% support; the Liberals, 23.7%; the Green Party, 7.2%; and the Bloc Québécois, 6.2%.

    If those numbers held true on election day... the Conservatives would lose seats, dropping to 131, while the NDP would garner 100 seats, more than double its previous best result.... The Liberal caucus would... fall to 62 seats, and the Bloc would be a shadow of itself, with just 14 MPs.

    Globe article.


    But c'mon quinn.  Yours is a parliamentary system, and thus could never happen here in the U.S.

    Plus when we get likkered up, we get mean.

    Seriously.  It sounds like you'll end up with just enough, but on the off chance y'all wind up with any extra socialists, send 'em on down.  Or, if that's askin' too much, just send down your left over Grits.  Either way would do us some good.   

    I'm not sure you'd be ajumpin' and acelebratin' should a parcel arrive, COD, containing one self-staining Michael Ignatieff, needing to be changed. 

    That's one ugly pile o grits.

    Ignatieff looking his most naturally happy. As you can see, it's... not that good. 

    Glad the NPD is doing well. And if that's at the expense of the Liberals, so be it.  I can't share in the anticipatory pleasure in Ignatieff's downfall. Anyone who wrote  "The needs of  strangers"  deserves some consideration. Anyone here read it , besides me?   

    Seems like part of the dynamic is that the Ignatieff and the Liberals are getting pummelled by both sides. From the Citizen:

    When the history of the campaign is written, [Layton's] attack on Ignatieff during the leaders' debate — "You know, most Canadians, if they don't show up for work, they don't get a promotion. You missed 70 per cent of the votes" — will be a defining moment. Ignatieff was caught of guard and it was a very practical thing that people remember.

    So Layton has really pulled this one off - getting his hits in, yet nevertheless being regarded as the nice sunny guy in the race. Nice platform too: immediate exit from Afghanistan, cap and trade and ... even providing electricity to Nova Scotia, I see (pt. 2.6)!!

    It doesn't even look like the Conservatives are planning to switch their attack ads and go after Layton instead of Ignatieff in the last week. So I can't see how it can suddenly turn south for the NDP at this point, no matter how hard the Liberals attack them.

    The Conservatives have long attacked Iggy as being arrogant as well as for having been out of Canada for many years. Which both happen to be true. Layton then just hit the most basic political button, asking why this guy Ignatieff who was blowing on about how the Conservatives were destroying Parliament, never bothered to show up himself. The key though was that every Canadian knew Layton showed up, even while battling cancer, and after a hip operation just before the campaign, and had to use a cane at the debate! ** Surprise though, is that a lot of the potential NDP votes are actually from the Bloc, the Greens and the Tories, not just Iggy. I mean, the NDP are CRUSHING the Bloc!?? WTF? ** For me, the NDP platform is fun to look at, seeing pieces long in the works provincially getting picked up nationally. The National Grid, the small business tax cut, the energy retrofit, and the originally-stolen-from-Blair 5 first steps you can recite on the doorstep. You don't have to hard sell Jack on this stuff, when it comes to policy, he goes after them like a pig on truffles!!

    Yeah, I obviously haven't been keeping up. The NDP crushing the Bloc is just amazing, maybe Acanuck has some kind of explanation. I found this which seemed plausible

    For 20 years, soft nationalists parked their votes with the Bloc. But it appears that the party has finally run out of things to say. While Mr. Duceppe tells Quebecers that the Bloc is the only party that can speak for them, and at the same time thunders that Ottawa perennially shortchanges their province, the logical conclusion is that the Bloc has been completely ineffective in advancing Quebec's concerns. Enter Mr. Layton's leftist NDP, which shares the same positions on a spate of issues, including social programs, gay marriage, abortion, gun control and the war in Afghanistan, add Mr. Duceppe's pathetic plea to vote Bloc as "the only party that can stop Harper," and it's no wonder Quebecers are turned off: eau de desperation is about as sexy as Mr. Duceppe's hairnet.

