Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Will 2011 federal vote be Election of the Century with NDP bumping Liberals out of Official Opposition?

Can desperate Liberal, Conservative & Bloc stop the NDP's Orange Crush?

Canadians could see a huge political realignment, with a Harper majority and NDP official opposition

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday April 26, 2011

By Bill Tieleman

"We're not under any illusion here. Your main competition here is the NDP."

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking in Campbell River, B.C.

Could 2011 be the defining federal election of the century, with a dramatic political realignment as the New Democrats "orange surge" helps them replace the Liberals as Canada's Official Opposition?

Or will a national collapse under Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff simply lead to a majority Stephen Harper Conservative government?

And could the separatist Bloc Quebecois surprisingly become merely a minor and irrelevant irritant instead of Canada's third largest party?

Several stunning polls last week rocked the political world when they indicated NDP leader Jack Layton is outperforming both the Liberals nationally and the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec.

An Ipsos Reid national poll last week showed the NDP at 24 per cent in second place ahead of the Liberals at 21 per cent, with the ruling Conservatives at 43 per cent -- in majority territory.

An Angus Reid poll had the NDP and Liberals tied for second at 25 per cent each, with the Conservatives at 36 per cent -- likely still to produce a minority government.

But the CROP poll that put the NDP in first place over the Bloc in Quebec is even more shocking -- and could have the biggest impact.

That result had the NDP at 36 per cent, Gilles Duceppe's Bloc at 31 per cent, the Conservatives at 17 per cent and the Liberals at just 13 per cent.

And an EKOS poll in Quebec backed that up, with the NDP at 31 per cent and the Bloc at 24 per cent, the Liberals at 21 per cent and the Tories at 17 per cent.

Layton's rise draws attacks

An NDP breakthrough in Quebec could still be minor -- with a handful of seats won and the re-election of deputy leader Thomas Mulcair in Outremont -- or it could be significant, allowing the party to take many more seats from the other three parties.

Layton and Mulcair underlined that possibility with a Montreal rally on the weekend attend by 2,000 supporters -- the biggest turnout in the party's history in Quebec.

For British Columbian voters the national trends mean the importance of their ballot just got huge -- and that the party choices have narrowed to two main contenders -- Conservative or NDP.

A B.C. poll by Angus Reid last week showed the Conservatives at 42 per cent, leading the NDP at 32 per cent, with the Liberals well back at 18 per cent and the Greens at just six per cent, likely ending Elizabeth May's chances of being that party's first elected MP in Saanich and the Islands.

Close seats in BC

Both the Conservatives and Liberals have launched new attack ads aimed solely at the NDP, indicating Layton's rise is no mirage.

What this and the national polls mean on the ground is clear -- the Liberals are going to lose seats in B.C., the NDP is going to gain seats and so may the Conservatives. That could spell the difference between a Tory minority or majority government.

The NDP are likely to take Surrey North from the Tories, where hapless MP Dona Cadman faced this headline in the local Surrey Now newspaper -- "Desperately Seeking Dona" -- detailing her ducking debates as she "remains invisible" in the riding.

NDP candidate Jasbir Sandhu hopes to regain the riding once held by the NDP's Penny Priddy and before that by the late Chuck Cadman, Dona's husband, who was elected as an independent after losing his Conservative nomination in 2004 despite serving seven years as an MP.

The Conservatives expect to win Vancouver South after narrowly missing knocking off Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh by 20 votes in 2008, with candidate Wai Young returning for a rematch.

The NDP also are putting major efforts into electing former B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jinny Sims in Newton-North Delta, a riding that has featured three-way battles between two-term Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal, the Conservatives, who finished second in 2008, and the NDP, who lost by just 1,000 votes in 2006.

Outside Metro Vancouver the NDP is pinning efforts on Ronna-Rae Leonard taking Vancouver Island North from Conservative John Duncan, who lost to the NDP in 2006. That's why Harper was in Campbell River this past Saturday in a defensive move to try holding the seat.

The NDP also hope to finally win Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca following the retirement of MP Keith Martin, who held it despite switching allegiance from the Conservatives to the Liberals three elections ago.

NDP candidate Randall Garrison faces off against Conservative Troy DeSouza, who was just 68 votes behind Martin in 2008. Garrison was a close second in 2006 but did not run in the following contest in a riding once held by NDP icon Dave Barrett.

History in the making?

With less than a week to go, what seemed like a lacklustre and unwanted election in March is now one of the most exciting in decades.

And while Ignatieff's Liberals and Duceppe's Bloc will do everything possible in a last desperate effort to block the "orange surge" and Harper's Conservatives hope that tide breaks just the right way for them to win a majority, it's clear that Jack Layton is in an unprecedentedly powerful spot to change Canada's political history.



Collin said...

Jack Layton is giving people a viable alternative. In years past the NDP was seen as too extreme. Mr Layton has finally found a balanced platform that works for all Canadians. He'd be a fantastic official opposition leader.

Bernard von Schulmann said...

With the latest Angus Reid poll, the first with the NDP at 30%, the shift away from the Liberals seems complete.

The Liberals have been on a steady decline in support in each of the last three elections, and now this fourth one.

There are many surprising seats in possible play in BC if the NDP gets back to the 33-35% it had in BC in the 70s and 80s

DPL said...

This evening on the National, two different panels of experts indicate the surge is real, and possibly not yet peaked. They seemed to agree that the NDP gains would not necessarily mean a Conservative majority

Anonymous said...

Did anyone beside me notice the Liberal ads attacking the NDP that played during the first period of the hockey game were interspersed with viagra ads?

Anonymous said...

Can't see a Conservative Majority, they would have to keep their seats in Quebec, and add two seats in B.C.

