Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 23: Party, policy and modus operandi


Losers
: Liberal strategists for employing a "reverse coattail" strategy late in the campaign. Just what do I mean by this? Well, normally political parties allocate scarce national campaign resources into ridings (and target their efforts) to where they lost or won by close margins the last time around, while at the same time, putting less of an effort into ridings where the margin of victory was big. A reverse coattail campaign would do the reverse, in that, they would place an even greater effort in ridings that won big -- not to raise the leader's already low poll numbers but in hopes the strong ridings pull the neighboring battleground ridings along for the ride. The bottom line, this type of panic strategy is usually a concession, by the party, that their leader has no chance of beating his/her opponent in the general campaign so they may as well salvage whatever they can at a micro level.

That said, you can understand my disagreements with this guy on the value of such a strategy, and in this case, speech. It's a losing strategy and you know it, Warren.

Reverse coattails update: Trust me folks, I do not make this stuff up. Greg Weston on the musings of another anonymous Liberal insider: "Another muses that perhaps Dion should be dispatched to campaign in Newfoundland for the rest of the election, leaving Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff to lead the fight for seat-rich Ontario."

Loser: Liberal MP Bob Rae for suggesting that Canadians, specifically Quebecers, will miraculously come around to their leader's policies after hearing him debate. He, of all people, should know better then to think that Procrustean politics works in Canada. In other words, parties that attempt to shape the country to their message rather than shaping their message to the country always lose. I guess left-wing ideologues, like Rae, believe that what is good for Liberals is good for the rest of the country. Too bad Canadians don't agree.















Policy Loser: The NDP's platform. If these statist policies are the ideas of Her Majesty's next Loyal Opposition, then we are in big trouble folks. So big that this may end up being the first Parliament we've known to be without a legitimate conscience. However, on the bright side for Tories, if anything, what the NDP does represent in today's politics is the guarantor of consecutive conservative majorities (and even a possible forced merger on the left). Thanks Jack.

Off the subject of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, I see one former Mulroney PMO advisor is claiming bias in the mainstream media. But wait folks, it's not your typical right-wing railing against the bias Liberal media as you would expect from a Tory? He's claiming that there is an anti-NDP agenda amongst the media! That's right folks, A Tory claiming right-wing media bias against a left-wing socialist party. And you thought you had seen it all.

Losers: Liberal candidates who speculate, mid-campaign, about who should be their next leader going forward; not to mention, those that have the knives out already for Dion. Isn't this the kind of internal feuding that got you guys here in the first place? Très uncool Libs.

Losing argument: New Brunswick Liberal Paul Zed: "...the national polls are not a reflection of the way voters decide in Atlantic Canada. In this region, there are 32 mini-elections with voters very focused on who their candidate is and what they're going to do for the riding."

Ummm, sure Paul, all us good Atlantic Canadians will do our darnedest to put up "a firewall" to what is happening in the rest of the country and ignore the disaster nationally that is known as your Liberal party of Canada. Although, that will be tough to do since other Liberal star candidates in Ontario are saying that people will warm up to the national campaign after they see Dion debate on Wednesday and Thursday. To your credit Mr. source Zed, you were correct in saying that Harper is "smart enough to realize he can pick up seats here." I'm sure people who put weight in recent national polls won't argue with that fact.

Headline of the day: Canadian Liberals, once dominant, now in big trouble. H/T Dan Cook.

Best line: Out of the mouth of a senior NDP strategist: "We want to be known by that one word -- prudent," [...] The narrative of the platform," he said, "is Layton will run a prudent, fiscally sound government." Ouch! How does it feel to have the dippers steal the fiscal pragmatism right away from your party, Liberals?

Funny: I don't know what he ate for breakfast, but Stormin Norman is on fire today: "Now that Jack Layton has called on Stephen Harper to convene a meeting of party leaders to discuss the economic situation, one awaits a press release from Liberal headquarters announcing that Mr. Dion is suspending his campaign and re-considering whether he will participate in the leaders' debates."

12 comments:

Rob said...

I don't see how a merger of NDP and Liberal parties serves either very well. There are many Red Tories, like Scott Brison or Belinda Stronach, who live in the Liberal Party now, and wouldn't be very comfortable with the statist policies of the NDP.

Politics exists on a cycle, and those who count the Liberals as dead and gone today are just as wrong as those who counted out conservative Canada in the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Politics exists on a cycle, and those who count the Liberals as dead and gone today are just as wrong as those who counted out conservative Canada in the 1990s.

So you're suggesting that their will be a decade long split in the party while a fringe party occupied the Opposition chair? Sounds a lot like the Alliance and PCs to me which ultimately merged for the betterment of the right.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Zed. I think the national campaign (most notably the debates) will confirm what Canadians already sense, that Harper is the steady hand on the tiller and Dion (the income re-distributing specialist on Marxist administration), Layton (the old-time Socialist spender of other people's money), May (the snow-flake) and Duceppe (the Marxist union leader) are too radical by half for our troubled times.

bill said...

It's funny, Chretien had just as many (maybe more?) internal detractors in 2000, but was able to keep them quiet. I guess Stock and the conservative split took the focus off that.

Rob said...

So you're suggesting that their will be a decade long split in the party while a fringe party occupied the Opposition chair?

Nope, I'm only comparing the existence of a potential split on the left to the 1990s split on the right. Beyond that you're just pushing the comparison. The Alliance and PCs were both remnants of the Mulroney coalition, and had a recent common political history. I don't see the Liberals and NDP sharing such.

Also, the Conservative party won't become whole until it retakes the soft-nationalist Québecois vote that became the Bloc after Mulroney. If that happens this election, there will be a Conservative majority. If not, the Bloc will live on.

gdale said...

Ignatieff needs to get out more if he thinks the NDP's social democratic policies are out of date. Their in place in most of the U.N.'s top 20 best countries to live in. What's out of date, especially in light of the economic meltdown happening in the United States, is Harper's and Dion's reliance on corporate tax cuts to fix all of our economic problems.

Anonymous said...

The Alliance and PCs were both remnants of the Mulroney coalition, and had a recent common political history. I don't see the Liberals and NDP sharing such.

The NDP broke through in Quebec. What if they replace the Liberals or at least share the title of defacto federalist alternative in Montreal? Would the Liberals be forced to take them seriously then?

henry j said...

Doin's weak leader, with a weak team with a bad plan. Nothing more can be said.

Rob said...

The NDP broke through in Quebec. What if they replace the Liberals or at least share the title of defacto federalist alternative in Montreal? Would the Liberals be forced to take them seriously then?

I don't know, I haven't finished Chantal Hébert's book yet. I'll let you know.

Howard said...

The upcoming debates notwithstanding, the only issue on the minds of Canadians should be whether the Liberals and NDP can put together enough seats to form a government. If the BQ succeeds in keeping more than half of its existing seats, the answer is no.

nbt said...

Hey Rob, that book is a great read.

Anonymous said...

It says a lot about Canadians that we only focus on HOW the man talks and not WHAT he says. I still don't know that I'll be voting Liberal this October and perhaps Stephane Dion has been viewed as a ineffective politician, but being a good politician and being a good leader are two very different things. Stephen Harper is obviously good at being elected. His divide and conquer politics will be very effective in pitting Canadians against each other this election. I only hope we're collectively smart enough to read between the lines and get to what's actually being done and not being said. Pay attention to Canadian politics! Things aren't going as smoothly as we think.