    But still, the NDP is really coming from nowhere in Quebec, right? I was just a kid at the time but I always found the politics in Quebec strange. My dad - an old school small-c conservative - loved Reagan, loathed Mulroney and ... adored Levesque. Go figure...

    Thanks for this Q. Exciting stuff!

    I regard Rene Levesque as the most amazing politician I have seen in my lifetime. I think Everybody, secretly or publicly, LOVED that little guy. Chain-smoking, wrinkled all to hell, mumbling, but funny, smart, quick, and obviously gave a damn. Considering he was THE face of the separatists, and thus, officially the most hated man in English Canada, quite amazing. Like Ken Livingstone, Bill Clinton and Tommy Douglas all rolled into one. ** Quebec has been Left of Canada for decades, and it's always driven us nuts that they've channelled that into the desire for a separate country, where they could thn move left, alone. And disdained the idea of moving left WITH the rest if Canada. But now, with Layton being from Quebec, and bei fairly fluent, he seems to have convinced some that he's a possible bridge to a better set of policies. And as you say, an aging Bloc can't hold them. ** Sooooo...... Game on!!

    Game on indeed!

    Just thought I'd dump a little video link here with Jack Layton, to get a feel for the man. His explanation for their success in Quebec starts around 4:20.


    NDP Leader Jack Layton responds to questions... par tvnportal

    Hilarious. The piece isn't available in my country!!!!

    Anyhoo. Here's a few for you. 1st, an early one that ran in Quebec.

    Here's a new one. Targeting women, but also... beginning to hit that being part of a movement, just "Imagine" button.  

    Here's an early ad targeting Ignatieff's attendance. They were smart on this ad. Jack's a stiff speaker, with stiff body language, so they make the other leaders into cardboard puppets. 

    And also, a fairly straight-forward smackdown on corporate giveaways by Harper. A theme they've built on for years.

    And because this election comes so soon after the 2008 one, the messages form that one are still embedded with people. I like these "chalk talk" ones on the economy. Not sure these could run in the States from a Dem candidate. I'd certainly like to see one though!

    And just so I'm not accused of being too one-sided, here's one of the Conservative's pre-emptive attack ads, that they ran months before the election. Sweet people.

    Thanks for those. Great stuff. Just fyi, the one I put up was a press conference in Montreal. Layton handles himself extremely well, I thought. not wooden at all. Smart, charming, thoughtful, authentic and relaxed. And his explanation of their gains in Quebec pretty much echoes what you said.

    What a fascinating turn of events!

    I was thinking of the U.K and France and even Canada as turning in a more conservative manner over the last decade just like our state governments and, of course in our House.

    Now you have my interest. I want to see how this all turns out!

    Maybe we can learn a thing or two from all of this.

    It must be wonderful for you seeing your horse coming on so strong after a quarter of a century!

    Well, I am going to try to learn a little bit every day about how government works for our Northern Neighbors.

    Hey Dick! One thing about Jack Layton is that, even though he's had the hardest time with his health, he is just plain HAPPIER and more positive, more energetic than his opponents. In a time when people feel pretty grey and hopeless, that's turning out to be a real draw. It's Jack vs. "The Angry Men." ** And yes, like the UK and France, there was some pull to the right post the economic Crash. But only a weak one. E.g. Harper can only get a minority up here. Same in Britain with Cameron, who is now running behind in the polls I believe. Sarkozy is also weak, and Berlusconi and even Markel is struggling. (Which is another reason why I regard the whole Libya adventure as more an electoral "stunt" by the European right, than a properly thought through intervention.) Anyway. These bastards on the Right are not deeply or widely loved. The Center and Left just have to get serious. A bit of fighting spirit is required. I mean, Jack Layton is actually NOT, in any way, a man you would regard as physically aggressive. But the word "fight" now frequently falls from is lips. And funny thing, because he's fighting cancer, people DO regard him as a fighter. We need a bit of edge - a happy warrior. ** The other thing is that the NDP's policies are absolutely focussed on people's bills, their family budgets and pressures and unemployment and pension and tuition and health hassles. It's been SO focussed on that, that you don't even need to say it anymore. ** And God in Heaven, yes, it is FUN again! ** Here's their platform page. It's got a PDF of the platform itself. Maybe some bits useful for the states, who knows? http://www.ndp.ca/platform