Ain't gonna happen.

"Did anyone beside me notice the Liberal ads attacking the NDP that played during the first period of the hockey game were interspersed with viagra ads?"

Did anyone who read that figured the poster was a bit confused, and is trying a rudimentary attempt at something, and did anyone who read that was paying more attention to the game than the TV ads?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Even Nanos is admitting the obvious (they poll for CTV/the Globe and Mail and are not one of my favs):

Anonymous said...

A new poll from The National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/27/ndp-trail-tories-by-just-three-points-new-poll-finds/

Headline: NDP trails Tories by just three points.

Getting ready to moonwalk down a major thoroughfare in my little down if this happens on Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

"A new poll from The National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/27/ndp-trail-tories-by-just-three-points-new-poll-finds/

Headline: NDP trails Tories by just three points."

Paradox and hyprocrisy here!

Many posters to this blog despise the MSM media (see the rants against during Bill's Basi Virk case), and yet here we have something accrediting the MSM!

"Getting ready to moonwalk down a major thoroughfare in my little down if this happens on Tuesday!"

Let's hope that throughfare for this blogger is Denman Street and he keeps moonwalking right across the grass, down and across the beach and into the water..

Grant G said...

Bill Teileman...

I have one big question for you.

When are you going to admit your post about the Federal Conservative trap that Jack and Ignatief fell into was a total bust!

The Cons wanted this election, the Cons regret that decision.

There will be a new Federal leader for the Liberals and Harper will be shown the exit door and be given a great big push!

"Go left or be left out"

Here comes the ...

"Big Orange Star"

Bill Tieleman said...

Grant - I'm tempted to say I'll admit things when you spell my name right!

But if the Conservatives win a majority government - which is still a real possibility due to the Liberal collapse - I think my caution will be sadly verified.

However, I will happily eat crow if Jack Layton is Opposition Leader and the Tories are in a minority situation - and I will be washing it down with champagne!

Here's hoping.

Grant G said...

Bill Tilluman...Bill Teeloman...Bill Tieleman!


We are on the same side Mr. T(is that acceptable)?

Cheers...Although I won`t be drinking champagne..I will be drinking...

Orange Kool-Aid!

Cheers from your friendly neighborhood Powell River Persuader.

Anonymous said...

May this country be so lucky as to, have Jack Layton as P.M. He genuinely cares about Canada and the citizens. Harper does not.

Harper had a felon working for him. Conservatives are in contempt of the House. Conservatives, went to Guelph University to stop students from voting. They even tried to seize the ballot boxes. This feels like, a fascist, dictatorship, "Harper Government".

During WW11, our young Canadian boys were blown to bits, so this wouldn't happen in our country.

If Harper wins a majority. He will give Canada to, the giant corporations he works for. I read his speech about, his plan of Global Governance for Canada. We want to keep our country sovereign and free. Jack Layton, will never sell our country out as, Harper already is.

Greg Cameron said...

Forgive me if I approach this in a roundabout way. I was amused recently to see some syndicated columnist attack the provincial NDP for not embracing 'the Washington Consensus'(he didn't use those exact words, but that was certainly the upshot of it). He expressed contempt for the NDP because they weren't 'going along' with everyone else on this issue. Think about it. He was not appealing to the supposed inherent virtues of the Washington Consensus - he was explicitly stating we should go along with it because everyone else is. Apparently, we're sheep, not people. Why, if Hitler were resurrected tomorrow and somehow got popular, we should go along with him because everyone else is. This is simultaneously a contemptible argument and an argument expressing contempt for the readers of said column. Do these writers really think through the things they write? As I never tire of saying, if there are no fundamental policy differences between parties, what is the point of democracy? If you can vote for the party of your choice but all parties adhere to the same basic platform, you have a de facto dictatorship. Marxists once dismissed democracy as the talkshop of capitalism - it's amusing to see right-wingers try to twist this pejorative into a positive without really taking serious issue with it. To bring this back to the federal level, it's amusing to hear Conservatives drag out the same old arguments to try to discredit Layton. We see such old-time Conservative favourites such as appeals to fear outright and don't-open-the-oven-it'll-ruin-the-souffle sorts of arguments. Oh yeah, and vote for us 'cause we're already in power and we know what it's like, huh, huh, huh. In regards to the fear arguments, anyone familiar with Canadian history will remember the rampant fear-mongering that went on when Canada brought in Medicare - all the doctors will leave, it'll be the ruin of our medical system, etc. Historical note - it just didn't happen. The sky is not falling. You're just hearing the sounds of pigs getting their tails twisted. If you want something to fear, consider the fact that Stephen Harper once told a meeting of some Yank think tank that the NDP party was "Marxist"(his word, precisely). Oh, brother. Look, all Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics. Follow? Similarly, all Marxists are socialists, but not all socialists are Marxists. See what I mean? Do you really want a prime minister who can't wrap his brain around this sort of thing? Newsflash - the McCarthy era is over, people. Calling people Communists just won't work anymore, especially when Marxism is as dead as a doornail...and especially when some people won't know what the hell you're talking about. The collapse of Marxism(which was opposed to capitalism) does not necessarily affirm the truth of its opposite. You don't have to major in philosophy to see the truth of that. Disregard fear-mongering by people who really are the ones who are scared. Vote as you want. WE ARE NOT SHEEP! Out...Greg Cameron

Anonymous said...

Orange Kool-Aid!

hmmm, I wonder what color Jim Jones used when he persuaded all those followers to drink the Kool-Aid

Anonymous said...

"hmmm, I wonder what color Jim Jones used when he persuaded all those followers to drink the Kool-Aid"

Probbaly the same colour that will be used when there's persuasion for everyone to vote for Adrian Dix's NDP.