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What's the future for the NDP?

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#1
The Conservatives are out of power, but one could argue this election was even worse for the NDP. Getting 32% of the vote in a high turnout election after nearly a decade in power isn't that bad. They didn't actually lose that many votes.

In contrast, the NDP was Official Opposition, topped the polls going into the election...and totally blew it. They lost 1 million votes and more than half their seats.

Mulcair played it too safe. His immediately balance the budget stance impressed nobody who would have even considered casting a vote for them. And he was too scripted - his skills as a parliamentarian weren't utilized, instead the campaign tried to present Mulcair as someone he's not, like a lovable teddy bear and his speeches were pretty canned and generic. Expectations were high in the debates and he underperformed.

Trudeau in many respects sounded bolder and more "progressive" than the NDP.

Right now there is too little difference between the NDP and Liberals, and people will vote for the real thing.

Oddly enough the Liberals beat the NDP with pretty much the exact same strategy as they did provincially.

Like the Conservatives (probably more so), the NDP needs to undergo some real soul searching.
 

BurlOak

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#5
The federal NDP suffered the same problem as the Ontario NDP.

They felt they were close to obtaining power so the leader campaigned towards the middle with more logical and rational policies. Because this conversion happened too late, and since the rest of the team (workers, candidates, supporters) were not on board, they lost their credibility. It remains to be seem whether campaigning with the extreme left ideology that got them to were they were would have got them a victory. Possibly when people actually think of how the policies would be implemented and their effects, they would have moved their vote away even more.
The NDP need to decide if they want to be a left party - if they do, stay there. The Liberals are the only party that can have completely incoherent policies and move from left to right on a whim and still get support.
 

Admiral Beez

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#6
If we go to ranked ballots for the Oct. 2019 general election this may be good for the NDP. People will be less afraid of voting their conscience if they know their second choice can also count. On the other hand, ranked ballots may end up destroying the Conservatives, since they'd rarely be any Liberal or NDPer's second choice. That said, my rank ballot would likely be Liberal-Con-Green, so I'd skip the Dippers entirely.
 

ShonTron

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#9
If we go to ranked ballots for the Oct. 2019 general election this may be good for the NDP. People will be less afraid of voting their conscience if they know their second choice can also count. On the other hand, ranked ballots may end up destroying the Conservatives, since they'd rarely be any Liberal or NDPer's second choice. That said, my rank ballot would likely be Liberal-Con-Green, so I'd skip the Dippers entirely.
There are a lot of blue Liberals - the side of the party that would include Paul Martin, John Manley, Bill Morneau. Socially liberal (or at least neutral on social issues), but concerned with trade, low taxes, and business-friendly policies. They would vote Conservative as a second choice, especially under an agreeable leader.
 

mjl08

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#10
There are a lot of blue Liberals - the side of the party that would include Paul Martin, John Manley, Bill Morneau. Socially liberal (or at least neutral on social issues), but concerned with trade, low taxes, and business-friendly policies. They would vote Conservative as a second choice, especially under an agreeable leader.
With Trudeau's seemingly leftish mandate, it's easy to forget he still has a handful of social conservatives in his party, like John McKay and Fiona Tassi, as well as Blue Liberals, like Scott Brison and the aforementioned Morneau.
 
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ShonTron

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#11
With Trudeau's seemingly leftish mandate, it's easy to forget he still a handful of social conservatives in his party, like John McKay and Fiona Tassi, as well as Blue Liberals, like Scott Brison and the aforementioned Morneau.
That's true. Most of the worst social conservatives are gone - Jimmy K, Tom Wappel, but there are a few still hanging around.

The Liberals suffered in the last dozen years from the drift of some Blue Liberals to the Conservatives, and progressive Liberals to the NDP. And during the Dion and Ignatieff years, other Liberals simply stayed home. Trudeau managed to bring many of them back, which is why Andrew Cash, for example, got a similar number of votes in 2015 as 2011, but managed to lose to a third-rate Liberal candidate.
 

adma

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#12
I am curious to know which living NDPer would be the closest analogue to Sanders.
*Maybe* someone like Alexandre Boulerice, or some of the provincial Quebec Solidaire types--except that they emanate too much from the idiosyncracies of Quebec-centric political culture, i.e. wouldn't necessarily translate well nationally...
 
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#14
From NDP stalwart Gerry Caplan:

Instead of a campaign that mobilized NDP activists by making them proud of their party, Mr. Mulcair and his team instead presented a set of ideological conservative propositions that demoralized party members from the get-go. New Democrats were both perplexed and deeply disappointed to find balanced budgets and no deficits to be the major economic policies their leader offered the nation. While activists were passionate about reducing the curse of inequality, the NDP campaign served up knee-jerk neoliberal economics that even mainstream economists had repudiated.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...-have-little-enthusiasm-left/article28768580/
 

Skeezix

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#15
No doubt people like Cherri DiNovo and Gerry Caplan will argue that the NDP campaign failed because it the party moved too far towards the centre. It's impossible to know for sure, but I'm not convinced that's correct. The NDP campaign had so many problems, I don't know where to start.

First, the campaign and the platform were listless - the Tories were telling a story, the Liberals were telling a story, but it wasn't completely clear what the NDP were saying. There was no coherent theme. It doesn't matter where one sits on the left-right spectrum if one can't communicate a compelling vision.

Second, Mulcair campaigned as though he was on quaaludes - what happened to the bulldog from Question Period? They decided that they needed to soften his image, but they should have let Mulcair be Mulcair. He was never going to win a fight with Justin Trudeau as to which one Canadians thought was the nicest guy, so unclear why the NDP even tried. Maybe because they were successful selling Jack Layton in Quebec as the one leader you'd want to have a beer with? Who knows.

Third, the NDP seemed to run afoul of the Paul Wells rule about parties who campaign to be in opposition will likely be awarded that role by the voters. The Liberals certainly took potshots at Harper (primarily) and Mulcair (to a lesser extent), but focused most of their attention on what they would do in office. The NDP seemed to spend more time bitching about Harper than the Liberals did, and also spent way way way more time bitching about Trudeau than the Liberals did bitching about Mulcair. I follow a lot of NDPers on Facebook and Twitter, including a lot of their MPs, and honestly, they all spent almost as much time talking about Justin as the Liberals did (Cherri DiNovo is quick to blame Mulcair, but at times last year she seemed to almost be obsessing about Trudeau on social media). So if you're a Canadian looking for change, who are you going to vote for? Trudeau.
 
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