    Congratulations. Q; it must seem like a holiday to you.   ;o)  Hope you let Mr. B know about it.  And don't hit me; just can't this outta my head now; try not to smack me for puttin' up the BeeGees. We were all young once...   Innocent

    As you know, evils such as the B** G**s are STRICTLY forbidden, NO exceptions, NO special pleading.

    UNLESS brought into the room by the Reverend Al. ;-)

    he is just plain HAPPIER and more positive, more energetic than his opponents.

    Heresy! WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?!! You can't be left without outrage! If not an angry fighter, he must be a fraud fake phony! Happy is not good, angry is good.

    Tongue out

    In a time when people feel pretty grey and hopeless, that's turning out to be a real draw

    Shouldn't be rocket science. If one looks at it through blogospheric glasses, though, where many "on the left" still seem locked into the paradigm of Bush era Outrage Blogging, I guess anything else seems like rocket science.

    Oddly, Jack does outrage - when it comes to wars, homelessness, racial or sexual violence, commissions and inquiries and committees and communities, Jack'll be there.

    But the thing is, he's always been happier, more cheerful about it, than anyone else. Even with the finger wagging and the chiding and all. And this election, he basically reduced the chiding a half notch, doubled the cheerfulness, and.... he's our happy moral conscience!

    Layton, the Happy Warrior. 

    Yea Quinn.  Go for it buddy.  NDP and Quinn, a winning combination!


    This is actually a fine comment on Canadian politics, Resistance. No one seems to have any idea at all what's happening. Smile

    Quinn, this is such great news that I fear it might be a hoax, or that I've been transported in time.

    The fact that the support materialized so quickly and strongly, and is from the grass roots, gives me a great deal of hope that what is happening in Wisconsin is similar and has the potential to turn out the over-reaching conservatives next time around.  

    It feels to me like people are poking their noses out of their shelters, sniffing the air and beginning to step forward. But their numbers are still limited, and it's all a bit tenuous. I'm damn sure it's tenuous up here. We'll see....

    More widely, I'm just hoping we don't have another globally traumatic event for a while, and that some positive politicians can begin to voice the feelings people are having. Because I think there are a lot of people who went quiet, but still felt the Conservative/Republican/Big Money way wasn't right. But they needed to be appealed to, to get them to come out.

    Which is still what drives me nuts about the national Democrats. They just don't seem to have found a way (or perhaps, a will) to mobilize people. Which leaves the field, by default, to the nutbars. 

    Until Wisconsin, of course, which gave a lot of us hope. It was fairly widely seen up here, and who knows how these things work, but the mood carries over. Let's hope.

    The little people, poking their noses out.

    And their slogan, "We Can Do This!"

    Great job of subbing, quinn. Seriously. I'm as giddy as you are. (Don't you love five-week election campaigns? Like speed dating with slightly less prospect of sex.)

    This is the most volatile federal election I've seen, though the 1993 one that cut the Conservative majority to a two-seat rump rivals it for drama. I intended to do a pre-vote wrapup just about now, but the damn polls wouldn't stop moving. I kept waiting in vain for the NDP to peak or their bubble to burst.

    One poll even puts the New Democrat ahead in Gilles Duceppe's home riding, which would be the stunningest of upsets. I don't buy that result, but I can see where it's coming from. Duceppe's riding is perhaps Quebec's most left-leaning. At the municipal level, it's jokingly called the People's Republic of the Plateau. The Bloc is generally leftist, but above all it's Quebec nationalist. Faced with the threat of a Tory majority (and an even harder right-wing line), a lot of Duceppe's usual voters decided their priority is stopping Harper. It remains to be seen whether the NDP can pick up half of the province's seats, but the news that Quebec was even thinking of going orange sent a shock wave through the rest of the country: "Hey, maybe we can finally vote our conscience without fear that vote-splitting will give the Tories a majority."

    Yesterday's EKOS poll is the most favorable so far for Layton. I'm tempted to call it an outlier, but it's by a reputable firm with a good sampling (3,000). The most interesting finding: while the NDP is still 5.7 points behind the Conservatives as voters' first choice (28 to 33.7), it is a whopping 17.5 points ahead of them as voters' second choice. Combing first and second choices, the Conservatives and Liberals hit their ceilings at 41 per cent. The New Democrats hit theirs at 52.8! They are the ONLY party that is actually acceptable to a majority of Canadians.

    It's not clear sailing to the prime minister's mansion for Layton, though. He's made some promises to Quebec nationalists that could hurt him outside the province, and it's unlikely he can form a governing coalition with just Liberal support; he'll need the Bloc too. Finally, there's the sticky problem that the Cobservatives will almost certainly get more seats and therefore first shot at forming a government. If they introduce the same budget they already floated, the other parties can defeat it and create a de-facto coalition. But conceivably, the Tories will play it cool, softening the budget enough to win either Liberal or Bloc support. (Remember, those parties will resent their own losses to the NDP.) That could keep Layton out of the prime minister's office.

    Stay tuned, folks. They're just rounding the final turn.

    Thanks for the tip - hadn't seen that second place chart. What staggers me is that the breadth of general support seems to be - finally - translating into people now SAYING they're willing to take the next step. 

    The issues are going to be: a) Holding onto them for a week!; and, B) Motivating them and mobilizing them to actually get out and vote. I heard that in some of those Quebec seats, the NDP doesn't even have a campaign office. How about you open up your living room acanuck, organize the thing, and live blog? Maybe have Dick and Obey in as special guests? (Note: Do not invite Des. Bit of a double-dipper.)

    Appreciate the heads-up about Des, quinn. But if we're backing the Dippers, isn't a double-dipper even better?*

    I'm pretty sure I'll blog Monday night. Live blogging may be more information than most dagbloggers want, though. And it strikes me that the NDP is historically so thin on the ground in Quebec, they may be short of poll watchers. We'll see if they're desperate for help.

    I was surprised to read this morning that the New Democratic candidate has edged ahead in my own riding, which has voted solidly Liberal since it was created in 1996. The seat includes the city of Westmount, with one of the highest median incomes in Canada -- and it's trending New Democrat! The incumbent isn't some nobody either -- he's Marc Garneau, the country's first astronaut, who went on to head the Canadian Space Agency. Some weird shit is going down, dude.

    (*Dipper is slang for New Democrat, derived from the party's initials, NDP.)

    Weird is not the word for it. I'm not sure there's really anything for Daggers to compare it to.

    I mean, 30 minutes ago I was wondering if we'd see the NDP at 30%. And just now, Angus Reid comes in, with them smack on 30. did you see the one about the NDP candidate with a chance of winning, but she's the assistant bartender at the student pub, and is off in Vegas for her holiday? Asked why, somebody said, "Because she's a single Mum, and the tickets were expensive."



    Yeah, she was nominated well before the surprise election call, but she'd already booked her vacation. Probably non-refundable tickets. Most working-class voters won't hold it against her.

    WHAT! Westmount going socialist? Thats' where I grew up, so for once I feel vaguely qualified enough to say...


    Did someone off all the Eatons, Birks, Molsons, and Cohens?! Or is Ville-Marie just voting as one solid socialist block there?

    It'd be great if one of you two blog this a bit more before Monday. A low-intensity live-blog would also be highly appreciated. Sure maybe there'll just be me and Dick drunk-blogging in response, but still ... highly appreciated!

    I'm gonna do a personal reminiscence of pre-liberation days, and how we lived under the tyrant Harper, and then were freed by Happy Jack.

    Unless of course, the NDP/Liberal vote-splitting produces a Conservative majority.

    In which case, All Hail Glorious Harper!

    And yes. Westmount. I mean, how funny would that be???? The commie hordes take the wealthiest and most established upper crust riding in the country! 

    The distaste for Harper and Iggy is just. that. thick. 

    (Plus, worth remembering.... from Wiki...

    Jack Layton was born in Montreal and reared in nearby Hudson, Quebec, a comfortable and largely anglophone community.[3] His parents were Robert Laytonand Doris Elizabeth Steeves. He was elected student council president of his high school, Hudson High School, and his yearbook predicted that he would become a politician.[4] He studied political science at McGill University, where he became a Brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity...

    Layton comes from a long line of politicians. His great-granduncle, William Steeves, was a Father of Confederation. His great-grandfather Philip Layton was a blind activist who led a campaign for disability pensions in the 1930s. His grandfather, Gilbert Layton, was a cabinet minister in the Union Nationale government of Maurice Duplessis in Quebec, and resigned due to the provincial government's lack of support for Canadian participation in World War II. His father, Robert Layton, was a Liberal Party activist in the 1960s and 1970s, and served as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and Cabinet minister in the 1980s.[8])

    So there's that. ;-)

    Good God, even the hyper-conservative 308 (the Nate Silver wannabe of Canadian politics), who have the NDP only taking 43 seats, still has Westmount going for the NDP. Even in that worst case scenario. Just unbelievable. But at this point it all depends on which way strategic voters ultimately fall - and things may be headed across that tipping point now where they drop the Bloc or the Liiberals.

    Btw, Q, have you seen this site helping people out with their strategic voting decisions...?

    ThreeHundredEight at least acknowledges its rolling-average methodology errs on the side of caution. But it may better reflect the election-day results because the NDP is so shallow on the ground in many Quebec ridings. If GOTV by the other parties gives them a 5-per-cent boost, a lot of hypothetical New Democratic wins evaporate.

    Westmount may be affluent, but it's long been big-L Liberal. Voters there may be hinting they're unhappy with Iggy's leadership. Tack on Ville Marie (basically downtown Montreal right up to St. Denis St.) and the swing to the Dippers isn't totally surprising.

    That Project Democracy site is a handy one, and not just for would-be strategic voters. I like that you can select either a rolling average or specific polls to be displayed in bar-chart form, and that it also shows pie charts of the corresponding provincial and federal projections.

    Regarding Westmount, I read a write-up of the debate they had there yesterday. And it seemed as though they were pretty much ignoring Corbeil, the NDP candidate, and just leaving the stage to the Liberal and Tory candidates. So it must be Ville-Marie that is just massively Dippy...

    Well, I think 308 has been running absurdly lagging stuff this past week, as well as adjusting their math and weighting as they flew. But all in all, with such a short campaign and being soooooo heavily backweighted, i'm finding it just useless. I mean, just TODAY are they showing the NDP passing the Grits. And the seat count? 43. Wow.

    The guy is now trying to justify this by talking about how hard it will be for the NDP to get out the vote, and making weird historic comparisons when there is hardly any history to go by. I'd rather just look at the polls myself, downgrade it according to my own sense of how many the parties can get out, and party on. I mean, yeah, the NDP has little on the ground in places. But a lot of politically savvy people have been moving, at ground level, and all they need do is concentrate their best resources in 100 seats. Outside Quebec, that's easy. The provincial party has the people. And in parts of Quebec, I'm sure they'll be ok. Whereas the Liberals have to GOTV with their people entirely without enthusiasm. That's a hard hard task as well. 

    As for strategic voting, some friends and I helped push it in the past, but this time, I just threw turds at them when they mentioned it. I just find Iggy beyond salvation. Yep, if I had to, I'd vote for him, to stop a Harper majority. But organize to do it? When the bloody Liberals I know WON'T actually vote strategically for NDPers, but all the serious and well-intentioned little NDPers and Greens actually do it, hold their nose and vote Liberal. Bah. 

    I'm particularly bitter at Ignatieff because, if you remember, when the NDP and Dion and the Bloc (!!) formed a Coalition to stop Harper's mania, it was IGGY, from inside the Liberals, who made it clear he wouldn't support it as leader, and whose people helped torpedo it in the press. And then we're supposed to vote for that egotistical shit, to keep Harper out? Fuck him. Send him back where he came from.  

    As is, all the strategic sites are having to do wild revamps. See, they may have 10% of the vote lined up to vote strategically, but if the split just went from 20 NDP 25 Lib to 30 NDP and 20 Lib... you're just gonna mess things up and end up losing anyway. So there's gonna be some wild scrambling, riding by riding. 

    Which is really what it comes down to now. Local organization is the #1 thing, re: GOTV. That, then a bit of strategic voting, but based on knowing how the local candidates are doing. I mean, I've got a friend running in a brutally Tory seat, but he's sucking up big-name old Liberal and Tory voters en masse, down to lawn signs from prominent members. Why? Not only do they kinda like Layton, but my bud is an ass-kicking regular guy, whose Dad was an Albertan RCMP officer. It's really hard to see that stuff, and the associated in-riding shifts, from the national polls. Granted, he still won't win, cause it's THAT Tory, but.... ;-)

    So if I had to recommend one thing to people, it's not about your own strategic voting... it's help get out the vote. Especially amongst young people, because college and university is literally just getting out now, and so hundrfeds of thousands are now in transit.

    Talked to my brother in Otttawa last night. He was planning to vote Liberal -- "strategically." I asked if he'd seen a poll for his riding. He hadn't, so I looked it up for him. The NDP candidate was ahead by more than 10 points! I still had to talk for half an hour to persuade him it was OK to vote his actual preference.

    One factor in the Bloc's slump, by the way: a lot of Quebecers expect a provincial election soon that will return the Parti Quebecois to power -- not because of a new surge of separatist fervor, but because folks are sick of Premier Charest's Liberals and the PQ is the only viable alternative. To forestall a PQ push for independence, however, I think many are consciously and pre-emptively abandoning the Bloc so the party has no strong ally in Ottawa to tag-team with. Balancing one's federal and provincial votes like that is a classically Quebec form of "strategic voting."

    That whole construction mob link stuff has been waiting to bite people, not just Charest. Scary dudes. But Charest? Talented guy, but not sure there's much of a moral core there. I got no great beef with the PQ either, just don't want Quebec to leave!

    Today's update.

    1) The NDP are now leading with women nationally, as well as with all those under 45.

    2) It seems they're drawing voters from ALL parties, including the Conservatives - not just the Bloc, the Greens and the Liberals. 


    3) Which leaves one last bastion - Ontario. And in particular, Ontarian men. A lot of Ontarians I know went into this election feeling that even though they liked the NDP, and didn't like Iggy (or the provincial Liberals), but they HAD to go Liberal to keep Harper out. But unlike other regions, Ontario has a lot of good NDP candidates, good local machines, they've voted NDP before and they know - and like - Layton. So they could move - it's not like changing their religion, there are a lot of people for whom it's a strategic voting issue. So I suspect we're going to have a week where a lot of those Liberals votes chew hard on whether they can risk going with their hearts. But look at this poll. Some slight movement already this week. More to come?

    4) With the NDP down just 34-28 today, the key next stage is the mental target of 30%, and that's just 2% off. If they hit that, we may well see the greatest election surprise in Canadian history (not sure anything like this has ever happened in Britain or the US either, at a national level.) Because if they hit even 30%, the even spread of their vote will carry them past the Tories (who have many ridings out West where they'll win 60%+), and almost certainly produce some last-minute bandwagoning and high motivation levels for E-day that would carry them home.

    Can you IMAGINE it?? A socialist party. Running at 14% with 3 weeks left in the election. Led by a guy fighting cancer and using a cane. And leading a party never elected in Alberta, Quebec or 3 of the Atlantic provinces.... WINNING THE FEDERAL ELECTION?? DURING A TIME WHEN THE TEA PARTY FREAKS ARE SEEMINGLY IN THE ASCENDANT??  

    Wow. What a great race. I hope Harper shoots his own horse.

    Awesome!  Hey everyone, party in Canada head on up... should last a while:)

    Wow. 31% and rising today! Just 3% behind the Tories now.

    According to the latest Forum Research poll, Jack Layton’s party enjoys the support of 31% of those surveyed — only three points behind the governing Conservatives, who fell to 34% from the 36% support the party gleaned as of April 21. The Liberals, having been reduced to third place in a slew of recent polls, dwindled to 22% in this latest survey, while the Bloc Quebecois remained unchanged at 6%.

    And bonus surprise:

    The New Democrats orange tide is also sweeping Ontario, according to the poll, which showed the party rising six points to capture 26% support. The lion’s share of that gain came at the expense of the Tories, who slipped from 42% to 38% in the battleground province.

    The more they outdistance the Liberals at this point, the more it seems sustainable, as fewer drop the NDP and vote Liberal out of strategic voting considerations.

    I really can't get over this! Just amazing.

    The pundits just can't fathom it, and keep expecting it to "stop" at some border or other. Like Ontario. But it's not.

    Look at Atlantic Canada now. People there are historically afraid of being left on the outs when it comes to Government contracts. So.... there's a lot of bandwagoning. But. They've hated Harper all along, the bastard came down there years ago and told them all they were lazy.

    And it's just wonderful to see Harper and co still so fixated on the Liberals that they're trying to back into power, acting Prime Ministerial and above it all, hoping to just get to the Royal Wedding weekend and then the vote. While the NDP is racing to chew off that 1/4 of the Tory vote that can come loose. It's like this great race, and the miserable rotten bastards still can't see the NDP coming.

    And joy of joys, a minority is likely the end of BOTH Ignatieff AND Harper. Which would be good for the country. Yes yes yes yes yes.

    I'm just busy lobbying my buds to kick their strategic voting networks over to the NDP. Even forgetting the Liberals, there's another point or two of Green vote that could come our say. A lot of the Greens are friends of Jack's or of other NDPers, Jack having been a green activist when not in politics.


    We can do this, eh?

    More mammoth news! From the Globe.


    "The NDP may be in first place, or pretty darn close to it.

    ... The Nanos poll, this morning reported national voting intentions of Conservative: 37.8 per cent; NDP: 27.8 per cent; Liberal: 22.9 per cent; BQ: 5.8 per cent; and Green: 4.7 per cent for the period ending April 26. It takes a little arithmetic with this three-day rolling poll, but when you isolate last night's numbers, you get the NDP in first place with 36.2 per cent; the Conservatives second with 35 per cent; the Liberals with 17.5 per cent, the BQ with 4.4 per cent and Greens with 6.9 per cent.

    That's right. Nanos's April 26 sample had the NDP in first. This is not definitive; it has a high margin of error; it must be handled with great care. But add to that today's Forum Research poll, which showed a mere three points separating the Conservatives and the NDP, and it's pretty clear what is happening. The NDP either has closed, or is close to closing, the gap with the Conservatives.

    There is no reason to believe otherwise, frankly, or that this has to come to a halt. Fact: various polls are now showing the NDP eating not only into the Liberal vote (as in Ontario) but also into the Conservative vote pretty much everywhere outside the prairies. Analysis is catching up. Fact: the NDP surge is showing no sign of abating. Fact: The NDP has a great, upbeat "closer"-style spot on television right now, while the other parties have ads that are not resonating. Fact: The Conservative response, which would probably be impressive, is nowhere to be seen, plus they just lost one of their best strategy guys at the worst possible moment. Meanwhile, the Liberals are starting to fall off the coverage radar. Fact: earned media campaign coverage is about to go dark for the Royal Wedding and the final weekend."

    If the NDP has 36%, and the Conservatives 35%, we're in the 120-160 seat zone for the NDP. Especially since a lot of that Conservative vote sits in ridings where they own 60%-70% of the vote. For the Liberals, if they hit 18%, they're done - in terms of seats. Too small to matter, 15-20 seats probably. It might be the end of them as a party, especially since they have almost no provincial presence anymore. There'll be some desperation this weekend. 

    I'm not sure people can even imagine this. Like the Tories when they fell to 2 seats. Only with no real grassroots or ethnic or regional base. 

    There's no gaming this anymore.

    A couple of more indications that these are solid gains, likely to accelerate.

    1. The Leadership index: an important leading indicator -

    The pollster said he considers the leadership index to be an advance indication of possible shifts in party support, noting that Mr. Layton moved ahead of Mr. Ignatieff on the leadership front about a week before NDP poll numbers began to shoot upward. The latest rise in Mr. Layton’s numbers come as polls indicate the NDP is starting to whittle down the consistent lead the Conservatives have had since the writ was dropped.

    Mr. Layton leads with 33.2 per cent of respondents saying he is the most trusted leader, while 24.5 per cent of respondents say they trust Mr. Harper the most; 11.3 per cent say the same for Mr. Ignatieff.

    The NDP Leader also has a slight edge over Mr. Harper on having the best vision for Canada, although that advantage is within the poll’s margin of error.

    The Conservative Leader has a narrow lead on the question of who is the most competent leader: 30.7 per cent to Mr. Layton’s 23.9 per cent, half of the lead that Mr. Harper held previously.

    2. The polls adjusted for 'likelihood to vote' in the EKOS poll ACanuck cited (p. 9):

    Among those 'absolutely certain to vote' the NDP scored better than amongst the general voter population: 28.1% versus 27.9%.

    They also clock in pretty decent numbers on 'enthusiasm' - ahead of the Libs but behind the Tories. On the downside, they come in a close fourth behind those other two, and the BQ, amongst the voters least likely to change their mind. But still not a bad score considering these are overwhelmingly voters new to the NDP, so it maybe should be seen in a positive light that their support is already as certain and loyal as are the bases of the other major parties (see p. 30)

    So the numbers are real and quite solid.

    Hey Obey. For me, it's like watching the most amazing political campaign, ever, and it's all unfolding in 2 weeks, and it's happening HERE. Two weeks ago, Harper's leadership score was TWICE Layton's. Layton leads now. And how? Why? Nobody really knows.

    All I know for sure is that it's 2-2 in Game 7, Boston vs Montreal. Which means acanuck is presently chewing his fingers off. ;-)

    Damm. Thanks for a bit of perspective. Who cares about the election with the Habs and Bruins going down to the wire...


    We may not see acanuck for a while. Bruins won Game 7, in Overtime, 4-3, over his Habs. And no, it wasn't pretty. The Bruins play an ugly game of hockey. 

    Which means our bud is probably in downtown Montreal as we speak, burning cop cars. Apparently, it's a great way to release tension. The French - so sophisticated, in their emotional management.

    Just checking in; can't stay long. Hard to focus with bleeding fingers and accelerant-singed eyebrows. If the cops ask, I was here all night, "blogging." Got it?

    A happier picture for you, lad. Next year! 

    This is probably the best explanation for those who are not fully briefed on the Canadian system of democracy:

    Here's Rick Mercer visiting Jack at home.

    And a bit of love for the Tories.

    Latest Comments